A SKI-LOCATION WITH A DIFFERENCE: FROM THE TOWN TO THE SLOPES
Bolzano is ideal for whoever in their skiing holiday also wants to experience a bit of culture and city-life, not just après-ski. No fewer than five ski-circuses can be reached in less than an hour. It’s only 25 to 40 minutes to the lifts at Obereggen, Carezza-Karerpass, Reinswald in the Sarntal valley or the Rittner Horn. The world-cup slopes of Val Gardena are less than an hour away. Bolzano has 105,000 inhabitants, just the right size to be manageable, but it still has lots to offer: restaurants with typical South Tyrolean or Italian food, bars and pubs, tempting shopping possibilities, museums and art-galleries and a host of cultural events to suit every taste. What’s more, Christmastime sees the enchanting Christmas market, which this year lasts from 26th November to 6th January.
The Sarntal valley is just half an hour’s drive from Bolzano along seven tunnels, the last of which opens up to a wonderful, unspoilt winter landscape with ancient farmsteads clinging to steep mountain slopes and with a small but lovely modern ski-circus extending from 1000 metres to 2500 metres, including a Europa-Cup piste with a 58% gradient. The toboggan run (4.5 km) is one of South Tyrol’s longest and is great fun for all the family.
The Ritten, one of Bolzano’s three local mountains, is famous for its amazing panoramic views and for its charming dejà-vue ski circus. A modern gondola lift whisks you up to the mountain station, while on the Horn itself drag-lifts evoke a 1960’s atmosphere, great fun in particular for those trying to escape the big crowds. Apart from the 15 km of pistes, there is also a toboggan run, a snowboard- park, cross-country tracks and snowshoeing trails connecting the Horn with the Villanderer Alm. The nearby village of Klobenstein has a speed-skating ice-rink, while for those who want to take it a bit easier there’s a lovely winter-walk through the woods to the frozen Wolfsgruben See lake.
The village of Obereggen at the foot of the mighty Latemar range, at an altitude of 1550 metres, is easily reachable along the recently-upgraded Eggental road and its two long tunnels, so it really is just a stone’s throw from Bolzano, making it the main skiing area for the townspeople. With its 48 km of perfectly-prepared pistes rising up to 2500 metres, its 18 lifts, a snowpark for snowboarders with a half-pipe and cross-boarder piste, with its cross-country trails and toboggan runs – it’s a veritable paradise for every winter-sports enthusiast from beginner to professional, from large to small. Close by is the Lavazè cross-country centre with tracks for every level of difficulty.
Carezza – Welschnofen
This is also in the Eggental valley, at the foot of the majestic Rosengarten range and just 30 minutes from Bolzano. This very sunny ski-circus with its 15 lifts, one of which starts directly from the big car-park in Welschnofen, is particularly popular with families. Over 40km of pistes, a kids‘ snow-park and the Christomannos snow-park with its obstacles and little ski-jumps, offer an all-round winter sports experience.