Use this beautiful and historic town, the oldest in South Tyrol, as a base for exploring the dramatic peaks and verdant valleys of the Dolomite mountain range.
Bressanone, or Brixen in German, is the longest-standing town in Italy’s heavily Austrian-influenced region of South Tyrol. Use this spot as an idyllic base for exploring the surrounding Dolomites, a beacon for outdoor lovers. Even if you’re not a hiking or skiing fan, find plenty of charm and appeal amid the cobbled lanes and Baroque architecture of this scenic and historic place.
The first written records mentioning a town here at the junction of the Isarco and Rienza rivers date back to 901. Wander the narrow, winding streets and find signs of its long history everywhere. With medieval buildings lining the streets, a visit here lets you feel that you have truly traveled back in time.
Start your tour at Bressanone Cathedral. A church has stood in this spot since 980, but after several fires struck the site, it was rebuilt in the mid-18th century. Take photos of its gorgeous façade, with elegant columns and elaborate twin clock towers. Admire the many rich details of the interior, including colorful frescoes and an ornate altar. Visit the cloisters, known for their striking painted ceilings.
Another important historic site is the Bishop’s Palace. Pay an entrance fee and then step inside the museum, which includes many beautiful medieval works of art. The nearby Pharmacy Museum is also quite special. It is contained within a gorgeous historic townhouse. The collections have an unusual focus, as they explore the history of medicine.
Ride the Plose Cable Lift to access the simply stunning Plose Mountain. In summer, its beautiful wooded slopes are filled with hikers. Come in winter, however, and switch walking boots for skis.
Take the train to Bressanone to see the gorgeous scenery of the Dolomites as you travel. Any season of the year is a wonderful time for a visit, as even in the colder months, the great local winter sports facilities provide plenty to do.