COR 5 - Where Happiness Lives!

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THE LOCAL MAGAZINE BRIXEN · KLAUSEN · GITSCHBERG JOCHTAL · NATZ-SCHABS · LÜSEN 5 WELLBEING ADRENALINE ENJOYMENT The healing power of nature The life of a mountain biker turned farmer The revival of a harvest tradition Where Happiness Lives! An issue dedicated to cherished traditions with a modern flair

Gitschberg Jochtal – Natz Schabs


Alpine Tales


An unbeatable programme to experience the authentic South Tyrolean farmer’s autumn! With their wealth of bright colours, inspiring views and fresh mountain air, the holiday area guarantees an autumn break full of traditional flair, enjoyment and healthy exercise. Our farmers’ tales will bring you closer to the territory, its people and their traditions, making your holiday even more intense and interesting.

All information is provided without guarantee. Offer time frames are subject to change. All up-to-date information can be found on our website.

Breathe out, recharge your batteries and watch the natural world come to life. A unique weekly programme invites you to rediscover this wonderful time in the mountains. To make the experience even better, you can enjoy special delicacies in all the participating huts and taverns. in South Tyrol


1 What surprised and impressed our writer Lisa Maria Gasser the most when she was researching our article on the Törggelen harvest festival (page 20)? “That a new generation of people from the Eisacktal valley have skilfully and sensitively removed the cliché-ridden aspects of this culinary tradition and rekindled the magic that had been lost over the years.”

2 Writer Silvia Oberrauch thought she’d been tasked with researching a period of South Tyrolean history. “But when I was looking into the Option resettlement policy (page 68), I couldn’t help but think about all the families around the world who are facing the same terrible fate of being forced to leave their homes. It really played on my mind.”

3 Strange goings-on like those on page 78 have been spotted in COR’s editorial offices as well. We think there’s an imp among us. The little devil steals chocolate from the kitchen, runs away with pages printed from the magazine and even mischievously turns the radio on and off. Yet we’ve grown rather fond of it!

Cor. Il cuore. Das Herz. The heart. It beats faster in the places where the past meets the future – where a new generation takes the time to discover how their grandparents lived and worked. And where young people use this knowledge to revive old traditions and keep the places they call home vibrant and full of life. This magazine takes you on a journey to times gone by… and the here and now! It explores our region’s culinary delights, nature, sport and social politics – and is packed full of ideas and stories from local people. Get to know them as you read about their past and present lives and inspiration. These people who have deep ties to their roots yet are outward-looking and, above all, full of heart!

Happy reading!

The Editorial Team

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PUBLISHERS Brixen Tourismus Genossenschaft

Tourismusgenossenschaft Gitschberg Jochtal

Tourismusgenossenschaft Klausen, Barbian, Feldthurns und Villanders

Tourismusgenossenschaft Natz-Schabs

Tourismusverein Lüsen

IDM Südtirol – Alto Adige




Valeria Dejaco (Exlibris)

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Lenz Koppelstätter

ART DIRECTION Philipp Putzer

AUTHORS Marie Clara, Valeria Dejaco, Lisa Maria Gasser, Amy Kadison, Daniela Kahler, Marianna Kastlunger, Lenz Koppelstätter, Debora Longariva, Judith Niederwanger and Alexander Pichler (Roter Rucksack), Silvia Oberrauch, Verena Spechtenhauser


Cover photo: Caroline Renzler; archive, Alamy (CTK, Live Media Publishing Group, Rolf Simeon), Irina Angerer, archive Armin Mutschlechner, Autonome Provinz Bozen-Südtirol/Amt für Film und Medien, Brixen Tourismus (Nicolò Degiorgis, Alex Filz, Matthias Gasser, Philipp Seyr, Andreas Tauber), Brixmedia GmbH/Oskar

Zingerle, Egon K. Daporta, Jürgen Eheim, Manuel Ferrigato, Frei und Zeit, Wolfgang Gafriller, TG Gitschberg Jochtal, Gitschberg Jochtal/ Alex Filz, IDM Südtirol/Manuel Ferrigato, IDM Südtirol (Martina Jaider, Harald Wisthaler), Tobias Kaser, TG Klausen, Leitner AG, TV Lüsen, Hannes Niederkofler, Michael Pezzei, Pharmaziemuseum/ Lewit, Plose AG, Ida Prinoth, private, Caroline Renzler, Arnold Ritter, Roter Rucksack (Judith Niederwanger & Alexander Pichler), Rotwild/ Horst Oberrauch, Shutterstock/Alexander_P, Social Ventures, Dennis Stratmann, Südtiroler Landesarchiv, Andreas Tauber, Unsplash/Kai Wenzel


Elisabeth Mair (4, 68)


PRINT Lanarepro, Lana Kindly supported by: 5 64 44 6 Never Standing Still Places that move your body and soul 14 New and Approved News from the region 18 Q&A with... Markus Klement, who collects rocks and minerals 20 Treasured Traditions Breathing new life into the traditional Törggelen harvest festival 32 Look, Mum! Hiking through a child’s eyes 34 Bursting with Nature Natural skincare products from the Eisacktal valley 42 Spectacular Places The Astra in Brixen/Bressanone 44 Farmer and Biker An interview with Gerhard Kerschbaumer 52 Luxury Medicine A piece of history 54 Much-Cherished Village Ski Lifts Three locals reminisce 62 Flying High The technology behind a ski lift 64 Winemaking in the Far North A visit to Santerhof vineyard 66 A Beginner’s Guide to South Tyrol Part 5: How to greet just about anyone in South Tyrol 67 A Short Dictionary of South Tyrolean Understand what the locals say 68 To Stay or To Go? The 1939 Option resettlement policy 76 Beautiful Things Products from the region 78 Mythical Places A collection of mysterious stories 82 The Heart of South Tyrol The story behind a favourite photo 20 5 FIVE COR THE LOCAL MAGAZINE
Exlibris (Valeria Dejaco, Helene Dorner, Paolo Florio, Alison Healey, Debora Longariva, Milena Macaluso, Charlotte Marston, Federica Romanini, The Word Artists)

A dose of nature in the town centre. The footpath along the Eisack river from Neustift Monastery to the centre of Brixen/Bressanone runs past a new restful recreation area on the water’s edge. With the calming river flowing gently and the sun shining through the green foliage, it’s an idyllic spot for families, joggers and walkers.

Never Standing Still!

Whether at the water’s edge, outside a university building, up high in the mountains or skiing – beautiful places move your body and soul


Contemporary architecture in the heart of a traditional episcopal town. At the University of Brixen, modern building façades broaden students’ minds, inspire new research and encourage fresh ideas.


Sweeping views towards a distant horizon in the Alps? Surely there’s always a mountain or two blocking your line of sight? Actually, think again. From the Villanderer Alm mountain pasture, you can see around for miles. All the way to the peaks of the mighty Dolomites, in fact. Stones, meadows, sun, clouds and sky – what more could you need? Just breathe, relax and recharge.


A day skiing in Gitschberg

Jochtal/Rio Pusteria is fun for all the family. A comfortable cable car ride allows plenty of time to admire the panoramic views, take some selfies and discuss your next thrilling descent. What slope should you tackle first? The steep Mitterlingpiste or the gentle Seepiste?


This Issue’s Lucky Number

NEW & APPROVED News from the region

Did You Know That... a new certification awards sustainable destinations and hotels in South Tyrol?

THE SOUTH TYROL SUSTAINABILITY LABEL is awarded to destinations and accommodation providers that are fully committed to building a world fit for future generations. They can demonstrate this by saving resources and energy, treating their employees fairly, being family-friendly, protecting our region’s cultural heritage and conserving our countryside’s biodiversity. This wide range of criteria demonstrates how sustainability is about much more than just protecting the environment. There are three levels of certification, the highest of which is indicated by a dark green seal and is internationally recognised. Applicants are certified by an independent body and must meet a list of strict criteria based on guidelines set by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC). Brixen/Bressanone is currently working towards the Level 3 as well as the official GSTC certificates along with its neighbouring towns Vahrn/Varna and Franzensfeste/Fortezza.

THIS IS HOW MANY METRES the new Plose cable car will ascend when it opens in late 2023. The new gondola lift will be divided into two sections, with the Plose I cable car transporting passengers from St. Andrä/Sant’Andrea above Brixen to the middle station and the Plose II continuing on to Kreuztal/Valcroce at 2,050 metres above sea level. The modern twin cable car will replace the current gondola lift, which has been transporting hikers and skiers up the Plose mountain for almost 37 years. With its new ten-passenger gondolas, bike transport and accessible entrances and exits, it will be able to carry up to 2,400 passengers an hour, making it well-equipped to cope with the growing number of people visiting the Plose every summer.



Art is created when opposites collide. This maxim is perhaps too simplistic to encapsulate the variety of exhibitions held at this tiny art gallery in Mühlbach, which has been run by artist Alex Pergher since 2006. A hidden gem for art lovers, the gallery exhibits paintings, drawings, sculptures and installations with real creative impact that do not shy away from topical issues such as environmental pollution and war (“The compass of the soul”, July to August 2023).


Weighing in at 12 tonnes, the gold Venus statue in Klausen was created using concrete and a unique boulder. The sculpture will remain on display in its current location at the gateway to the small artists’ town of Klausen in 2023 before moving to another city. Venus figurines date back to ancient times. This modern interpretation by Lukas Mayr – who worked as a plumber before dedicating himself to his art – reflects the artist’s own unique style, using balls and spheres, and is a harmonious, quite literally rounded, work that symbolises peace and fertility. Lukas also preserves his spherical pieces for future generations by scanning them to create digital twins – so-called NFTs – that transpose his real-life objects into the digital world.


Brixen art gallery’s latest design concept explores how art should occupy more space. The gallery appoints new curators every few years, and in 2023 architect Gerd Bergmeister and artist Josef Rainer have taken over the reins. In addition to using the space inside the gallery, they are exploring ways to bring art and architecture together by incorporating Brixen’s historic town centre into their plans. Each exhibition involves teams of young and more established artists. By working with other museums, students and the local community, the curators hope to showcase a fusion of different artworks whose reach extends well beyond the gallery itself.

Three Highlights for Art Lovers

Contemporary art in Mühlbach/Rio di Pusteria, Klausen/Chiusa and Brixen/Bressanone

Instagram @myonesphere
A cow’s vertebra –prepared by a butcher to make soup and replicated in wood by Viennese artist Peter Sandbichler.

K is for... Kaserbach

IT’S ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE to imagine Lüsen/Luson without the Kaserbach brook. Anyone who has ever been hiking in this tranquil valley will be familiar with this rushing, babbling stream of water. And yet the Kaserbach is more than just an attractive beauty spot; it also played a significant role in Lüsen’s history. Centuries ago, various tradespeople – from millers and carpenters to blacksmiths – relied on water power from the brook to support their livelihoods. The brook also powered the “Strickersäge”, a Venetian sawmill with a wooden shingle roof, which was built on the water’s edge in 1847 and is still open to the public today. Another site worth visiting and still in operation today is a mill that was moved from the Lasankenbach (Lüsner Bach) brook to the Kaserbach brook in 1758.

Exploring History with Gufi

A NEW FAMILY WALKING ROUTE is now open in Gufidaun/Gudon, the “village on seven hills”. Existing hiking trails have been restored and extended to create a themed trail of almost 2 kilometres, most of which is pushchair-friendly. Information boards featuring Gufi the owl are dotted along the route and tell the story of Gufidaun over the centuries in a way that is entertaining for children. The mascot is named after the Italian word for owl, “gufo”, and, of course, after the village itself. Playgrounds, benches, barbecue spots, viewpoints and places to stop for refreshments can all be found along the circular route.

For centuries, the Kaserbach was vital to the livelihoods of tradespeople like millers, carpenters and blacksmiths.


Locally Brewed

DEEP BLACK WITH THE AROMA OF DARK CHOCOLATE, the Skuro coffee stout created by the young team at Viertel Bier is anything but your typical brew. The brewery also makes six other beers – including a lager and an IPA – as well as several seasonal varieties. And its bottles are just as creative as the beer itself. The beer is made using a traditional brewing method in a 120-square-metre brewery at the Putzer restaurant in Schabs/Sciaves. It is brewed from grain grown locally in South Tyrol and water from the nearby Valser Tal valley and can be sampled in the brewery’s glass-fronted taproom, which exudes the brand’s core values of sustainability, community and comfortable conviviality. Viertel Bier is also an award-winner: Quattro – a wheat beer made from barley, wheat, spelt and rye – having been presented with a European Beer Star 2022 award in the category Beer with Alternative Cereals. Brewery tours and beer tasting are available on request.


5 tips for being considerate when cycling in the mountains

1 Pedestrians have priority: Warn others in good time that you are approaching, reduce your speed and stop if necessary. Ride in small groups, avoid popular hiking routes and greet pedestrians with a friendly “hello” to give cyclists a better reputation!

2 Leave everything as you found it: Avoid eroding the soil and damaging trails by using controlled braking so that your wheels don’t jam. Take your rubbish home with you and don’t make too much noise.

3 Follow the local rules: Only cycle on suitable roads and trails. Do not go off track and do not enter any areas with prohibited access. This prevents you from causing erosion and from coming into conflict with property owners.

4 Respect animals: Wild animals tend to eat at dawn and dusk. Stick to cycling during daylight hours to avoid disturbing them. Approach farm animals at walking pace and always close any gates behind you.

5 Watch your speed: Adjust your speed to the situation, cycle carefully and always be ready to apply your brakes. You might want to consider taking a mountain bike course to learn techniques for riding and braking properly. Ask your accommodation provider or local tourist office for more details.

→ You can find our interview with a professional cyclist and four suggested cycling routes on page 44.


Q&A with...

Markus Klement whose small museum in Natz-Schabs/ Naz-Sciaves houses a fascinating collection of rocks and minerals from over 50 countries.

How time-consuming is searching for minerals?

Very! I once worked out that, on average, I have to go on 15 trips before finding a rock crystal. I often go to Idar-Oberstein in the German state of RhinelandPalatinate, which is known for its gems and minerals. I’ve found myself in some pretty dangerous situations over the years when I’ve been clambering over treacherous terrain. Or when I’ve been exploring a cave and sand has suddenly started crumbling from the ceiling and I’ve had to make a hasty exit. I used to spend at least three days a week out hunting for minerals, but these days I’ve reigned it in a bit. The Munich Show, which is the second-largest trade show dedicated to rocks and minerals in the world, is still a firm fixture in my calendar though. It’s a brilliant opportunity to meet collectors from around the globe and to acquire new pieces.

Do you have a favourite piece?

I’m particularly proud of a huge amethyst geode – a hollow rock lined with crystals –I once found in Idar-Oberstein. Other

stand-out finds include a rock crystal weighing 2,000 kilograms from Brazil and a selenite crystal from the Naica Mine in Mexico, which is the largest crystal cave in the world.

What does your family say about your passion for collecting minerals?

My wife isn’t always that thrilled about it, especially when I’m considering making an expensive purchase. Some pieces can cost as much as a small flat! She leaves the decision up to my three children – two boys and a girl – who luckily share my fascination for minerals. They’ve agreed to every purchase so far. I can’t imagine my passion ever dwindling. I always think to myself that there must be another new treasure out there just waiting for me to discover!

The collector and his grotto

Born in 1963, Markus Klement has been collecting rocks and minerals for 45 years. Thirty per cent of his collection are his own finds, and he has bought many others or had them left to him. His collection is among the largest in the Alps and can be seen at his public museum, which is located underground beneath his mineral-inspired hotel in Natz-Schabs.

Vibrant colours glowing brightly in the dark rock cave. Markus Klement has one of the largest collections of rocks and minerals in the Alps.

Visibly sustainable

The South Tyrol Sustainability Seal identifies destinations, accommodations and restaurants that actively contribute to conscious travel. Get to know which they are and walk with South Tyrol towards a sustainable future.


Treasured Traditions

Young hosts, farmers and winemakers are breathing new life into the Törggelen harvest festival by serving traditional dishes with a modern flair. We visit three of them on a voyage of culinary discovery

❸❶ ❷
Text — LISA MARIA GASSER Photos — CAROLINE RENZLER Brixen • Vahrn • Lüsen Natz–Schabs Rodeneck Vals Mühlbach Terenten • Meransen Barbian Feldthurns Gufidaun Klausen Villanders • Latzfons • 1 Gummerer Hof 2 Röckhof
3 Burgerhof
Törggelen in a farmhouse inn – just like it used to be with homemade food and homegrown vegetables.

The grapevines in the hamlet of Pinzagen/Pinzago above Brixen/ Bressanone are ablaze with red, brown, yellow and golden leaves. When we arrive at ❶ Gummerer Hof farm, the hum of the vacuum cleaner can be heard coming from the dining room. Beef broth is bubbling away on the hob. It’s Törggelen season – the time when farmhouse inns across South Tyrol serve up the fruits of their harvest to their guests. It’s also the busiest period of the year. “I’m currently working 19-hour days,” says Philipp Gummerer. The 38-year-old wipes his hands on the blue apron tied around his waist and inspects the food cooking in the saucepans. He and his mother are in charge of the kitchen, but his two brothers also lend a hand when needed. The Gummerer family purchased the 17th-century farm in 1918, it has passed down through the generations ever since. It was Philipp’s father, Sepp, who began making wine on the estate, and the family first invited guests to celebrate Törggelen with them in the 1980s. “My dad loved socialising and, as a chef, he relished the opportunity to open the farm’s doors and share his food.” Philipp hears a horn beeping and rushes outside. The butcher has arrived and is unloading the meat the family’s ordered. “We use every part of the animal,” Philipp explains, just like in years gone by. Here at Gummerer Hof, he wants to transport his guests back in time so they can discover “the forgotten roots” of the Törggelen tradition.

The exact origin of Törggelen in the Eisacktal valley is unclear. What we do know is that the word “Torggl” (from the Latin “torquere”, which means “to press” or “to turn”) was the name given to the rooms which once housed the grape presses. In late autumn, dealers from north of the Brenner Pass would travel to

Tthe Eisacktal valley to sample the region’s new wine in these rooms. At some point, the local winemakers began serving their guests homemade food and roasted chestnuts alongside the wine – and so Törggelen was born. The custom continued, perhaps as a way for winemakers to thank the mountain farmers for letting them put their livestock out to graze on the farmers’ meadows in summer or perhaps as a harvest festival for neighbours and family members. A vineyard or farm offering Törggelen is referred to as a “Buschenschank”, which literally translates as “bunch tavern” after the bunch or bundle of twigs hosts traditionally hang above their door to indicate that they’re open to guests. Törggelen is still a thriving custom today, although in more recent decades, it has sometimes become more about money-making than about keeping the cherished tradition alive.

As South Tyrol’s popularity as a holiday destination grew in the second half of the 20th century, enterprising accommodation providers and other members of the tourism industry discovered that they could turn Törggelen into a lucrative business. Over time, the real essence of the tradition was gradually lost and Törggelen was soon on offer almost everywhere, even in areas not known for wine or chestnuts. Pubs and restaurants – with no field, meadow or farm buildings in sight – also got in on the action, and tour operators from Germany and Austria began organising Törggelen trips to South Tyrol. Instead of serving homegrown produce from their own farms, hosts started offering whatever the tourists wanted: branded fizzy drinks instead of homemade juices; huge meat platters overflowing with ribs, speck ham, blood sausage and salted meat, most of which was not from locally reared pigs; chestnuts bought in from anywhere; and wine, often from some far-flung winery. All served up with a side order of accordion music to make the wine flow faster. By the 1990s, Törggelen had become a mass-produced affair in many places. But, thankfully, those days are now a thing of the past. Today, young hosts, farmers and winemakers from across the Eisacktal valley are breathing new life into Törggelen by serving traditional dishes with a modern flair, like those found at Gummerer Hof. And also at our next stop – the ❷ Röckhof winery near Villanders/Villandro, which has been home to the Augschöll family for 250 years.

As we approach the farmhouse, delicious scents come wafting through the open window. Ninety-four-year-old Maria


The Eisacktal valley has a special “fifth season”. Every October and November, once the grapes have been harvested and the vineyards have turned golden yellow, locals like to take a short hike through the valley’s villages and colourful autumn forests to a nearby farmhouse inn to sample its wine and enjoy homemade Schlutzer ravioli, homemade sausages with sauerkraut, sweet deep-fried Krapfen pastries and roasted chestnuts. This popular tradition dates back to the old custom of tasting the young wine. The word “Törggelen” comes from “Torggl” (from the Latin “torquere” meaning “to turn”), which was the name given to wooden wine presses.

On the farms they’ve taken over from their parents, young hosts are breathing new life into the traditional Törggelen harvest festival.

Philipp Gummerer spends 19 hours a day working on his 17th-century farm. He’s supported by his mother, and his brothers lend a hand too.
“I transport my guests back in time so they can discover the forgotten roots of the Törggelen tradition.”

is sitting at the kitchen table, skilfully filling sweet pastries called “Krapfen” with plum jam before passing them to her daughter-in-law Frieda to fry in fat until they’re golden brown. Maria’s granddaughter, Carmen Augschöll, is watching the well-practised team with a smile on her face. “Grandma still keeps her watchful eye over the house and the farm,” she says. Maria has been welcoming guests into her farmhouse dining room for over 60 years. Today, the original farmhouse is connected to a new house by an underground rock tunnel, but the traditional dining experience lives on. Maria has passed on all her recipes from over the years to her son Konrad, his wife Frieda and her grandchildren Carmen and Hannes. Carmen herself returned to Röckhof from Vienna in 2021 at the age of 30, bringing back plenty of experience from her time working in the wine industry. The wine academy graduate now runs the family business with her younger brother, who studied winegrowing and oenology in Germany. During Törggelen season, the family still serves “a little bit of meat, dumplings, deep-fried pastries filled with spinach – a Villanders speciality – and potato fritters with cabbage,” says Carmen Augschöll, just as they did in Grandma’s day. Maria’s grandchildren have, however, brought the traditional menu into the 21st century by offering plenty of vegetarian and vegan options as well.

Like the Gummerer family, the Augschölls are keen to revive old traditions by combining them with modern ideas. Some of their guests aren’t familiar with what Törggelen is traditionally

all about, but the families are only too pleased to explain it to them. Occasionally, Philipp Gummerer can be left wondering if all his hard work is for nothing, especially when he’s asked questions like “How much does an overnight Törggelen cost?” or “But there’ll be music, won’t there?” as if Törggelen were an allinclusive holiday package. For Philipp, it is important to uphold the traditions put in place by his father: “You won’t get any raucous parties or mass-produced products. Instead, I put my heart and soul into my food.” One of Philipp’s great passions is speck. He makes this cured, smoked ham himself and stores it at a constant temperature of below 10 degrees Celsius.

He invites us to take a look. The door to the smokehouse opens with a creak and Philipp walks between the cuts of ham hanging above his head. He knocks on them gently – the more hollow the tone, the more mature the flavour – and then nods happily. His three Swabian-Hall pigs are snorting and trampling around happily in their muddy enclosure behind the vegetable garden. The chestnut and walnut trees dropped their nuts in late October and the garden is almost empty now that virtually everything has been harvested. Eighty per cent of everything Philipp serves to his guests comes from his own farm or other local farmers. “There are some things I have to buy in, of course. Spinach or cabbage, for example. It would be impossible to grow everything myself,” he explains.

“Röckhof offers plenty of vegetarian and vegan options as well.”
Frieda (left) and Maria Augschöll hard at work in the Röckhof’s kitchen filling their sweet Krapfen pastries with plum jam before frying them until they’re golden brown.
Grandmother Maria began welcoming guests or “foreigners” 60 years ago. She’s been using the very same sweet pastry recipe for all this time.

Sitting here means slowing down and taking time to enjoy every mouthful.


Carmen Augschöll sources all her ingredients from organic farms or local farmers she knows well. Vegetables, chestnuts and fruit for jam are grown at Röckhof itself. As for the wine, it comes from her farm’s grapevines and is stored in the cellar.

The Augschölls source pumpkins, sauerkraut and grains for their sourdough bread from organic farms or local farmers they know well. Other vegetables, chestnuts and fruit for their jams are grown on their farm. “We also make our own butter, cheese, speck ham and smoked dry sausages,” says Carmen Augschöll. “And then there are the special Röckhof sausages my father makes, of course. We don’t serve anything like ribs or salted meat,” she continues, explaining how her family’s policy is to only include food they can make themselves on the menu. Their guests don’t seem to notice that anything’s missing. “Other places tend to serve very meat-based main courses, but our guests still go home full and satisfied.” Since Carmen and her brother took over the helm at Röckhof, the dining experience has become more leisurely, with several small courses rather than a rich menu to encourage guests to slow down and really take their time to enjoy every mouthful. They call this “Slow Törggelen”.

his lap. The little boy has just returned home from an outing with his grandfather and is munching on a biscuit. Leaves from the grapevines are falling silently onto the huge wooden table outside the house. At Burgerhof, the menu is based on the food available on the farm and not visitors’ expectations. “We change the menu every week depending on what we have in our fields, cold room and freezer,” explains Johannes, who took over the farm from his father in 2016. Thought to have been built in the 12th century, the farm has been in the family’s possession since 1843. Johannes, a trained chef, and his wife Katrin first opened its doors for Törggelen in 2018. Not all guests are completely understanding of the farm’s choice to let nature determine the menu. “Occasionally, we receive complaints for not offering roasted chestnuts at the start of the Törggelen season in late September when they’re still ripening on the trees.” The family only serves the meat, vegetables, potatoes, apples and grains that they can grow, harvest and prepare themselves. “We grow rye for our bread, spelt for our desserts, and buckwheat for our dumplings and pasta,” says Johannes, who is now back at work, standing in front of the hob with his blue apron on. He dices an onion, fries it in a pan and adds some green beans to serve alongside the veal dish. The calves from which the meat comes spend the entire year grazing on the meadows around the farmhouse.

The old farmhouse dining room, where guests are served several small courses of delicious food rather than a rich menu –a leisurely dining experience like in years gone by.

A similar experience can be found at our third stop, the ❸ Burgerhof farm, just a few kilometres to the north. The winding road leading up to the three-storey farmhouse takes us to an altitude of 750 metres above sea level. In front of the house, 34-year-old Johannes Meßner is sitting taking a break, his young son on

Gummerer Hof, Röckhof and Burgerhof are all venturing into pastures new, but the desire not to lose sight of old, tried-and-tested traditions is strong. This is also reflected in their choice of décor. Their walls are all adorned with old family photos and documents


The smokehouse with its soot-blackened stone walls in the Röckhof’s old kitchen. The family doesn’t cook here anymore, but they still use the space to smoke speck ham, sausages – and, more recently, carrots.


providing evidence of the farmhouses’ long history. Philipp Gummerer has even hung on to the old menus from the 1980s as a testament to how his farm has developed over the generations. Carmen Augschöll, meanwhile, has kept the old farmhouse dining room exactly as it was in the days when Grandma Maria was catering for her guests. The stone walls of the smokehouse next door are black with all the soot that’s accumulated over the years. The smokehouse’s smouldering fire is still used to smoke the farm’s speck and sausages, creating the slightly nose-prickling aroma so quintessential of Törggelen. But, these days, it is also used to make smoked carrots for the vegetarian and vegan dishes. In fact, carrots play an important role on Röckhof’s modern-day menu, as Carmen also uses fermented carrots as a substitute for cheese. Even her grandma loves the taste of Carmen’s beetroot tartare and egg-free potato fritters. In future, the Augschöll family are also planning to make dumplings using local flaxseeds as the binding agent instead of eggs. At Burgerhof, Johannes Meßner is also experimenting with alternatives to “create a new twist on traditional products and dishes,” as he puts it. His pumpkin ravioli don’t necessarily need to contain egg, and he’s learnt that ginger is just as good as cheese for adding flavour to the filling. He’s also noticed that apple and celery soup always goes down well and that nobody would ever realise that his carrot cake recipe is vegan. “Clearly, Törggelen without animal products is a big challenge for us chefs and requires a lot of work,” says Johannes, “but it’s a challenge I relish!”

Johannes, Carmen and Philipp are also breaking new ground in their vineyards. Although their farms only have a few hectares of grapevines, they are producing an impressive array of wines. You can’t help but admire their innovative spirit and the hard work they are putting

into their grapes. Philipp Gummerer continues to grow the handful of grape varieties that his father planted, including a special variety called the Blaterle, which he explains is “the oldest white wine variety indigenous to South Tyrol”. It was originally cultivated to add to red wine, but Philipp’s father, Sepp, began using the Blaterle to make sparkling wine. Philipp still serves it to his guests today. Like Philipp, Johannes Meßner is building on the work started by his parents. In the early 1980s, they were among the first South Tyrolean farmers to switch to organic growing methods. “At the time, they were ridiculed and seen as being backwards for not using synthetic chemicals in their vineyard,” recalls Johannes. “But today, it’s the other way around and using chemicals is seen as backwards.” At Burgerhof, Johannes grows his four grape varieties completely naturally. Carmen Augschöll’s father, Konrad, was the first to start growing grapes at Röckhof, but it took time for him to come round to the merits of organic techniques. “Conventional methods using chemical sprays gave him a sense of security,” says Carmen. “And he found it difficult to comprehend our plans.” Today, however, Konrad is in complete agreement with his children’s way of thinking – and he’s proud of them.

The young hosts, farmers and winemakers from the Eisacktal valley have three priorities: staying true to their roots, identifying with their work and creating a happy life for themselves. With this modern mindset, Carmen Augschöll, Johannes Meßner and Philipp Gummerer are keeping their old farmhouses brimming with life. Their stays abroad have also given them a wealth of new ideas to try out at home. “I’ve discovered a new-found love and appreciation for my home,” says Philipp. Carmen, meanwhile, feels “as if she’s come full circle and is finally home”. And Johannes too sees his future here on the slopes above Brixen. The trio have put quality at the forefront of all they do, safe in the knowledge that authentic food and drink of exceptional quality are what enjoying Törggelen should always be about.

Young hosts like Johannes Meßner have three priorities as part of their new modern mindset: staying true to their roots, identifying with their work and creating a happy life for themselves.


Venturing into the new without losing sight of tried-and-tested traditions – especially when it comes to creating fresh dishes.


Look at the world through a child’s eyes and you’ll rediscover life’s simple pleasures. And you might just realise that there’s more to the mountains than conquering summits

Mum, How

Your stress and sense of urgency will quickly disappear. Nature and the mountains are one huge adventure playground for parents and children to explore together.


Mum, look How pretty!

Iused to spend every weekend scaling a different summit in the South Tyrolean mountains. I was addicted to the feeling of looking down into the valley after each successful ascent. I swore to myself that I’d never stop spending time this way, even if I had children – but now I stand corrected. Don’t get me wrong, my love of the mountains is as strong as ever now I’m a mum to two boys. Every week, I still spend time planning exciting new hikes, poring over tourism websites and combing through online hiking guides. But my priorities have changed – and it’s my children, not the ambitious athlete in me, who now set the pace.

And this makes me happy because I’d been missing out on so many of life’s little pleasures.

Visiting the mountains with children

Short trails with plenty of places to stop and play make hiking more fun for little ones. Try the Gitschberg Sun Park next to the mountain station with its giant slide and sundial; the Jochtal Adventure Park trail leading from the Jochtal cable car’s mountain station to the Steinermandl panoramic viewing platform with attractions like a petting zoo and splash park; or the Woody-Walk on the Plose with a climbing tree, Kneipp water therapy course and dumplings at the Rossalm mountain lodge.

I’ve never struggled to find child-friendly hiking trails for us to enjoy as a family in the Eisacktal valley. And our adventure today is no different. Our destination is the viewing platform on the 2,500-metre-high Gitschberg mountain. A small summit is better than no summit at all! Our journey starts with a ride on the Gitschbergbahn cable car from Meransen/Maranza. It’s an immediate hit. We stare in amazement as the world beneath us becomes smaller and smaller. How lucky we are here in South Tyrol to have such unbelievably spectacular nature right on our doorstep!

When we arrive at the cable car’s mountain station, I take out my binoculars and marvel at the panorama around me. I proudly tell my children the names of all the surrounding summits that I climbed in my younger days – not that they’re listening, of course. They’re already far too absorbed in playing mini researchers and explorers, examining grasshoppers, stones and plants with their small magnifying glasses. “Mum, look how pretty this shiny beetle is!” they shout excitedly. But instead of sharing in their joy, I glance at my watch: “Come on!” I urge them both. “We’ve still got a long way to walk.” With a lot of effort, I finally tear them away from a huge red toadstool with white spots, which I almost certainly would have missed had I been on my own. I’m trying to suppress my growing impatience, but part of me also envies them their ability to live completely in the moment.

We continue along the hiking trail at a snail’s pace. The path is surrounded by meadows peppered with brightly coloured flowers. “Mum, look, I’ve picked you a bunch of buttercups,” calls out my older son, running joyfully through the meadow. I wave back at him and try not to stare too longingly towards the viewing platform. “Muuuum, I’m hungry,” screeches my younger son just a few minutes later. I sigh and – even though it feels like we’ve only walked 100 metres from the cable car station – I spread out our picnic blanket, unpack our food and drink, and cut up the apples I’ve brought with me. “We’ve hardly gone anywhere,” I grumble somewhat disappointedly to my husband as I lie on my back and watch the clouds pass by.

The sun glides slowly through the sky, almost as if it’s strolling across the meadows with us. The stress and sense of urgency I felt when we set out have long since disappeared. I’ve accepted that our original destination is now too far away to reach. Eventually, I too crouch down, admire the anthills and build tall stone towers in the stream. And, as I do, it strikes me that the world is one huge adventure playground. “Life is about the journey, not the destination,” I think to myself, laughing into the approaching evening sky, suddenly feeling free and completely content.

We return home with rosy cheeks and rumbling stomachs, weighed down with treasures big and small. “Mum, I had an amazing day,” smiles my older son as he gets ready for bed. “I found a magic stone,” says my younger boy. “We did well today,” I tell my husband, already thinking about where we’ll go next weekend.

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Bursting with Nature


The rhythm of plants

In summer, Christine Lageder always takes a final walk around her garden at around 9:30 at night. Her evening primroses only open their petals when darkness falls, so this is the perfect time to pick them. “They just make everything light up,” says the trained herbal expert. Of the 350 different plant species in her gardens, evening primroses and mallows are her favourites. The flowers and leaves from these two tall-growing plants are perfect for the tea and spice blends that she creates at her farm, Oberpalwitterhof, on the edge of the village of Barbian/Barbiano. They’re also important ingredients in her skincare and personal care products. From roses, marigolds and edelweiss to thyme, lily of the valley and comfrey, Christine grows all the main ingredients for her products on her farm up in the mountains at 900 metres above sea level. Once harvested, the plants are sent to carefully chosen manufacturers that turn them into creams, ointments and soap.

In her former life, Christine worked as a nurse, but in 2006 she began growing organic herbs and started her business with just a handful of products. “The stony, nutrient-poor, sun-drenched soil here is ideal.” Her four gardens, spread across her farm’s steep slopes, cover an area of 3,500 square metres. She does all of the work by hand, letting nature dictate the schedule. She begins sowing seeds in February and then gets started with her postwinter tidy-up, cutting back growth from the previous year and clearing space for the new seedlings. “I’m then in the garden every day from April to late summer,” she says. Every herb, spice and young plant has its own biorhythm, which determines whether it shoots and blooms earlier or later in the year. This means that Christine is constantly planting out seedlings, weeding, picking and drying the fruits of her labours.

In summer, her daughter and two staff members help her out. Their working day starts at 5:30 in the morning. “We have to pick the mulleins before sunrise because they wilt extremely quickly in the sunshine.” The roses also need to be harvested before it gets too hot, whereas the marigolds and chamomiles are only ready to be picked during the hottest part of the day. Christine has taken many training courses and is now a real expert in plants, their natural properties and how best to harness them. In creams, evening primrose oil has a nourishing effect, while mallow calms the skin. Marigold has healing properties and protects the hands and lips, while edelweiss provides natural protection against the sun and supports the skin’s elasticity. Christine is also passionate about providing guided tours through her gardens so she can share her expertise with guests.

Harvest season is over by late September. The arrival of autumn is then the perfect opportunity to get everything shipshape again and to clean up the storeroom and the drying and preparation room. Autumn is also the time when Christine mixes her packs of dried flowers and herbs and gets all her products ready to be sold on her online shop, at her farm shop and at markets. “Christmas is the most stressful period,” she says. But once the festive season is over, she can finally take a leaf out of nature’s playbook and rest and recharge – before the new gardening season starts up again in February.

From herb gardens and coniferous forests to goat herds and beehives, our region is a treasure trove of wonderful natural ingredients. We visit four small local businesses to discover how they are using their knowledge of these natural resources and their beneficial properties to create skincare and personal care products
Carefully chosen manufacturers turn Christine Lageder’s plants into creams, ointments and soap.

Too precious to throw away

When the Untereggerhof farm in Vals/Valles near Mühlbach/ Rio di Pusteria switched from keeping cows to keeping goats in 2008, it set itself the goal of not wasting a thing. But that turned out to be easier said than done. Every year, the farm’s 140 German White Noble goats produce 100,000 litres of milk, which Richard Zingerle and his son Manuel, a trained dairy specialist, use to make cheese. Every 10 litres of goat’s milk yields a kilogram of cheese, but the process also creates whey – 90,000 litres of it every year, in fact. “There’s a lot of waste in cheesemaking,” says Manuel, who took over the farm from his father in February 2023, having already given up his career as a carpenter when his father started focussing on goat rearing.

Manuel spent a long time trying to find a use for the whey instead of simply throwing it away like most people do. Packed full of important minerals, lactic acid bacteria, vitamins, fatty acids and proteins, this watery, yellowy-green by-product of cheesemaking is far too precious to discard. After dismissing idea after idea, Manuel was finally inspired to offer his fresh whey to local spa hotels after an older lady with sensitive skin told him that she only ever bathed in whey. Unfortunately, the hotels weren’t interested, and he couldn’t shift a single litre. Unfazed, he continued his search and eventually found a producer that could turn the whey into skincare and personal care products. The first products were launched in summer 2018 and included a face cream, body lotion, hand cream, shower gel and shampoo. All the products have a delicate vanilla scent and Manuel and his parents, both of whom still work on the farm today, also use them themselves. They are sold directly from the farm, online, by specialist retailers and through a wholesaler in Germany that supplies beauty salons.

Instead of water, each of Untereggerhof’s seven skincare and personal care products contains at least 60 per cent goat’s milk whey. “Goat’s milk whey is highly moisturising and can restore the skin’s natural balance,” says Manuel. The only problem is that the lactic acid bacteria in the whey make it easily perishable, so it has to be frozen or transported to production facilities for processing extremely quickly. Manuel firmly believes that products with a long shelf life such as his are a fantastic way of using as much whey as possible. However, he is fully aware that it would be impossible to find a use for all 90,000 litres of whey his farm produces every year. Nevertheless and despite the huge amount of time they spend marketing their products, the Zingerles are proud of what they’ve achieved.

“Goat’s milk whey is highly moisturising and can restore the skin’s natural balance.”

Distilling the mountains

To the untrained eye, it’s impossible to tell how much work goes into the little dark brown bottles of oil produced by Meinrad Rabensteiner’s historic pine oil distillery on the Barbianer Alm mountain pasture. The oil itself is distilled from branches and needles collected from the trees around Barbian/Barbiano in a process that takes six to eight hours. Before that, the small branches have to be harvested, dried for several weeks, cut up and placed in the metal vat ready for distillation. Meinrad’s great uncle first began distilling essential oil from mountain pines at this distillery, 1,850 metres above sea level, in 1912. The family passed on their knowledge of steam distillation from generation to generation, and today Meinrad keeps the tradition going.

In 2016, he gave up his career as a carpenter to dedicate himself to running the distillery. He has also since joined forces with a laboratory that turns his natural essential oils into personal care products. Swiss stone pine lends his shampoos, soaps and deodorants a spicy, woody scent, while the highly fragrant mountain pine is perfect for soothing balms for aching muscles or combining with resin-scented spruce in chest rubs. Meinrad’s essential oils are also wonderfully effective in their pure form. They are calming, help relieve the airways, loosen up coughs and have antiinflammatory properties, making them the ideal remedy for many complaints. You can inhale them to ease colds, rub them into the skin to relieve joint pain and muscle aches or use them in oil burners and as sauna infusions to create a relaxing ambience.

Meinrad distils mountain pines, Swiss stone pines, spruces, Scots pines and junipers. As a rule of thumb, the longer the needles, the more oil you can extract from them. The oil is distilled using steam at a constant temperature of 90 to 95 degrees Celsius. Meinrad keeps a close eye on the temperature and continuously stokes the furnace under the boiler to keep it hot. The steam from the boiler then rises up through pipes until it reaches the metal vat containing the choppedup branches and their needles, causing the oils and aromas to be extracted. The vat can hold around 1.6 cubic metres of wood, which is enough to produce three-quarters of a litre of mountain pine oil. With Swiss stone pine branches, the yield is slightly higher. In total, the distillery produces between 70 and 100 litres of oil a year.

“My ancestors used to distil huge quantities of mountain pine oil for delivery to wholesalers,” says Meinrad. Back then, there was enough work for the entire family and up to a dozen employees. Today, Meinrad sells his certifiedorganic products under the label “Original Barbianer” directly from the distillery, online, through selected retailers and markets, and in several hotels. The 41-year-old does most of the work in the forest and at the distillery on his own, while his partner, Andrea Unterkalmsteiner, takes care of the paperwork and gives guided tours. Ten years ago, there was talk of modernising the over 100-year-old distillery and all its machinery, but eventually the decision was made to leave it as it was. It is a piece of family history, after all. The only part to have ever been replaced was the old furnace in 2021. “It had finally succumbed to old age,” says Meinrad. And that’s hardly surprising after 109 years of excellent service!

Families passed on their knowledge of steam distillation from generation to generation.

Busy bees

Each year, Erich Larcher’s bees have a short yet intense working season, the success of which is predominantly determined by the weather. “In ideal weather conditions, a bee colony can produce up to 30 kilograms of honey in a short space of time,” explains the beekeeper. Besides sweet, golden honey, the other fruits of bees’ labours include beeswax and propolis. All three products boast moisturising effects, provide relief to rough, irritated skin, and have wound-healing and antibacterial properties. And it was precisely these qualities that inspired Erich, back in 2014, to start turning them into skincare and personal care products. He began by making eight products for the face, body, hair, hands, lips and teeth, but has gradually expanded his range to more than double that number.

Over the years, the number of bees he owns has also grown. When he entered the world of beekeeping as a 14-year-old back in 1988, he had just two colonies of these hard-working little creatures, but today that figure stands at around 180. Each colony has its own queen and thousands of worker bees. “Between ten and twelve thousand, in fact,” says Erich. In summer, the number of bees can soar to as many as 50,000 per colony once the queen’s eggs have hatched. If the weather is warm enough, the bees’ work begins in late April when they head out into the meadows in search of nectar from the flowers already in bloom. Once the trees begin to blossom, the bees spread out into the woods too. By mid-July, the flower and forest honey is ready for Erich to collect from the beehives. It’s then time to prepare the bees for the next year by “feeding them up with liquid wheat starch to give them enough sustenance to get them through the winter”. After all, the honey would normally be the bees’ natural source of nourishment for the colder months, which is why they store it in their hives and seal it with beeswax.

To extract the liquid honey from the honeycomb, Erich first removes the golden-yellow layer of wax covering the small hexagonal holes. In his words, this beeswax is “a pure and natural raw material that is ideal for personal care products”. As well as preserving the wax, he also extracts any propolis – a sticky substance that bees use to seal cracks in their honeycomb – from inside the intricate structures in the hive. After deep-freezing the propolis, Erich can shave off pieces and grind it up, ready to be used as an ingredient either in powder form or dissolved in alcohol.

Erich’s range of honey-based personal care products are produced in a lab. The individual products are then packaged at his business premises in his home town of Vahrn/Varna near Brixen/Bressanone. As soon as they are opened, the boxes, tubes and pots give off an unmistakeable sweet, floral honey aroma, which is enriched by wonderful resinous notes in the products containing propolis and is even more intense in those containing beeswax. All Erich’s products bear his name and he sells them at markets, in an online shop and through select retailers. “I’d love to see more of my products in hotels in the future,” says Erich, who has been the Chairman of the South Tyrolean Beekeepers’ Association since 2021. He also uses his 35 years of experience and the knowledge he has gained through numerous training courses in Italy and abroad to teach courses for other beekeeping enthusiasts. After all, in his words, anyone who works with bees must never stand still.

The beekeeper extracts propolis from inside the intricate structures in the hive. It is used as an ingredient either in powder form or dissolved in alcohol.

+ Built in a functional style in Pompeian red, the Astra is equipped with the latest technology for concerts, talks and performances.

Built in the 1930s as a fascist educational centre, the Astra in Brixen/Bressanone enjoyed a second life as a cinema for over 60 years. Today, it has been transformed into a cultural venue where young artists and performers unleash their creativity

Italy’s fascist past

The Astra building was constructed on Romstraße/Via Roma on the edge of Brixen’s old town in 1936 on behalf of the fascist youth organisation ONB (Opera Nazionale Balilla). Originally called Casa Balilla, it later became known as the GIL after the Italian fascist youth movement Gioventù Italiana del Littorio and was used to instil the ideas of the fascist regime in children and young people aged 6 to 21. Here, boys and girls took part in theatrical performances and gymnastics, as well as marches on the parade ground outside. The aim of all these activities was to indoctrinate the young people with “virtues” such as national pride, obedience and loyalty to authority.

Retro chic

Today, the “Astra” lettering above the building’s entrance lights up at night and is visible from far and wide. The typography remains exactly the same as the original 1960s neon sign.

One of five

In addition to the Casa Balilla in Brixen, the two architects Francesco Mansutti and Gino Miozzo from Padua also built four other building complexes in the 1930s in Bolzano/ Bozen, Meran/Merano, Sterzing/Vipiteno and Bruneck/Brunico. All five had very similar architecture and all were built for the same specific purpose of increasing young people’s loyalty to the fascist regime. Besides the Astra, the only other complex still standing is the building in Bolzano, which today houses the Eurac Research Centre.

Pompeian red

The Astra building originally had a red plaster façade. This was later painted an ochre yellow, but during the recent restoration work,

the building was restored to a striking Pompeian red, a colour inspired by the frescoes of the ancient, ruined city of Pompeii at the foot of Mount Vesuvius.

Italian functionalism

In direct contrast to the monumental fascist architecture seen in the Piazza Vittoria (“Victory Square”) and Corso Libertà (“Freedom Avenue”) in Bolzano, the Astra building in Brixen showcases the functional style of Italian razionalismo or rationalism – an architectural trend known for creating buildings with a simplistic, modern design.


When the fascist regime came to an end, local Gino Bernardi leased part of the building, turned it into a cinema auditorium and gave it the name that lives on to this day: the Astra. He later passed the baton to his son, who continued to manage the cinema until its closure in 2011. For 65 wonderful years, the Astra cinema was an integral part of Brixen’s culture scene – and it always kept up with the times. When the soft porn industry was booming in the 1970s, for example, the Astra didn’t shy away from showing many a raunchy film. Today, the venue continues to play arthouse and children’s films in its newly renovated grand auditorium.

Meeting point for youth culture

The Astra was reopened in 2019 following extensive renovation work. Local architecture studios redesigned the building for the modern day, creating a 670-square-metre venue and cultural hub, where young artists and performers can unleash their creativity. Inside are workshops for artists and also a grand auditorium, which plays host to a diverse programme of concerts, talks and performances.


Gerhard Kerschbaumer was one of the world’s best cross-country mountain bikers. Now the cycling pro has left the racing scene behind to fulfil his dream of becoming a farmer. We chat to him about daring descents, rearing cattle as nature intended, and the common ground between sport and farming


Gerhard Kerschbaumer was one of the best cross-country mountain bikers in the world. He wrestled with his decision to give up his cycling career for a long while. Now he spends most of his time working in his barn – and has a true passion for farming.

and Biker

“Winning wasn’t what mattered most to us as kids.”

Gerhard, you’ve been Junior World Champion, U23 World Champion, World Championship Runner-Up, Relay World Champion and European Champion in cross-country mountain biking. You’ve also won several World Cup titles and last year you regained the title of Italian champion. But now you’ve swapped your mountain bike for a pitchfork. Why?

I wrestled with my decision for a long time because, at 31, I’m still young enough to keep racing. Some athletes don’t stop until their forties. But I have two small sons now, aged one and three, and I wanted to spend more time with them. Taking over my family farm, the Unterplattnerhof, was the perfect opportunity to do just that. I love life as a farmer, spending time out in nature with our animals. As an athlete, I was away a lot, sometimes for weeks at a time. Now that I’m no longer a professional cyclist, my life has taken on a completely different pace. It’s been a huge adjustment, but I have to admit that I don’t miss competing.

What is cross-country mountain biking exactly?

In cross-country, cyclists race flat out for roughly 90 minutes over very technically challenging courses with a total elevation change of around 800 metres. The sport has also been an Olympic discipline since 1996.

How did you discover mountain biking?

As a child, on my favourite route in the whole world, which runs from my home in Verdings/Verdignes all the way up to the Latzfons Cross pilgrimage site. My grandparents had a mountain pasture up there, and I spent many summers there as a small boy. My grandpa gave me the money for my first mountain bike, which meant I could ride up and down the mountains to my heart’s content.

When did you compete in your first races?

With the St. Lorenzen/San Lorenzo di Sebato sports club cycling team when I was 11 years old. We travelled across Italy and around Europe too. I won a few races, but winning wasn’t what mattered most to us as kids.

What was more important than winning?

The crisps and gummy bears we secretly bought with our pocket money whenever we stopped at a service station! Looking back, I can see that I had a very relaxed start to cycling. Nobody put pressure on us, and it was all about having fun. I want to make sure my own two boys have the same experience of sport and never feel forced into doing it. That’s important because if kids feel too much outside pressure, they soon lose interest.

What do you like most about mountain biking?

I love the sense of freedom when I’m out riding on my own and how I can simply let my mind wander. I used to do that a lot when I was training. And, of course, winning always felt fantastic. My 16-yearold self would tell you that nothing beats the rush of adrenaline after winning a race. But, today, I’d say that the time spent in the fresh air surrounded by forests and mountains tops all that. There’s no feeling in the world like launching yourself down a mountain at breakneck speed.

Were you ever afraid you’d get seriously injured?

No, actually. Generally speaking, cycling is a safe sport. It’s gentler on your joints than running, for example. Of course, there’s a high risk of injury if you fall, but if you cycle carefully using correctly taught techniques, you have almost nothing to fear. I’ve never injured myself cycling. The only issue I’ve ever had was an inflamed Achilles tendon from when I neglected my cycling one winter and then started up again too quickly.

“I love the sense of freedom when I’m cycling and how I can simply let my mind wander.”
Top: Full speed ahead: Kerschbaumer on his way to the silver medal at the 2018 UCI World Championships, pursued by his Swiss rival Nino Schurter.
Bottom: Making the switch from being a professional cyclist to a farmer was a huge adjustment, but Gerhard doesn’t miss competing.

Top: Gerhard grew up here on his family farm, the Unterplattnerhof. Since taking it over, it’s kept him busier than ever before.

Left: The farm is home to ponies, Haflinger horses, hens and the family’s dog, Lusy.

Bottom: Three years ago, farmer Gerhard built a new house, together with chalets for guests, alongside the old one.


Why did you choose mountain biking over road racing?

Because, to me, mountain biking is pure freedom on two wheels. Compared with cross-country, road racing is much more structured. It’s all about tactics and group dynamics, the routes are fixed, and you have to focus more. Of course, there’s more money in road racing. The Giro d’Italia, for example, is pretty much an essential part of Italian culture. But you don’t get the freedom, or fun, of having to navigate your own route through the countryside.


Name: Gerhard “Gerri” Kerschbaumer

Date and place of birth: 19 July 1991, Brixen/Bressanone

Home: Unterplattnerhof, Verdings/ Verdignes (Klausen/Chiusa)

Racing weight: 69 kg

Height: 183 cm

Discipline: XC mountain biking (cross-country)

Is there a race you have especially fond memories of?

Oh yes, two actually. The first was in Canberra, Australia, in 2009 when I was 18 and won the Junior World Championships. A lot of doors suddenly started opening for me, and I even signed my first professional contract.

And the second?

The Italian National Championships in Gsies/Valle di Casies in the Pustertal valley last year. It was the first time this event was held in South Tyrol, and it felt great to compete on home soil. The courses were amazing, and so many friends and familiar faces were there to cheer me on. I won – but I still don’t really know how. My performance was pretty average in the competitions before and after the event, so perhaps my victory was a case of mind over matter.

Have you ruled out a return to racing?

I still ride a lot in my spare time, but it’s unlikely I’ll ever compete again. I was a happy mountain biker, and now I’m a happy farmer! At the moment, I’m focusing on my family and the farm. There’s always something to do here, and I really enjoy it. I’ve explored the world on two wheels, and now I’ve returned to my roots in the farmhouse where I grew up.

“I was a happy mountain biker, and now I’m a happy farmer!”

Let’s Go Biking!

Four Routes



To the Kreuzwiesen Alm

The Kreuzwiesen mountain lodge (1,924 m) is a popular destination when cycling on the Rodenecker and Lüsner Alm mountain pasture – not only because of the views of the Peitlerkofel mountain, but also the delicious pressed dumplings prepared using cheese from the lodge’s own alpine dairy. Accessible via a longer circular route from Lüsen/Luson or an easier thereand-back route from Rodeneck/ Rodengo.

From Lüsen:

Distance: Ascent:


24 km 1,120 m

Tarmac, gravel, forest tracks

From Rodeneck (Zumis car park):





2 Valley cycling route

Running along a former railway line on a well-maintained tarmac track far from any traffic, this gentle valley cycling route takes you through the Eisacktal valley from Brenner/Brennero (accessible by train) to Sterzing/Vipiteno, and then to Brixen/Bressanone and Klausen/Chiusa, which are ideal pit stops for a coffee, spot of lunch or visit to a museum.



Ascent: Terrain:

60 km 180 m ascent Tarmac, some light gravel sections


3 Brixen Bikepark

Take the cable car up the Plose mountain to the Brixen Bikepark and you’ll find a choice of four downhill lines of varying difficulty, from kid-friendly to challenging.

Jerry Line




4 The Würzjoch pass

4.2 km 300 m

Tarmac, gravel, forest track

Sky Line (level: “expert”)


Ascent: Descent:


6.6 km 1,000 m 13% Trails (gravel, loose soil, obstacles)

18 km 350 m

Gravel and forest tracks, brief single track section

This panoramic route for experienced road cyclists takes you from the gently rolling hills of Natz-Schabs/Naz-Sciaves down to Brixen and then steeply uphill towards the Plose mountain and to the Würzjoch pass, with spectacular views of the Aferer Geisler and Peitlerkofel peaks. Once you’ve reached the top of the pass, enjoy the rapid descent into the Gadertal valley, before taking the lovely Pustertal valley cycle path back to Natz-Schabs via Mühlbach/Rio di Pusteria.

Distance: Ascent: Terrain:

102 km 2,300 m Tarmac

Challenging descent at Brixen Bikepark. – FOR MTB, E-MTB OR GRAVEL BIKES CLASSIC – FOR ROAD BIKE LOVERS
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Suckler Cow Husbandry

In suckler cow husbandry, cows and calves live together as a herd. During their first few months of life, the calves drink their mothers’ milk and the mother cows are not milked for dairy production. After a few months, the calves start to graze in the meadows. This form of cattle rearing is especially ethical and natural. It also produces very high-quality beef.

Did you always know you’d take over the family farm one day?

I always had a feeling I would, yes. But, like with sport, my parents never put any pressure on me. My father just asked me frankly a few years ago whether he could give me the farm. And that made me so happy! Twenty years ago, he redeveloped our Unterplattnerhof so we could start offering farm holidays. I later invested in the business too and built two additional chalets for guests. We keep a suckler herd (see info box) and grow potatoes in our field. We also keep ponies, Haflinger horses, hens and sheep. Last autumn, for the very first time, I took part in the ceremonial herding of the sheep down from the mountain pastures for winter. It was a fantastic experience! What I love most of all, though, is discovering all the different ways we can live off the land and be self-sufficient. We have almost everything we need here.

What was it like growing up on a farm like yours?

When I was younger, we lived in the old farmhouse and I had a tiny bedroom without any heating. In winter especially, I had to wrap myself up tightly in my bedding to get warm. Our only source of warmth was our wood-burning stove, which heated our dining room and kitchen. Three years ago, I built a new house alongside the old one and moved in with my family. I’m really proud of it!

When you were a professional athlete, you trained for up to five hours a day. Now your daily routine is shaped by the needs of your family and your farm. Was that a big change?

Five hours is nowhere near enough for all the work I have to do as a farmer – and a father. I’m usually in bed by 9pm, but get up at 4am to do my admin. And then if the little ones wake up, I’m there for them too. Since becoming a farmer, I’ve needed a lot more patience. If a cow doesn’t fall pregnant straightaway, you just have to wait!

Do you still need a gym membership now that your cycling career has come to an end?

No, working on the farm is the best workout there is!

Top: Gerhard still enjoys riding in his spare time, but is unlikely to compete again.
Bottom: Gerhard in his barn together with his cows and calves.

Luxury Medicine

If you stepped into the back room of Johann Peter Paul Peer’s pharmacy in Brixen/Bressanone back in the 18th century, you may have been greeted by the curious sight of him carefully separating sheets of gold leaf. Look more closely and you would have seen the ingredients for his precious remedies lined up neatly on the worktop: gold and silver leaf sitting alongside the small pills he had already rolled together. His preparations complete, Johann Peer – who acquired the pharmacy in 1787 –would use the gold leaf to line a spherical container made from dark green serpentine stone and put the pills inside, first one, then another, and another. He would then close the container and rotate it around and around until the pills were evenly coated in the gold leaf.

Pills coated in a precious metal were all the rage among Brixen’s upper class in the mid-18th century and are a brilliant example of how medicine varied between the rich and poor. There was no medical reason for using gold. More likely, the pills were simply a means for rich families and high-up members of the church in the diocesan town of Brixen to show off their wealth. While the clergy stocked up on medicine from the prince-bishops’ court pharmacy, everyone else visited Johann Peer’s town pharmacy, which still ex ists as the Peer pharmacy today.

The pretentious patients who bought the gold pills had no idea that gold doesn’t dissolve in stomach acid. This meant that the active ingredient inside their pricey pills – say, a laxa tive or medicine for heart complaints – never actually had the desired effect. Instead, it simply passed through the patient’s body and landed in their chamber pot together with the precious metal.

To make matters worse for these discerning customers, some of the useless gold pills were even fake, as recent anal yses have shown that a number of them weren’t coated in gold at all… but in humble brass.

Brixen Pharmacy Museum

+ Looking back at 400 years of the history of healing from Paracelsus to today, this fascinating museum is situated above the modern-day Peer Apotheke in a historic building that has served as a pharmacy since 1602. It houses the extensive collection of apothecary jars, herbal medicine books, medical equipment and exotic remedies accumulated by the Peer family over generations and also provides entertaining glimpses behind the scenes of everyday life in Brixen.

+ The museum’s cabinet of curiosities even contains part of a real Egyptian mummy in the form of the legendary mumia vera drug, which is a powder made from ground mummies.


Goldcoated pills

Date: approx. 1780–1900

Size: 3-4 mm

Material: medicinal compound coated in gold or silver leaf

The Lucklift on the Tasa slope in Vals was built in the 1960s and is still a popular meeting point for the village children. Werner Fischnaller has spent half his life here.

Werner, you were born in Vals and originally trained as a mechanic in Bolzano/Bozen before returning home to become a cross-country ski instructor and later a downhill ski instructor. How did that come about?

Ever since I completed my military service in Corvara in the early 1970s, I’ve loved working outdoors. The army assigned me and a colleague to the ski rescue service, which gave me the chance to really improve my skiing style. I became a ski instructor after the Jochtal skiing area was expanded in 1975 and there was a growing demand for skiing lessons. Nothing beats working outside in the sun and snow on a day like today. Has the job changed over the decades? Yes, it’s changed quite a bit. Nowadays, children are expected to start skiing when they’re just three years old. Personally, I think that’s a bit too young because they’re still at an age when they can quickly feel overwhelmed. They need lessons that focus on play and having fun, so that’s shaped my teaching style. Skiing lessons for adults are also different these days. When I started out, visitors mainly saw lessons as a chance to have fun together, but today they’re really focused on learning and perfecting their technique.

The Gitschberg Jochtal/Rio Pusteria skiing area is ideal for families. Many locals have fond memories of the Lucklift, or Tasalift as it’s known today. What makes this particular lift so special?

Its location and its history. The Lucklift on the Tasa slope, as we now call it, was our village’s first drag lift. It was built in the mid-1960s by a dedicated team of local innkeepers, guesthouse owners and villagers who worked as ski lift operators in the ski resorts on the Zugspitze or in Gröden/Val Gardena in winter and who thought that Vals could do with its own lift. During the Christmas holidays, the lift was used by guests staying in the local inns and guesthouses. And in the


69, ski instructor and mountain lodge manager in Vals

off-season, it ran for a few hours in the afternoon and on weekends for the village children. It soon became a real hub of the village. Over the following decades, more and bigger ski lifts and slopes opened, of course. But this easy, sun-drenched and open slope right next to our village remained the ideal spot for new skiers from the entire area. For many people, this is the place where they first put on a pair of skis and so they are very nostalgic about the lift.

Did you learn to ski here as well? No, I grew up further down the valley a few kilometres away from the village. I didn’t start skiing until I was eight years old. The lift didn’t exist back then, but the Italian military – who were training in the area at the time – lent our school several pairs of skis, and the soldiers showed us how to use them. We were allowed to take the skis home with us and took it in

turns to try them out on the slope right next door to my family’s farm. There was no way we could have made it all the way up to the village with those long skis. They weren’t really suitable for children, so we had to use a special technique, and it took almost all our strength just to turn. We basically taught ourselves to ski by copying everyone else. And then just went for it and hurtled down the slope!

That sounds adventurous!

Preparing the slopes was also an adventurous pursuit back then. The snow had to be either trodden down by foot or flattened with a roller. Once we had the drag lift, we used it to transport the huge wooden roller to the top of the slope, and then someone would ski back down with it, manoeuvring the roller over the slope by hand. We did without a snowcat until the early 1970s.

“For many people, this is the place where they first put on a pair of skis.”

Iwas born in Terenten, a village on a beautiful plateau in the Pustertal valley around a 30-minute drive from the Gitschberg Jochtal ski resort in one direction and the Kronplatz/Plan de Corones ski resort in the other. Here in our village, we all treasure our peaceful location nestled between fields and forests. It couldn’t be more different from the hustle and bustle of the large ski resorts nearby. But that doesn’t mean we’re not winter sports fans. Quite the opposite! Our village boasts toboggan runs, winter hiking trails, an ice rink and, of course, our very own village ski lift, which goes by the name of Panorama.

I first put on a pair of skis on this exact slope almost 30 years ago. Skiing down this slope after school and in the holidays – and, these days, after work – was and still is so much more to me than just a hobby. It’s a chance to breathe in fresh air, to enjoy the freedom of gliding over the snow and to meet with friends. And I’m certain that all the other villagers feel the same. Year after year, this is the place where we listen to the now legendary stories of older skiers and watch on as promising youngsters make the leap from the children’s training area to more


32, tourism professional and volunteer for the village lift in Terenten

advanced skiing lessons. The most ambitious among them might join a ski club, and one or two may even make it as a pro. What unites them all is that they discovered their love for the sport here – in this place where even bad weather can’t take the joy out of skiing. That might sound crazy, but around here skiing, come rain or shine, is just how we do things.

The Panorama lift was built in 1963 and belongs to a local company. A total of 13 staff operate the lift between December and March, taking care of everything from preparing the slope to managing the ski bar. But without the invaluable

support of a large, dedicated group of volunteers like me, the lift wouldn’t run at all. The volunteers also help organise ski races, arrange food and drink for the participants and distribute the start numbers. I love volunteering here. I work full time in the tourist information office, but in my spare time I do the accounting and coordinate the volunteers for our village lift. I could even operate a snow cannon if I had to! Why do I volunteer? Well that’s simple – I want to give something back in return for all the wonderful ways in which our lift keeps our village community alive.

“The lift is always a hive of activity and keeps our village community alive.”

Skiing in Terenten alongside the Panorama village lift, which was built in 1963. Like so many others, Katharina Schmid loves the peace and quiet and fresh air.

Three more village lifts... for beginners and nostalgics, kids and returning skiers who feel a bit rusty

+ InLüsen/Luson, the idyllic “Balbein” plate lift has been transporting children up the bunny slope for decades. In 2019, the Rungg slope was refurbished with innovative technology; alongside the tow lift, there are magic carpets for learning to ski in a playful way.

+ A drag lift, a beginnerfriendly blue slope and a steeper red slope, as well as a vibrant lodge where the locals like to mingle: That’s all it takes for a beautiful day in the tiny “Maders Ski Paradise” in Schnauders near Feldthurns/Velturno: a true insiders’ tip.

+ Brixen’s inhabitants have been starting their skiing careers here since 1996: The “Randötsch” platter lift in St. Andrä/Sant’Andrea is right next to the valley station of the gondola lift that leads to the Plose ski area and therefore offers sufficient refreshment options for post-lesson reward cocoas.

The Pobist lift in Meransen first opened in winter 1970/71.
Lift operator Karl Untersteiner has been working here every winter since 1998 and keeps things running smoothly.

xcellent, stay upright, just a bit further, that’s it… and now let gooooo!” cries Karl Untersteiner to a child approaching the top of the Pobist lift in Meransen. The courageous little skier, who must only be four years old, if that, is clutching awkwardly onto the drag lift. He hesitates at the top, unsure when, how and where exactly to get off. As an experienced ski lift operator, Karl immediately springs into action to slow down the lift and help the boy with a gentle nudge. Visibly relieved and undoubtedly proud to have made it to the top, the boy slides over to the rest of his group.

“It’s Monday and day one of the ski course, so for most of these kids it’s their first time on a slope,” says Karl, his eyes fixed firmly on the drag lift. He’s watching the children closely to make sure they’re

holding their skis straight, ready to quickly intervene if they lose their footing.

“You need to keep an eye on them,” he says from experience. It’s shortly before midday, and you can see that the children are getting tired and hungry. Using a drag lift is hard work, but it’s an important part of learning to ski. “New skiers who master the lift will also find it easier to ski downhill. Even by tomorrow, they’ll be able to see that they’ve made some progress,” says Karl, who has been working here every winter since 1998.

When he gets a quiet moment, he tells us how he loves absolutely everything about his job. “All you need are a good pair of sunglasses and warm shoes. And a lot of patience!” We ask him if he finds it stressful. “No, mowing meadows or felling trees is much more stressful,” he


62, farmer and ski lift operator in Meransen

replies. “I shouldn’t say this too loudly, but what I do here doesn’t really feel like work. It’s more like going on holiday every day – right on my doorstep,” he continues, pointing towards his farm immediately opposite the lift’s mountain station. Here he has a stable with seven cows, a few calves, rabbits and all the usual farm equipment. There’s also his old tomcat, Klaus, who sometimes pays him a visit at the lift, where he loves to lap up the children’s attention.

The Pobist lift is ideally located for visitors staying in the village. “The slope is accessible on foot and is fantastic for new skiers because it’s not all that steep and has easy traverses. That makes it perfect for practising basic turns and ways of climbing uphill on your skis,” Karl explains. The lift was built in 1969, and Karl still remembers how his father lugged baskets full of snow from the shady forest to help create the drag lift track. In those days, there was no road connection between the mountain village of Meransen and the village of Mühlbach/Rio di Pusteria down in the valley. The only form of transportation was the cable car built in 1956 which was primarily used to transport cows and wood. “At that time, it was completely normal to walk from Meransen to Mühlbach,” says Karl. He then goes on to tell us how he himself learnt to ski. “It was here on our slope, of course. But all I had were normal shoes, woollen stockings and a pair of bent boards fastened to my feet with a flap and a band,” he recalls, grinning as he greets the next ski group.

“All you need are a good pair of sunglasses and warm shoes. And a lot of patience!”

Flying High

The technology behind a ski lift

Drive station: The drive station houses the drive mechanism, which is used to move the rope. It could be located in the lift’s valley station, like in the Nesselbahn gondola lift in the Gitschberg Jochtal skiing area (see box on right page), or in the mountain station at the top. The choice depends on technical and practical factors such as the power supply.

❶ Drive: Unlike cars, ski lifts have been operated for decades using electricity. The technology has nevertheless advanced over the years. For example, the Nesselbahn was recently fitted with a direct drive. This type of drive does not need a gearbox because it is connected directly to the bull-wheel, which turns the rope. This makes it quieter, more energy efficient and easier to maintain.

❷ Wire ropes: Modern ski lifts only exist thanks to the invention of the wire rope, which consists of several steel strands twisted together.

Counter station: This is where the rope tension is maintained. In the past, counterweights were used, but today hydraulic tensioning systems ensure that the tension on the rope remains constant regardless of the load exerted on the ski lift.

❹ Gondolas: The gondolas are the carriages. They don’t have their own drive system. Instead, they are connected to

the wire rope by a grip and moved along by the drive located in one of the lift stations.

❺ Grip: Instead of being fixed, the grips are locked in place by springs. When a gondola reaches the station, the grip opens to release it from the wire rope so it can pass through the station on a rail. This allows the gondola to slow down, making it easier for passengers to alight and board the ski lift.

❻ Towers: The towers keep the ropes and gondolas at the required height above the ground.

❼ Roller batteries: These guide the wire rope and transfer the gondolas’ weight to the towers. The more rollers in the roller battery, the more weight it can bear.

Control centre: This is where specially trained experts monitor the ski lift’s operation in real time. Power consumption, wind speed along the line, the position of the gondolas and their speed of travel can all be monitored from here.

Maintenance: Ski lifts are inspected daily, monthly and every five years. They also undergo a major overhaul every 20 years. Maintenance tasks include changing the oil, relubricating parts, replacing worn parts and checking the lift for damage and cracks.


The Nesselbahn gondola lift transports passengers from an altitude of 1,629 metres up to the Nesselhütte mountain lodge at 2,107 metres. Built in 2002, it replaced the chairlift that once operated on this site. It was upgraded and equipped with a new direct drive in 2022.

Capacity: 2,200 passengers/hour

Speed: 5.5 metres/second

Change in elevation: 478 metres

Passengers per gondola: 8

Number of towers: 14

Number of gondolas: 55

Rope diameter: 50 millimetres


In the Far North

At Santerhof, winemaker Willi Gasser has always followed his own path, successfully growing unusual grape varieties in his vineyard’s wonderfully unique soil

When we first meet Willi Gasser, he’s got six wine bottles out, all lined up neatly ready for a tasting. The grape varieties printed on the labels all have unusual, imaginative names: Solaris, Johanniter, Muscaris, Souvignier Gris, Regent and Cabernet Cortis. As Willi begins to speak, his voice is soft. He clearly loves talking about what he does and is well versed in sharing his knowledge with visitors during tastings and vineyard tours. We listen as he explains how here at Santerhof near Mühlbach/Rio di Pusteria, he grows PIWIs – fungus-resistant grape varieties that, according to him, “are genetically better protected against fungal diseases like mildew than conventional grapes”.

PIWIs have been around for longer than you might think. In fact, 150 years ago, fungus-resistant varieties created by crossing grapes with wild American vines were grown on a large scale in France, before falling into obscurity from the mid1900s onwards. Today, more and more winemakers are rediscovering these hardy grapes, which – unlike traditional varieties – require little to no spraying and, what’s more, are surprisingly high quality.

Willi walks from the farmhouse towards the vineyard. The 57-year-old winemaker began experimenting with PIWIs in 1994, three years after switching to organic growing methods at Santerhof. Back then, there were very few colleagues with whom he could share knowledge and experience of growing PIWIs. Instead, he and his wine were treated with scepticism. “Even today, some people claim that

At Santerhof vineyard near Mühlbach, winemaker Willi Gasser revived the old tradition of growing PIWI varieties.

they’ve never drunk a good PIWI,” he says with a wry smile. Determined to prove them wrong, he once presented his Johanniter wine Granitus during a blind Riesling tasting (Riesling being one of Johanniter’s mother varieties). “Afterwards, everyone unanimously agreed that the Johanniter was the best wine there,” Willi laughs proudly.

Santerhof first appeared in official records in 1541, and Willi’s great-grandfather acquired the estate in 1889. Today, ivy winds its way up the house’s thick wall, and two black Alpine pigs can be seen wallowing in the mud close by. Willi pauses for a moment, surveying his grapevines and listening to the sheep bells jingling in the distance. The herd of sheep grazing in the vineyard helps keep the undergrowth under control and assists with leaf stripping. The vineyard itself extends across an area of 2.5 hectares at an altitude of up to 900 metres above sea level. Grapevines are not a very common sight so far north in South Tyrol, and Santerhof is actually the most northerly vineyard in Italy. “Other places might be warmer and sunnier,

but the soil here in Mühlbach is unlike anywhere else,” says Willi. His grapevines grow in primary rock soil formed from granite, and as he explains, “The high proportion of silicate provides the vines and grapes with important minerals.”

The sky has clouded over now, and drizzle begins to fall on Willi’s short, grey hair. Undeterred, he continues his tour of the vineyard, passing the mighty apple trees growing alongside the grapevines. “Many people are still set in their ways and tend to only buy wine based on its name and label,” he says. “If they don’t recognise the name, they probably won’t buy it.” But Willi is bucking this trend by working hard to change his customers’ perceptions day after day. Most of the roughly 16,000 bottles he produces each year are sold directly from the vineyard to wine connoisseurs and wine lovers.

Back home in the dry, Willi sits down on a wooden bench and watches the rain through the window. He feels happy with what he’s achieved. The growing awareness of the need to go back to nature and use traditional techniques is music to the ears of winemakers like Willi who have long advocated such practices. After initially eyeing his methods with suspicion, winemakers from the region and abroad are now flocking to Willi’s vineyard to see how he does things. He gives everyone the same advice: “Take the time to gain enough experience to make the right decisions. And have a firm goal in mind.” Willi’s own goal is to keep promoting variety in winemaking. “Rare varieties are fantastic for awakening interest and curiosity,” he says. It’s now 20 years since Willi began growing PIWIs, and it was his enthusiasm and unwavering determination that made him a success. Much to his delight, his son Johannes now hopes to follow in his footsteps – and so the Santerhof story looks set to continue.


What can different generations of winemakers learn from each other?

Generational change is currently a hot topic in numerous South Tyrolean wineries. Many young winemakers are now looking to use modern methods to help them reintegrate the traditional, tried-and-tested techniques rejected by the generation before them. Practices such as the fermenting of white grapes with their skins on to produce orange wine are seeing something of a revival. The younger generation is also placing more emphasis on creating greener vineyards and on preserving biodiversity just like in years gone by. Young winemakers are familiar with the up-and-coming technologies – and have the courage to use them – while their older, more experienced counterparts have years of knowledge to share.

Hannes Munter

from the Kellerei Eisacktal winery, born in 1982, is one of the youngest winemakers in South Tyrol.


A Beginner’s Guide to South Tyrol

How to greet just about anyone in these parts

It was during my early years here in Südtirol that I began lifting my index finger off the steering wheel. I was only mirroring the drivers approaching from the other direction. Sometimes it was a hello, other times a thank you for giving the right of way. But the finger went up almost every time and mine quickly followed in reciprocal salutation — eventually becoming an automatic reflex as I drove past another villager. Having moved here for six months of thesis research in 2016, I expected my time among these alluring mountains and their residents to have a six-month shelf life. But I loved that sense of belongingness every time I exchanged an index finger with a stranger.

Seven years later and now living in a village further north, I’ve grown a deep appreciation — I’d even dare call it an affection — for the anticipated greeting from passers-by. I discovered its persistence on village sidewalks, on the many thousands of kilometres of trails, and even when arriving at the local bar or grocery store; that familiar greeting of Hoila! or Griaß di! Now my fellow villagers and I are on a first-name basis, so the bar is set even higher.

A tight-knit fabric of community stretches across this modestly sized region, slightly smaller than the island of Corsica. And the greeting I was taught years ago by fellow villagers I never actually knew? It was my naïve glimpse into small village life that was soon to be my own; something the me of ten years ago would have never imagined her future to be (think: American-born city girl comfortably settled into a seaside Tel Aviv life, swirling through traffic on her trusty single-speed bicycle).

Moving to Südtirol wasn’t easy, even with the experience of having lived in five other countries. But it is here that I settled, making wine, writing, and embracing the mountains for all they have to offer. A veritable island in the middle of the Alps, I had landed in a place where the distance between my cultural upbringing and theirs feels at times to be worlds if not generations apart. And so many things to learn: driving my car with speed and confidence on narrow mountain roads. What time of day to drink white versus red wine. (White: any time. Red: only in the PM!) How to cut Knödel, the South Tyrolean sweetheart in the form of a dumpling, so as not to offend. (Always with your fork or spoon, never with a knife!) But what has taken me years to grasp — and I see no end in sight to speak of — was learning all the ways to greet like a local. It’s more than just a complex art: it’s a gateway into the community, and you, dear reader, are lucky enough to get an introductory crash course.

There are two basic ways to physically greet a friend, family member or acquaintance here. One is kissing on the cheek: all too familiar for Europeans, but as an American-Israeli, I had to step away from my go-to greeting of a nice big hug and dive right in to touching someone’s cheek with my own: not one, not two, but a generous three South Tyrolean times. And it’s not always a swan dive that takes place — elegant and well-choreographed — but rather the occasional resemblance of an albatross landing: fumbled, ungraceful, and seemingly without aim. The uncertainty of which cheek to go for first has been the culprit of many quasi-smooches on the lips throughout history. That complication never arises with the likes of a trusty hug. Just saying.

The other is the handshake. Not a new acquaintance or business meeting handshake. Think holiday greetings or family dinners. Merry Christmas? Handshake. Happy birthday? Handshake. Just got married? Handshake. You get the idea — and it applies equally to men and women. Sometimes there’s even kisses

Greeting people like a local is more than just a complex art: it’s a gateway into the community.

thrown in just to keep you on your toes. It was for me an overwhelming formality that really took me years to get the hang of, because once again, I’m a hugger. But after seven years of practice, I can finally say that I now confidently initiate handshakes where the occasion demands, and for those locals who I’ve become close with, they’ve come to expect (and I think even enjoy) a nice big hug.

Then there’s the whole concept of greeting fellow hikers in the mountains. Now I don’t know how much German you know, but there is (as in many languages here in Europe) both a formal and informal way of addressing people: strangers, professors, doctors and the like — they all get the formal Sie, while acquaintances, family, and anyone that’s given you the verbal green light can be addressed with the informal du You can now take this new knowledge and toss it off the closest precipice when you’re hiking through the South Tyrolean mountains. Greeting oncoming foot traffic with an informal Griaß di!, no formality necessary, is completely acceptable when on a trail here.

There’s a lot of trial and error in learning how to greet your fellow residents here in Südtirol. I have encountered many a strange glance over the years, and found myself on the receiving end of affectionate laughter at my (courageously) failed attempts of mastering a rule book that does not actually exist. Time is the only salvation here, as well as making sure you make regular visits to the local markets, ski lodges and village bars to get in some good-quality practice. And what about the proper way to say goodbye? That’s a whole other story. Ciao. Pfiat enk!

A Short Dictionary of South Tyrolean

Understand what the locals say

Schmirber, Schmirberin

[ˈʃmɪʁbʁ], [ˈʃmɪʁbʁɪn]

Partly out of suspicion and partly out of respect, this was the name once given to the mysterious medicine makers and herb women with their wonderful healing ointments and tinctures. In the South Tyrolean dialect, “schmirben” means “to lubricate” or “to oil”. A moisturising cream – like the ones sold today by the natural skincare producers presented on page 34 – is therefore sometimes unsentimentally called “Schmirb”.



Instead of using the standard German “Tschüss” or “Auf Wiedersehen” or the Italian “Ciao!”

An enologist by day and writer in the afterhours. Born in the US, she arrived in South Tyrol in 2016 for a thesis and stayed for the mountains. She has lived in five countries and earned two MScs in Zoology and Wine Production. Starting from this issue, she takes over this column from her predecessor Cassandra Han in order to explore her inner South Tyrolean – and how she came to be.

Instagram @travelalltheroads

(unless they’re speaking Italian, of course), South Tyroleans say goodbye with a friendly “Pfiati!”. The word emerged over the decades as a shortened form of “Pfiat di Gott” or “Godspeed!”.


[ˈpʁɪnt ʃələn]

If you hear the word “brintschelen” in South Tyrol, you should probably call the fire brigade. “Do tuats brintschelen!”, for instance, can be translated as “It smells like burning!”. South Tyroleans also use other verbs ending in “-elen” to describe various unwelcome smells. For example, “mistelen” describes the stench of cow dung and “tebelen” is used when a place smells musty.



After falling to a victorious Italy in 1919 following the end of the First World War, South Tyrol began to be Italianised once the fascists seized power in the 1920s. The Italian authorities gave places Italian names, dissolved associations and banned the German language. Meanwhile, the new industrial zone in Bolzano/Bozen created jobs for migrants from the south.

Despite these efforts, the Italianisation project seemed doomed to fail, so the ruling powers had to rethink their plans for South Tyrol. In June 1939, Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler agreed on a scheme to resettle the South Tyrolean people. Known as the Option Agreement, this pact has had far-reaching ramifications. German-speaking South Tyroleans were given the choice of relocating to the German Reich or staying put and becoming Italian.

85 to 90 per cent of the population chose to go, with around 75,000 leaving their homes by the end of the Second World War. They were told they would be able to settle in their own selfcontained area and were allured by the promise of material wealth. But the reality was very different. Able-bodied men were sent to fight at the front, and farming families were dispersed throughout the occupied areas.

As the war raged on, the resettlement programme was brought to a halt in 1943, but the South Tyroleans who had emigrated were not legally allowed to return home until 1948. Only a third came back, and they returned to nothing. This photo, taken by Hermann Frass, captures the emotional moment when some of the returnees arrived at Brixen station.

Photo: Hermann Frass/Amt für Film und Medien, Autonomous Province of Bolzano-South Tyrol

To Stay or To Go?

In 1939, under the Option policy, the people of South Tyrol faced the ordeal of deciding whether to emigrate to the German Reich or stay in fascist Italy. In Spinges/Spinga, an idyllic hamlet near Mühlbach/Rio di Pusteria, around 85 per cent of people chose to resettle – but their new life wasn’t what they thought it would be

Out of the shadows and into the open

After Mussolini came to power, the Italianisation of South Tyrol began at pace and German lessons were banned. Brave teachers continued to teach South Tyrolean children to read and write in German in illegal clandestine schools known as catacomb schools. This all changed in 1939 when German lessons were offered to the children whose families had chosen to emigrate, including here in Spinges. After learning Italian for around 20 years, South Tyrol’s children were now not only being taught German again, but were also being instilled with the ideology of the Nazi regime to prepare them for life in the German Reich.

Text — SILVIA OBERRAUCH Photo: archive Armin Mutschlechner/AAM-KA-463, collection Stark-Köck

Widow Theres Mair (née Valentini) from Spinges sitting at her dining table with a pensive yet resolute expression on her face. The red geraniums in front of her are called “Brennende Liab” (“burning love”) in South Tyrol and were as much a common sight on farmhouse balconies back then as they are today. After the Option policy was announced, both camps – the “Optanten” or “optants” who chose to leave and the “Dableiber” or “remainers” who chose to stay – made the flower the symbol of their propaganda campaigns. The remainers used the geranium to represent their loyalty and how they didn’t want to leave the beautiful flower or their fatherland behind, while the optants saw it as a symbol of their pain at losing their home.

Top Documenting cultural heritage

Although the South Tyroleans were said to be moving “home to the Reich”, there was still a desire to document the rural culture that would be lost in the process. The Association of Optants for Germany (AdO) was set up to support South Tyroleans through the emigration process and to organise their resettlement. In Spinges, the AdO cultural officer took photos of women going about their everyday lives.

Left “Brennende Liab” and a clenched fist
Photo: archive Armin Mutschlechner/AAM-Floh-177 Photo: archive Armin Mutschlechner/AAM-FRE-53, collection Rogen/Mühlbach

A fanfare of a farewell

In June 1940, the Bishop of Brixen/Bressanone Johannes Geisler chose to emigrate to Germany in what was an unusual decision for a member of the clergy. Although the church had always been an integral part of life in South Tyrol and had a strong influence on its people, the clergy and the general population were poles apart when it came to the Option policy, with around 85 per cent of the clergy choosing to stay in South Tyrol.

Photo: Südtiroler Landesarchiv/Sammlung Option, Tiroler Geschichtsverein Photo: Südtiroler Landesarchiv/Sammlung Option, Tiroler Geschichtsverein
Südtiroler Landesarchiv/Sammlung Option, Tiroler Geschichtsverein

Top left Worldly possessions piled on a wagon

The people who chose to leave faced the mammoth task of packing up all their worldly possessions, some of which they sent on ahead of them or temporarily put into storage. This was one of the reasons why families with fewer possessions were more likely to leave. Only men and unmarried women of full legal age were given the right to choose whether to stay or go. Married women had to do whatever their husbands decided. When the period for making the decision began on 1 July 1939, Spinges had 254 inhabitants with a right to choose. 224 of these decided to leave.

Bottom left The propaganda machine runs on

The resettlement process was organised by the German Office for Migration and Remigration (ADERSt), which was commanded by Head of the SS Heinrich Himmler. At the start of the resettlement process in 1940 in particular, parties were organised at the stations along the Brenner Line to say farewell to those leaving. Photos of people waving off their friends and family at Brixen station, for example, would have made excellent propaganda.

Top A new home in a strange land

This family of migrants from the Eisacktal valley pictured in front of their unfinished new home in the Austrian state of Carinthia had it lucky compared to many others, most of whom never even set eyes on their promised new homes. The consequences of the war were already making themselves felt across the German Reich. This meant that the homes in the “South Tyrolean settlements” that had to be built from scratch in places like Tyrol and Vorarlberg were mostly of poor quality. And far from being welcomed with open arms, the “foreigners” from South Tyrol were viewed with suspicion and ostracised.

Photo: archive Armin Mutschlechner/AAM-AM-230, collection Agnes Mayr Photo: Südtiroler Landesarchiv/photo archive Franz Oberkofler

Back to South Tyrol

Once the war was over, around a third of the South Tyroleans who had emigrated returned home. Despite being given a warm welcome at Brixen station, the returnees were branded as traitors of their homeland and found it difficult to reintegrate. Jobs and housing were scarce due to the huge numbers of people who had migrated from the south. New housing estates were built for the returnees across South Tyrol, but the residents were often subjected to open hostility.

Photo: Hermann Frass/Amt für Film und Medien, Autonomous Province of Bolzano-South Tyrol Photo: Hermann Frass/Amt für Film und Medien, Autonomous Province of Bolzano-South Tyrol

Klausen/Chiusa –One of the Most Beautiful Old Towns in Italy

“I borghi più belli d’Italia” – the most beautiful small towns in Italy

Besides Klausen, the other South Tyrolean locations to feature among the “Borghi più belli d’Italia” (Italian for “the most beautiful small towns in Italy”) are Sterzing/Vipiteno, Kastelruth/Castelrotto, Neumarkt/Egna and Glurns/ Glorenza. This initiative was established by the National Association of Italian Municipalities to preserve the cultural, historical and environmental heritage of small towns in Italy.

What impression did Klausen leave on Goethe and a young Mozart as their carriages wound their way along its bumpy narrow streets during their trips through Italy? And how about Albrecht Dürer when he sat in a secluded spot opposite Säben Abbey to paint this enchanting town on the Eisack river in 1494? For an idea, follow in these historic figures’ footsteps by visiting this hidden gem of a small town brimming with medieval charm.

Over the years, Klausen’s old town has inspired numerous renowned artists and is still full of the vibrancy of these days gone by. It’s easy to see why Klausen has been listed among “I borghi più belli d’Italia” (the most beautiful small towns in Italy) since 2002, an honour that it shares with only a select few towns.

Stroll through the old town and you’ll find a maze of narrow lanes, hidden corners and squares all tucked away behind the rows of impressive houses with their elaborately designed oriel windows and colourful façades.

To learn about Klausen’s history and importance to the art world, head to the town’s museum in the garden of the former Capuchin monastery, where you can visit a permanent exhibition on the Klausen Art Colony (1874–1914) and its famous representative Alexander Koester

(1864–1932). In the adjacent Capuchin monastery, you can find the Treasure of Loreto, a unique, valuable collection of artwork that was gifted to Klausen by Queen Maria Anna of Spain in around 1700. In 1986, a large proportion of the collection was sensationally stolen, but following a painstaking search – and a few strokes of luck and coincidences! – it was almost all recovered by 2014.

A mysterious sight up in the clouds, Säben Abbey has been towering over Klausen from atop its steep rocky outcrop for centuries. Although the gates to this former Benedictine nunnery remain closed to the public, you can visit the churches.

Locals have been growing wine on the sun-drenched slopes around the abbey for hundreds of years. Who knows –Dürer or other artists visiting the town may well have sought inspiration by sipping on a glass. Then as now, Klausen is the perfect blend of traditional and modern, as diverse, vibrant and unique as the sometimes calm, sometimes gushing water of the Eisack river flowing through it.


Beautiful Things

Products from the region

High-carat pieces

A visit to the small Karat2 jewellery shop in Brixen/Bressanone’s arcades is like stepping into a glittering jewellery box. The boutique is a treasure trove of beautifully designed one-off pieces with intricate detailing, delicate necklaces and high-carat pendants made by expert goldsmiths. Martin Unterkircher and his team also use traditional techniques to adjust family heirlooms and repair watches. Gold ring with topaz and diamonds, €2,150.00.

Sustainable drawings

Elisabeth Mair from Lajen/Laion combines the traditional craft of papermaking with the modern art of digital illustration. Her unusual designs inspire reflection and serve as a reminder of the importance of sustainability. Elisabeth makes her paper from old shredded shipping boxes and packages her unique, fine drawings in handmade plastic-free envelopes. Her pieces can be purchased in Kauri Store in Brixen and online at and Notebook with hand-stitched binding, €15.50.

Turning old into new REX, a former military barracks gym in Brixen, has been given a new lease of life as an upcycling centre where all sorts of materials and objects – think ceramics, crates, corks, vacuum cleaners, sofas and smartphones – are reinvented for a second, third or even fourth time. At REX, nothing is thrown away and, instead, everything is repaired, recycled and reused. The REX team also promotes conscious consumerism at events such as its Bike Repair Day or workshops and get-togethers.


Cute, organic clothes

Manuela Pedevilla started out making clothes for her young daughter Maja, but today she uses her dress-making skills to create baby grows, summer dresses and jackets for babies and toddlers under her label ManuFactured. Her clothes stand out for their high-quality fabrics and practical style, as well as her love of Scandinavian patterns, natural shades and sweet, eye-catching prints. Could her design featuring small elephants perhaps be a tribute to the famous elephant that passed through Manuela’s home town of Brixen on its journey across the Alps in 1551? Handmade organic jersey t-shirt, €20.00.

Schnapps in every flavour

In addition to its traditional pomace brandy – which is somewhat humorously called “Villanders Whisky” – the Pschnickerhof farm shop in Villanders/Villandro sells an array of home-brewed grappa, schnapps and liqueurs in flavours ranging from plum and elderflower to wood-infused apple. Junior farmer Daniel Kainzwaldner likes to keep surprising his customers by distilling exciting new products. He also offers private tasting tours (by reservation only). Each bottle contains 500 ml.

Boots for every foot

Follow in the footsteps of worldclass skiing pros Mikaela Shiffrin and Lara Gut by visiting Schuhbert in Brixen the next time you need new ski boots. Skilled shoemaker Hubert Rabensteiner fits ski boots, insoles and protectors perfectly to each customer’s feet and also makes customised inner shoes. His goal is to make stylish ski boots that are more durable than conventional models and do not cause any pressure or pain when racing down the slopes. All-mountain POP Annie or POP Benny ski boots, also suitable for ski touring; price available on request.

Dumplings made easy

With the dumpling mix from Niki Back, making dumplings at home has never been easier. All you need is an egg, some warm milk and Niki Back’s mixes – they come in speck ham, spinach or herb varieties – and you’ll be able to whip up some delicious dumplings in no time. Just as tasty as dumplings made from scratch, they’re ideal served with a colourful salad or browned butter and parmesan. Mix for 6 herb dumplings, 140 g, €5.90.

Instagram @manuela.pedevilla

Mythical Places

Virgins and devils, wild men, and mountains shrouded in legend: read on for a small selection of eerie, astonishing tales and curious places to visit


Wild Man in Brixen/ Bressanone

Look up as you stroll through Brixen and you may be surprised to spot the statue of the Wild Man staring down at the bustling town centre from the façade of an old town house. Like Cerberus, the hound of Hades, guarding the Underworld, nothing escapes his view – why else would he have three heads and six eyes? Dating from the 16th century, the Wild Man may even have clapped eyes on Mozart! The mysterious wooden figure is said to spout gold on Good Friday when the bells ring out for midday. How odd then that the church bells are always silent on that day...

Location: Brixen old town, on a corner house where the Säbentorgasse and Kleine and Grosse Lauben arcades meet

The Three Virgins: Mühlbach/Rio di Pusteria to Meransen/Maranza

The magical Jungfrauenrast (Three Virgins Rest Stop) hike to Meransen traces the footsteps of three royal Virgins called Aubet, Cubet and Quere. As you walk through mystical forests and across sundrenched meadows, you’ll enjoy views down over the village of Mühlbach and pass a memorial dedicated to these three pious Virgins, who are said to have taken a break at this spot while fleeing from Attila, King of the Huns. The story goes that it was a very hot day and the three prayed for something to drink. Their prayers were answered when, miraculously, a spring burst from the rock so they could quench their thirst.

Change in elevation: 650 metres

Walking time: approx. 3 hours and 45 minutes

Level: intermediate, very steep

Processions honouring the memory of the three pious Virgins still take place in Meransen today.

Devil’s Stone in Terenten/ Terento

Legend has it that the Devil once planned to roll a boulder down onto the farmers living in the village of Mühlwald/ Selva dei Molini to the north of Terenten. But thankfully for them the huge stone proved too heavy. What a stroke of luck! Today, the legendary stone marks the end point of a varied hike through an area shrouded in mystery. Starting at the Nunewieser car park in Terenten, the route takes you up to the Devil’s Stone near Sankt Sigmund/San Sigismondo. Here you are rewarded with a beautiful view across the Pustertal valley, and you can even spot the Devil’s footprint, which remains visible to this day.

Change in elevation: 120 metres

Walking time: 30 minutes

Level: easy

❷ ❸ ❷

Legendary tales on the Lüsner Alm

Lace up your walking boots and immerse yourself in the curious and surreal world of the Lüsner Alm mountain pasture. Starting from Herol near Lüsen/Luson, the hike passes by a scenic viewpoint and continues on to the Kreuzwiesen mountain lodge, which is the perfect spot for a bite to eat. The route follows in the footsteps of a Salige, a mythical female spirit who was said to astonish people with her prophetic advice. Once, this strange, shy creature is believed to have told a farmer from Lüsen to harvest his unripe hay within the next three days. He hesitatingly did what she said – and thank goodness he did because just one day later his entire meadow was buried in thick snow.


Along the Schabmer theme trail: in this mural from 1974, the sorcerers Lauterfresser and Tschaföger conjure up a thunderstorm, while the church bells of Viums, Raas and Rodeneck ring loudly to protect their villages against it.

The Three Mysterious Chapels of Barbian/Barbiano

Set off on a hike from Barbian and you’ll discover a strange, crooked church tower, spectacular waterfalls and a viewing platform offering magnificent village and mountain views. But perhaps most mysterious of all are the three small interconnected chapels locally called Dreikirchen, built on the site of an ancient sanctuary on a spring. Their origins remain unknown, but step inside and you’ll find Gothic winged altarpieces and frescoes. Legend has it that the village’s dead will stand in front of one of the three doors for three days waiting for their soul to ascend to heaven.

Change in elevation: 300 m

Walking time: approx. 2 hours 15 minutes

Level: easy

Including waterfalls:

Change in elevation: 560 m

Walking time: approx. 3 hours and 30 minutes

Level: family-friendly circular walk

A legendary trail in Schabs/Sciaves

The new Schabmer trail above Sonneck in Schabs features 11 display boards all about the area’s history. Fascinatingly, it also tells the story of a wizard by the name of Matthäus Perger, a merchant from Tschötsch/Scezze near Brixen: a real-life historical figure, who was executed in 1645. According to legend, he had a love of all things mysterious and a penchant for playing tricks on people. But did that really make him a wizard? There are many stories about him. In one, an acquaintance asks him to use his magic to get her hens to lay eggs. But unfortunately, his powers are only strong enough to conjure up a few laying hens from another village.

Change in elevation: 100 metres

Walking time: approx. 45 minutes

Level: easy

❹ ❺ ❻

At the Heart of it All

South Tyrolean photo bloggers Judith Niederwanger and Alexander Pichler tell the story behind one of their favourite photos

Before embarking on our hike up the Villanderer Berg mountain, we probably would have guessed that the geographical centre point of South Tyrol was located in some inconspicuous place near Bolzano/Bozen. How fantastic, then, to discover that it’s actually situated in the heart of the mountains – and, even better, that the hike up to it is full of stunning photo opportunities.

The 14.5 kilometre route (there and back), including 760 metres of elevation gain, demands a certain level of fitness, but the climb is definitely worth it. Starting at the Saltnerstein car park (1,756 m) near the Gasser Hütte mountain lodge, the hike takes you across the spectacular Villanderer Alm mountain pasture, which is among the highest in South Tyrol. The picture-perfect meadows are dotted with small wooden huts and the panoramic mountain views stretching all the way to the Dolomites are simply mesmerising. If you’re looking for an idyllic photo spot, they don’t come much better than this. At the end of hiking trail 6, you reach the Totenkirchl or Chapel of the Dead (2,186 m). From here, you turn left following the marker for trail 2A and continue uphill to the Totensee lake. Path number 2 then leads you to the summit of the Villanderer Berg (2,509 m), where finally – after walking for a total of around three hours – you reach the geographical centre point of South Tyrol.

The spot is marked by a huge granite globe positioned next to a wooden cross and telescope. After taking a well-deserved break to marvel at the breathtaking 360-degree mountain panorama, you can then retrace your steps back to the starting point.

Judith Niederwanger and Alexander Pichler run a successful hiking and photography blog called “Roter Rucksack” (German for “red backpack”). Their Facebook page of the same name has over 20,000 likes, and they have racked up 17,000 followers on Instagram. In 2023, they released their second German-language book (“Klick dein Wanderglück!” published by Raetia), which presents 45 new hikes and photo spots in South Tyrol.

24–70 mm @ 24 mm f/3,5 1/1000 s

Taken on 2 July 2022 at 7:20pm

Canon EOS R6

Gitschberg Jochtal – Brixen

Ski week special 7=6


The exclusive promotional weeks of the ski areas Gitschberg Jochtal-Brixen in January. Take advantage of our special deals in all areas: accommodations, ski tickets, ski rental, ski lessons.

Included services:

- 7 nights for the price of 6

- 6-day ski ticket for the price of 5 days (discount valid from 07.01.2024)

- Equipment rental and group ski lessons with the 6 for 5 formula



& snow 7=6


Included services: 7 nights for the price of 6 6-day ski ticket for the price of 5 days (discount valid from 17.03.2024)

Equipment rental and group ski lessons with the 6 for 5 formula

The packages can only be booked at participating accommodation establishments. All information is provided without guarantee. Offer time frames are subject to change. All up-to-date information can be found on our website. MORE THAN 100 KM OF PISTES –ONE SINGLE SKI PASS OFFLINE IS THE NEW BLACK 350 SHOPS IN THE OLD TOWN

Articles inside

At the Heart of it All

page 82

Mythical Places

pages 78-81

Beautiful Things

pages 76-77

Klausen/Chiusa –One of the Most Beautiful Old Towns in Italy

page 75

To Stay or To Go?

pages 69-74

A Short Dictionary of South Tyrolean

pages 67-68

A Beginner’s Guide to South Tyrol

pages 66-67

In the Far North

pages 64-65

Flying High

pages 62-63


page 61


pages 58-61


pages 57-58

Goldcoated pills

pages 53, 56-57

Luxury Medicine

page 52

Let’s Go Biking!

pages 50-51

and Biker

pages 46-49

Bursting with Nature

pages 34-45

Mum, look How pretty!

page 33

Treasured Traditions

pages 20-32

Q&A with...

page 18


page 17

Exploring History with Gufi

pages 16-17

K is for... Kaserbach

page 16

This Issue’s Lucky Number NEW & APPROVED News from the region

pages 14-15

Never Standing Still!

pages 6-13
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