|Hotel *** Lichtenstern
I-39054 Oberbozen / Ritten, Renon
phone: +39 0471 345147
fax: +39 0471 345635
Some excursion tips starting from our Hotel on Ritten Renon
At this point nobody could have imagined that the dead man and the objects around him were soon to gain worldwide fame. The story of a 20th century archaeological sensation was about to unfold. Six days after the mummy was discovered, an archaeologist was finally brought in. Konrad Spindler, professor of Ancient and Early History at Innsbruck University, inspected the corpse and the finds and, based on the typology of the axe, immediately dated the whole find to be "at least four thousand years old". Until this discovery, such a well preserved find of a human several thousand years old - fully clothed and with numerous personal belongings - had never before been seen anywhere in the world. Undisputable proof of the authenticity and extraordinary age of the Iceman and his possessions was provided by C-14 analysis. This method of dating organic material is commonly used by archaeologists. Four different scientific institutions analyzed tissue samples from the corpse and the finds. The results were unequivocal: the Iceman lived between 3350 and 3100 BC. To conserve the Iceman it was necessary to artificially simulate the conditions of the glacier ice: a temperature of -6°C and a relative humidity of 98%. To achieve this, a sophisticated automated refrigeration system was developed whose numerous sensors transmit measurements such as air pressure, temperature, relative humidity, air composition and body weight as well as the functioning of the refrigeration system. To stop the mummy from gradually drying out, the cell walls are lined with tiles of ice.
Ötzi - the Iceman
The Iceman - generally known as "Ötzi"- on display at the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Bolzano is one of the world's best-known and most important mummies. On 19th September 1991, two hikers, Erika and Helmut Simon, from Nuremberg in Germany, were walking in the Ötztal Alps. Descending from the Finail peak in the Tisenjoch area, the Simons decided to take a shortcut and left the marked footpath. As they walked past a rocky gully filled with meltwater, they noticed something brown on the gully bed. At first they thought it must be some sort of rubbish, but on closer inspection they realized that they had discovered a human corpse. Before leaving the scene, they took a photograph of what they thought to be the unfortunate victim of a mountaineering accident a few years back.
City tours through the historical city of Bolzano for our guests from Renon will be offered on Wednesdays at 10 am. Only in line with a guided tour the entry to the historical buildings will be permitted. Concluding the tour the guide can provide access to the well frequented museum without long queue time.
The vicinity of the Dolomites, the variety of museums including the Archaeological Museum and its most famous exhibit, "Ötzi", the 5.300 year-old "Man from the Glacier", the numerous cultural events as well as the trendy boutiques beneath the medieval arcades called the Lauben in the historic centre, combine to make Bolzano uniquely attractive.
Bolzano - where north meets south
The South Tyrolean main town Bolzano is a true melting pot of cultures. For centuries, merchants and artists on their way between Italy and the North came through Bolzano on the old Roman trade route. The brisk cross-border trade has strongly influenced life and culture in Bolzano, and led to the culturally open attitude of its citizens. Today Bolzano, whose official and commonly-spoken languages are German and Italian, is a modern European town which attracts business people and tourists from all over the world. What makes Bolzano even more attractive is its high quality of life, its visible proximity to the magnificent Dolomites, and its central position in the heart of Europe.
The Lauben is a mile long street in the city centre with medieval arcades along its entire course, now housing countless high street shops. These medieval arcades are considered to be the town's landmark. Strolling through the arcades you can't help but being constantly amazed by the wrought-iron emblems, display windows and showcases. In the shops, cafés and delicatessen happens Bolzano's daily life. And that has also been so in the 12th century when the arcades were built by bishops from Trentino in order to boost trade in the south of South Tyrol.
Little side note: Still today the subterraneous creek Ritsch flows through the Lauben alleyway which supplied the Lauben-houses with tap water in former times.
After expensive and detailed restoration works during the 90ies of the last century, the castle was reopened in April 2000 and today it is one of the most frequented castles in South Tyrol. Today during the summer months are arranged some concerts or performances. The tavern offers typical regional food; on some occasions you also have the possibility to taste medieval dishes and recipes. Below the castle you find a free parking place for cars and busses. From the parking place you can go up to the castle in 8 minutes on the "Kaiser- Franz- Josef-Weg"-path. It's also possible to reach the castle by bus from town.
Runkelstein castle - the illustrated castle
Runkelstein Castle is located on a rocky spur in the territory of Renon near the city of Bolzano. From this really favourable strategic position it was possible to control the trade route to or from the North. The Romanesque castle was erected by the brothers Friedrich and Beral of Wangen, Lords, in 1237.In the rooms of the castle you can see scenes and frescoes which are said to be a testimony of the daily life of the nobles, the fashion of this time the joust and the ideas of the end of the 14th century and an art-historical, invaluable jewel of the medieval time. In 1893 Emperor Franz Joseph gave the castle as a gift to the inhabitants of Bolzano.
Opening hours: Open Tuesday to Sunday from 10.00am until 6.00pm
» Link to official site
Maria Himmelfahrt - summer health resort for families of Bolzano
First Maria Himmelfahrt was known because the treasured porphyry stone was mined there which was used for the dome of Bolzano. But over the years people learned to appreciate the pleasant temperatures during summertime. As a consequence the first summer health resorts were built by wealthy merchants of Bolzano in the 17th century. So they spent their summers there in order to escape the heat of the provincial capital. The traditional summer health lasted exactly 72 days. On the 29th June household and personal effects, the whole kit and caboodle were packed into the so-called "Pennen" (big, willow-woven baskets) and were brought up to the "freshness". Only notable merchants of Bolzano were entitled to make use of this privilege. They resided in manorial villas, built only for the summer months - without heating and insulated windows.
Stony men - 'Stoanerne Mandln'
A very special place is the peak of "Großer Reisch" in the valley of Sarntal. On the plateau of the peak at a height of 2001 metres there are dozens of head-high men made of stone. They serve as orientation in the pathless terrain. These stony men in the valley of Sarntal have existed already for a half century and if you believe the court records from 1540 to be true, these men have once been the setting for witches' dances. Still today, the place has something undeniable magic - the fantastic view from the 2001 metres high mountain over the Dolomites and the Texel-group and Ortler-group is not to be sneezed at!
The first interventions to recover the arena's function as a theatre began during the Renaissance. Some operatic performances were later mounted in the building during the 1850s, owing to its outstanding acoustics. In 1913, operatic performances in the arena commenced in earnest due to the zeal and initiative of the great Italian opera tenor Giovanni Zenatello and the impresario Ottone Rovato. The first 20th-century operatic production at the arena, a staging of Giuseppe Verdi's Aida, took place on 10 August of that year, to mark the birth of Verdi a 100 years before in 1813. Musical luminaries such as Puccini and Mascagni were in attendance. Since then, summer seasons of opera have been mounted continually at the arena, except in 1915-18 and 1940-45, when Europe was convulsed in war. Nowadays, four productions are mounted each year between June and August. During the winter months, the local opera and ballet companies perform at the L'Accademia Filarmonica. Modern-day travellers are advised that admission tickets to sit on the arena's stone steps are much cheaper to buy than tickets giving access to the padded chairs available on lower levels. Candles are distributed to the audience and lit after sunset around the arena. Every year over 500,000 people see spectacular productions of the popular operas in this arena. Once capable of housing 20,000 patrons per performance (now limited to 15,000 because of safety reasons), the arena has featured many of world's most notable opera singers. In the post-World War Two era, they have included Giuseppe Di Stefano, Maria Callas, Tito Gobbi and Renata Tebaldiamong other celebrated names. A number of famous conductors have appeared there, too. The official arena shop has historical recordings made by some of them available for sale. In recent times, the arena has also hosted concerts of popular artists.
Verona Arena & Aida
Verona is one of the main tourist destinations in northern Italy, thanks to its artistic heritage, several annual fairs, shows, and operas, such as the lyrical season in the Arena, the ancient amphitheatre built by the Romans. It is one of the best preserved ancient structures of its kind. The building itself was built in AD 30 on a site which was then beyond the city walls. The ludi (shows and games) staged there were so famous that spectators came from many other places, often far away, to witness them. The amphitheatre could host more than 30,000 spectators in ancient times. The round façade of the building was originally composed of white and pink limestone from Valpolicella; but after a major earthquake in 1117, which almost completely destroyed the structure's outer ring, except for the so-called "ala", the stone was quarried for re-use in other buildings.
Aida is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi . The setting of the opera is ancient Egypt at the times of the pharaohs. Aida, an Ethiopian princess, is captured and brought into slavery in Egypt. A military commander, Radames, struggles to choose between his love for her and his loyalty to the Pharaoh. To complicate the story further, Radames is loved by the Pharaoh's daughter Amneris, although he does not return her feelings.
The opera takes about two hours and 15 minutes.
Performances between 20th June and 30th August.
The ancient fortified town of Sirmione, located on the south of the lake, is one particularly popular destination, home to the Virgilio & Catullo Spa Complexes, as well as numerous restaurants, bars, hotels, fashion stores and a market. The picturesque Scaliger castle dates from the 13th century. The Roman poet Catullus had a villa here, and visitors can see a ruined Roman spa named the Grotte di Catullo (Grotto of Catullus) although there is no evidence linking him to this particular building. The sulfur springs at the tip of the peninsula have a reputation for the healing of catarrhal conditions, particularly those involving the ear. Nearby, there is Gardaland, one of the most famous theme parks in Italy.
Lake Garda is the largest lake in Italy with 369.98 km². It is located in Northern Italy, about half-way between Brescia and Verona, and between Venice and Milan. Glaciers formed this alpine region at the end of the last ice age. The lake and its shoreline are divided between the provinces of Verona (to the southeast), Brescia (southwest), and Trento (north). Being easily accessible from the north via the Brenner Pass, the lake is a major tourist destination, including a number of exclusive hotels and resorts along its shore. We can recommend a boat trip. The northern part of the lake is narrower, surrounded by mountains, the majority of which belong to the Gruppo del Baldo. The lake has numerous small islands and five main ones, the largest being Isola del Garda.
Spa town Merano
Merano is after Bolzano the second biggest town in South Tyrol. During the 13th century the Counts at Castle Tyrol elevated Merano to the status of a city and made it the capital of their County of Tyrol. Nowadays it is generally known for its spa resorts, it is located within a basin, surrounded by mountains standing up to 3,335 m (11,000 ft), at the entrance to the Passeier Valley, the Vinschgau and the Ulten Valley. In the past the town has been a popular place of residence for several scientists, literates and artists, including Franz Kafka, Ezra Pound and Paul Lazarsfeld, who appreciated its mild climate. Among the town's landmarks are the Museum of Tourism, which was opened in the spring of 2003 and shows the historical development of tourism in the province, and the Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle, a botanical garden. Both sites are located in the Trauttmansdorff Castle. Also notable are the numerous shops and stores in Merano's arcades as well as the racecourse which is the biggest one in Europe. In summer there are concerts on the promenade almost daily, and there are fine walks around the town and in the surrounding hills.
Above Merano lies Tirolo (Dorf Tirol)
In the heart of the nature park of Texel rises Tirolo, the panoramic terrace above Merano. The eye-catcher of the Mediterranean-Alpine municipality of Tirolo is Castle Tirolo, the former seat of the Counts of Tyrol. Tirolo extends from the valley basin via the lower mountain range of the Kuechelberg up to the Lakes of Sopranes at 2,500 m above sea level The area of Tirolo is full of contrast and characterised by cypresses, palm trees and oleander on the one hand, while in higher altitudes coniferous trees and alpine flowers grow. Not for nothing also Sissi was enchanted by this village. The climate is rather Mediterranean with less rain and many hours of sun, which is favourable for the cultivation of grapevines. Not only its location close to the Gruppo di Tessa nature park, but also the vast network of hiking paths including some 70 km of well-marked trails such as the Alta Via Meranese and the trail of the Sopranes lakes make Tirolo a first-class destination for those who love hiking. Also recommendable is a visit to the Muthof farms as well as Castle Tirolo with its provincial museum. The whole year round Tirolo offers theme holidays for hikers, gourmets, people interested in culture and many more target groups. The cultural festival "Tiroler Kulturfrühling", the Christmas Market at Castel Tirolo, the Soirées in the castle and VinoCulti make your holidays in Tirolo a lasting experience.
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