Merano looks like a bride in summer. The city and basin are covered with so many apple blossoms that they look like one big garden.
The churches, castles, porticoes, and ancient entrance gates in the centre testify to Merano's important role in the Middle Ages. The 19th century buildings and the walks along the Passirio stream remind us of the city's heyday, the Belle Époque.
Today as then, people come for a weekend, to enjoy a world out of this world, made up of beauty, gardens, excellent restaurants, a coffee on the walks, roses and romance, a golden autumn and a very sweet spring .
Nature is all around us here: 12 km of walking trails and 16 hectares of parks in the city, 80 km of paths along the ancient irrigation canals, the Waalwege ("irrigation ditches"), and over 30,000 hectares of the Tessa Group Natural Park, between the basin of Merano (to the south), the Val Senales (to the west), the Venoste Alps (to the north), and the Val Passiria (to the east).
To discover, of course, on foot. Between scenic trails and trekking routes.
Merano's well-known wellbeing comes from the benefits of walking and being active. The creators of "Terrainkur" therapy, pioneers of well-being, noticed this over two centuries ago. This therapy consisted of walking along gently ascending streets.
The walks of Merano are now a city institution that unites inhabitants and tourists in a setting of well-kept gardens, waterfalls, streams, atmospheres between the naturalistic and the worldly, partly reminiscent of times gone by.
There are plenty of cable cars and chair lifts around Merano that can take you to higher altitudes. The FuniCard Merano is a card that allows you to use 15 lifts in the city area. The card can be used for one return trip per day, and for four days out of six.
The Val Passiria cycle path starts in Merano and is about 20 kilometres long, ending in San Leonardo. It's flat and suitable for all levels, with a difference in altitude of only 350 metres.
It can be easily covered with a mountain bike or an e-bike for the less trained. It's safe, away from traffic, and surrounded by nature.
There's another great spot that you'll need a car to get to, just outside the city. It's called the Kränzel estate. It's a medieval farm and residence turned into a vineyard and garden.
The garden is divided into 7 zones, each with its own art, symbols, and green magic. There's also a big labyrinth of vineyards. It's not too hard to find your way out, but it'll take a while.
South Tyrol boasts a total of 21 starred restaurants, 6 of which are located in Merano and surroundings.
2 Michelin stars:
1 Michelin star:
Zum Löwen restaurant
Precious Restaurant Fragsburg
Luisl Stube im Schlosswirt Forst
The park has 12 hectares divided into four areas, with over 80 landscapes containing plants from all over the world. The Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle, with their natural amphitheatre shape, offer great views of the mountains and Merano at every turn.
Every corner in this place, with all its foreign plants and rare specimens, is a great place to take a selfie.
There is Matteo Thun's Binoculars, the panoramic platform suspended in the air, built by the same name in 2005 by the South Tyrolean architect. The shot from the edge at the top of the steps captures a broad view of the entire Merano area, snow-capped peaks, fortresses and castles.
The most romantic selfie is taken in the Garden of Lovers with a gigantic bouquet, or the panorama of the valley and mountains of Merano as a background. The Japanese Garden has a stream, rocks and plants, which were placed there according to the Japanese master's design.
Another great place to take a selfie is at Spiaggia delle Palme, on the deck chairs, with your feet in the sand and the mountains and palm trees in the background.
The best way to see the Merano basin is from the Gardens, which you can reach by walking to the end of the path that starts at the Aviary. At the end, you'll find a balustrade with the saying "Only Thoughts Fly" inscribed on it. This makes for a great spot to take a selfie and come up with some creative hashtags.
The new Terme Merano spa is amazing--a real architectural jewel in the heart of Merano. It's definitely become a symbol of well-being in South Tyrol. The glass cube is illuminated by natural light and has 15 indoor and 10 outdoor pools, saunas of all kinds, endless water jets and sprays.
Even the little ones will be delighted, as there is a free kids' club (for ages 2 to 12) with games and activities under the guidance of expert operators. The parents? They can relax in a whey bath or sheep's wool bath, and discover the benefits of a massage with local products like milk, honey, and apples - powerful anti-aging agents.
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