Climb paths leading through dense forest to reach this 10th-century castle, which houses a museum dedicated to humanity’s relationship with the mountains.
Castel Firmiano is a rustic collection of stone fortifications set high up among the forested mountains of South Tyrol. The structure, which dates back to the 10th century, is famous for being the site of an important 20th-century independence rally and now holds a mountain-themed museum. Trek along the castle complexes stairways, paths and towers inspecting various artworks, relics and educational displays.
Several aristocratic figures, including the former Prince of Tyrol and the Counts of Wolkenstein, have owned the castle over the centuries. In German, the fortification is known as Schloss Sigmundskron.
Learn about the importance of the castle to the local people. In 1957, more than 30,000 people gathered here to protest the failure of the Italians to implement the provisions of the Paris Treaty and to demand autonomy for South Tyrol. Browse the displays in the White Tower, which document the region’s struggle for independence.
Explore the museum’s other mountain-themed exhibits. The museum is one of six mountain-focused museums across the region, all of which were set up by Italian adventurer Reinhold Messner. Find out more about humankind’s encounters with mountains, from the history of mountaineering to the rise of the alpine tourism.
The museum and castle are open to the public every day except Thursday, from March through to November. Purchase tickets for Castel Firmiano or buy a combination ticket that allows access to all six of the Messner Mountain Museums.
Castel Firmiano is in the mountainous western outskirts of Bolzano. The castle overlooks the Adige River between the villages of Casanova and Frangarto. Ride the train to the Ponte d'Adige/Sigmundskron station and walk south for just over half a mile (1 kilometer) to reach the castle. Drive west for 15 minutes from the Bolzano city center to get here.