In the tug-of-war between Austrian and Italian cultural influences, Bolzano (pop. 100,000) leans toward Austria’s side. The town’s prime location beneath vineyard-covered mountains makes it a splendid base for hiking or skiing in the Dolomites. Artwork and numerous frescoes fill the Gothic duomo, off P. Walther. (Open M-F 9:45am-noon and 2-5pm, Sa 9:45am-noon.) The fascinating South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology, V. Museo 43, near Ponte Talvera, houses the 5000-year- old Ice Man. ( 047198 06 48. Open Tu-F 10am-6pm, Th until 7pm. ‚8, students ‚5.50.) Trains ( 0471 97 42 92) leave P. Stazione for: Milan (3hr. 3 per day, ‚21); Trent (45min. 2 per hr. ‚3); and Verona (2hr. 1-2 per hr. ‚6.80). Walk up V. Stazione from the train station to reach the tourist office, P. Walther 8. (0471 30 70 00; fax 0471 98 01 28. Open M-F 9am-6:30pm, Sa 9am- 12:30pm.) Croce Bianca , P. del Grano 3, is around the comer from P. Walther. Its homey rooms are the most centrally located budget accomodations in town. (0471 97 75 52. Singles ‚28; doubles ‚47.) Sample some of Bolzano’s Austrian-influenced fare around P. Walther and along V. Grappoli. Postal Code: 39100.
From the rocky foothills of the Dolomites to the fertile valleys of the Po River, the Veneto region has a geography as diverse as its historical influences. Once loosely linked under the Venetian Empire, these towns retained their cultural independence, and visitors are more likely to hear regional dialects than standard Italian when neighbors gossip across their geranium-bedecked windows. The tenacity of local culture and custom may be a pleasant surprise for those who come expecting only mandolins and gondolas.
BOLZANO Photo Gallery
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