The South Tyrolean spa town of Merano stands as a unique gateway to the Adige, Passeier, and Venosta valleys, commonly known as the 'Fruit Gardens of the Alps'. This Italian Eden contains an impressive Mediterranean microclimate making it an oasis of palms, vines and citrus trees set below the snow-capped mountains. Ever since Sissi, Empress Elisabeth of Austria, crowned it a spa resort, the elite of Europe have made this a favoured hotspot for health and cultural festivities.
Wander the medieval core of the Old Town filled with villas, botanical gardens and grand promenades that radiate outward to the Passeier River, or take a soak in the famous Therme, which sparkles in modern form thanks to a local South Tyrolean hero, Matteo Thun.
The "Alto Adige" (South Tyrol) is all about a marriage of culture, language, tradition and nature, for this small pocket of Northern Italy shares more than just a border with Austria, this is an Alpinista lifestyle that flirts with Dolce Vita, where extreme sports junkies fuse with foodie aficionados and mother nature cradles the spectacular of the Dolomites.read more