Italy’s most beautiful garden, the Val Pusteria and the surrounding area

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my travelogue goes on…
Insights into exotic Mediterranean landscapes and views of the surrounding mountain chains and sun-kissed Meran the gardens of Trauttsmandorf’s Castle and the Botanical Gardens compromise eighty natural and cultivated landscapes nestled into a natural amphitheatre, a wide array of themed gardens, and numerous Artist Pavilions and Experience stations. (The gardens are open daily in the warmer months; an admission fee is charged). Empress Elisabeth of Austria was a frequent visitor to the Meran and the gardens. P1070618Today the castle grounds contain -as I’ve already mentioned above -about 80 gardens of local and exotic plants, organized by region of origin, including typical landscapes of South Tyrol. Principal features of interest include:

Forests of the world – conifers and deciduous trees from the Americas and Asia.

Oleander Steps – flowering oleander, an ancient olive trees, etc.

Sun Gardens – cultivated plants of the Mediterranean, including cypress, figs, grapevines, lavender, and Italy’s northernmost olive grove.

Water and Terraced Gardens – various gardens, including a formal Italian garden, English garden, and sensual garden.P1070607

The gardens also contained Aesculapian snakes in their natural habitat, courtesy of the Alpine Zoo of Innsbruck, an aviary, a Japanese alluvial forest, rice terraces, and tea plantations. After being named Italy’s most beautiful Garden in 2005 and Europe’s No.6 Garden in 2006, Trauttsmandorf was honored with International Garden of the Year award in 2013, thus joining the ranks of the world’s most important and beautiful gardens and parks.

Well, the garden was really gorgeous, well organized and well cared but I was a bit disappointed with the castle, because in addition to some Sissi’s left behind period furniture, a large part of the museum was filled with (for me) irrelevant objects. But I discovered later that the museum was devoted to the history of tourism. Well, despite of this fact the execution of the theme was rather confusing but the garden compensated for everything.


Left behind the Tondi di Faloria where we enjoyed a last glance at the city of Meran we left for the territory of Val Pusteria. That area is bordered to the south by the Dolomites and by the central Alps to the north. From the end of the 13C until the 16C it belonged to the County of Gorizia and formed part of the Strada Alemagna (German highway), a road which linked Venice and Germany. This itinerary began in Bressanone (Brixen in German), and continued into the Pusteria valley. In that territory our first stop was Bressanone, in a breath taking gorgeous town. Set at the confluence of the River Rienza and River Isarco. It was an elegant, typically Tyrolean town that enjoys a dry, invigorating climate with an exceptionally high number of hours of sunshine. There were many reminders of its eventful past. It was conquered by the Romans in 15BC, was the seat of Prince Bishop from 1207 to 1803, became Bavarian for seven years from 1806 to 1813, and then belonged to Austria until 1919 when it became an Italian town. After seeing the Baroque cathedral and the city most famous buildings such as the Romanesque cloisters with Gothic frescoes, we went to Palazzo Vescovile and walked around at the superb courtyard surrounded by three storeys of arcades which was the Prince Bishop residence Bruno de Kirchberg’s. Then we got really hungry so that we wanted to submerged in the local cuisine immediately! In no time we found a beautiful restaurant, called Birreria, where I ate an excellent Ravioli filled with artichoke and garnished with in butter grilled cherry tomato!P1070455


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