From the 4th to the 6th of this month we were excited to go and explore the Christmas markets. Matteo and Roberta (my brother-in-law and his girlfriend) unexpectedly booked a place near Ortisei for 2 nights as their gift wedding for us, so sweet! And very much appreciated since my husband and I were really keen on spending a few days in the cold, picturesque Christkindlmarkt (Christmas markets in South Tirol).
We invited our Australian friends Tim and Damien to follow us on our three-days journey. After leaving Padua at around 9am and some stops along the way, we started off with a visit to Merano.
This is possibly the most famous market of the area with hundreds of stalls: typical south Tirolean food (speck, polenta, sausages, vin brulè), handmade organic products (soaps, moisturizes, lavender crafts) and many different handicrafts (wooden sculptures, ceramic creations, woolen hats, scarves and gloves, rag dolls, and many others).
We recovered from the cold and merciless weather with a delicious hot meal and then went straight to bed…almost exhausted.
The following day we headed towards north. In one hour and a half we arrived in the German-speaking Innsbruck. I personally loved the “Goldenes Dachl” the golden roof symbol of the city. It sits on the façade of the Neuer Hof, the ancient palace of the counts from Tirol. The roof is covered by 2657 shingles made of gold-plated copper.
The fairy tale street was an highlight for me: giant statues of characters from famous fairy tale looking out the windows with sometimes passages from the very story written next to them.
In the afternoon we said our arrivederci to Innsbruck and traveled south the way we came from. Bressanone was the last stop of the day, with its pretty, tiny, sparkling, rounded square, this was beyond a doubt my favourite market! The stalls here follow the circular shape of the piazza del Duomo. I could breathe a different atmosphere, less commercial and more intimate. A well deserved stop at the local restaurant became compulsory and I tasted some of the specialties of the region: canederli (giant balls made of breadcrumbs, eggs and flour) with spinach, cheese and beetroot.
On our last day we visited the close by town of Ortisei, the magic of Christmas was still around, perfectly preserved thanks to the colorful decorations, Christmas trees and wooden stalls.
I was waiting for the final stop: Bolzano. The only market that was new for me. The town is amazingly beautiful, I enjoyed both strolling in the streets of the town centre and visiting the market itself. The leading color was red, the decorations, bows, ribbons, everything was incredibly red!
In addition to the happiness for a holiday spent together we enjoyed a frisky mood that spread among the group due to Roberta’s birthday that we celebrated throughout the day.
Thank you guys for a fantastic wedding gift and white winter days!
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