Marvel at the fascinating earth pyramids and ride one of the world’s longest cableways in this rocky region.
Mountains, valleys and quaint villages decorate the picturesque commune of Renon in the Sarntal Alps. Look for a clifftop castle, churches, museums, lakes and curious earth pyramids. Travel through the various villages for a glimpse into the region’s charms.
Visit Soprabolzano in the western part of the Bolzano province for otherworldly earth pyramids, tall clay columns topped by boulders. The nearby Museo della Apicoltura Plattner has exhibits on beekeeping at a 500-year-old farm, a short walk north from scenic Costalovara Lake. Hike the lake’s perimeter and enjoy a woodland picnic with a view of the water.
Ride the cableway between Soprabolzano and Bolzano for excellent mountain views. The cableway is 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) long with a travel time of 12 minutes. Enjoy hiking or skiing on the mountain peak of Corno del Renon.
Farther west is Runkelstein Castle, a medieval fortification on a dramatic cliff edge overlooking the Torrente Talvera river. Amble through its inner courtyard and learn about the castle’s history.
Travel to Collalbo for a change of scenery. Practice ice skating on one of the world’s most famous tracks in the Renon Arena, where the 2011 European speed skating championships were held. Walk northeast to the cultural village of Longomoso to see the 17th-century Maria Saal Church and the 13th-century hospice.
The commune is on a plateau about 4,000 feet (1,200 meters) above sea level. Expect cool summer weather with a refreshing breeze and snowy winters. The area has been popular with vacationers since the 1600s due to its cooler air.
Note that the commune is also commonly known as Ritten. It is in the mountainous South Tyrol province of northern Italy, close to the Austrian border. Arrive at the domestic Bolzano Airport and find the commune in the province’s northeastern outskirts. The nearest international transportation hub is Austria’s Innsbruck Airport, 75 miles (120 kilometers) north.
Renon is ideal for hikers, with trails leading past valleys, forests, lakes, rivers and earth pyramids.