South Tirol: From the Valley to the Mountains

An idyllic place in the mountains, a lake nested in a green valley between rich vineyards: the Kalterer See in South Tirol. Overlooking the lake is an old castle ruin. A place to dream, to relax and enjoy food, wine and nature.


Kaltern is a village at the famous Wine Road in Northern Italy. We went there for a camping holiday in summer 2016. There are several camping sites around the lake – we picked one that is quiet and in the middle of the biotope. That means peace but also mosquitos. 😉


A beautiful door handle in Kaltern am See.


Kaltern am See – a pretty village at the Wine Road in South Tirol, Italy.


The iron gate to the vineyard in Kaltern.


Fresh green grapes.

The biggest city to visit at the Wine Road is Bozen, a touristy city where Italian and Austrian architecture is mixed in a beautiful way. But the most impressive thing we did was a hike on the ridge of the mountains. We took the funicular railway “Mendelbahn” from Kaltern to the top and then walked up the Mount Roen (2116 m).


On top of the world.

It was an exhausting hike because of the heat, even if it wasn’t as cruel as down in the valley. But the view and diversity of flowers were worth everything!

For a day trip we drove to Kurzras in the north of South Tirol, in the Ötztal Alps. You can take the cable car up to the Grey Wall (“Graue Wand”) at a hight of 3212 meters. It is a popular place for skiing in winter and they found the mummy of Ötzi the Iceman not far from there.

Now in summer the hotel at the top was a like a ghost house and the mountains were covered in clouds. No spectacular view into the valley, but a surreal world of fog, rocks and damp cold air. Like another planet. Stunning!

3 things I learned in: Italy (Cinque Terre 2014)

pizza Italy1) Never ever show up at an Italian restaurant for dinner before 10 pm! You will disturb the owner’s family playing cards. Then you will witness how the father hurries to the kitchen, tying his apron around, while his daughter lights the candles on the tables and the son moves over behind the bar with his computer to continue playing. And you will feel like an idiot.

2) More eating rules. Just ordering one main dish (which is common in Germany) will also cause unbelieving stares by the staff. Besides, it probably won’t fill you up, because in Italy you eat lots of small portions after another: cold and warm starters (antipasti), two main courses (primo piatto = pasta; secondo piatto = meat or fish) and finally a dessert.

3) Always hold you bag in front of your belly when riding the train between the five villages of Cinque Terre. There are literally whole gangs of thieves. They are mainly young Roma women who play cat and mouse with the police, trying to jump on the train the last second before it takes off.

Read more about my trip to Cinque Terre and see a photo gallery here.