Gateway to the Dolomites

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Gateway to the Dolomites

Bozen or Bolzano. German and Italian. Both languages are spoken in this gateway to the spectacular Dolomite mountain range in South Tyrol, a small region in Northern Italy that belonged to Austria until the end of World War II. Even until today the people of this region would like to belong to Austria rather than Italy. Their desire is reflected all around the city; in the architecture, the upkeep of the historic quarters, the elegant shopping arcades, the chic cafes and restaurants, the green parks and walking trails along the river. After exploring the historic town center, we stepped back in time at the archeological museum to meet the 4000 year old iceman Oetzi who has stirred up the scientific community since his discovery in September of 1991. This special exhibition about Oetzi spreads over four floors and features every scientific finding since this frozen man from the copper age was dug up from the ice. Out of the museum, we headed up a steep cobblestone path to Runkelstein Castle, also named the “illustrated castle” due to the large numbers of well preserved wall paintings. Down the hill again and back to the city center along the romantic river trail, we admired the majestic Dolomites rising in the distance over Maretsch Castle guarding the river.More info can be found at http://www.bolzano-bozen.it, http://www.eisacktal.com, wikitravel.org

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