Christmas markets are one of the most typical traditions of South Tyrol. The air is filled with the smell of hot spicy wine, apple juice or other fruit punches that play with the rich buttery scent of fresh made waffles. Everywhere is a blossoming of wool handmade accessories. Of materials transformed into lamps. Angels, stars, Santa’s, snow flakes and similar elements craved into wood can be found next to glass balls decorations for the Christmas tree. Food stands offer hot-dogs prepared with local sausages, the sound of folk music creates a warm armosphere enlightened by smiles, hugs, chats.
Organized either in the most central squares of the city, like it happens in Bolzano or Bressanone, or inside the many castles of the region, they offer hand-made objects, as well as organic produce and typical specialties both sweet and savory.
Bolzano is a small but fascinating city. With its ancient Dome, and the medieval ‘portici’ it shows the fascinating meeting between the Alps on the one side and the Mediterranean on the other. Language, architecture, food: everything is unique in its kind. The locals can speak perfect German and Italian. Many dishes can be eaten as well in Southern Germany or Austria. An example? The typical ‘apple strudel’, or the ‘breztel’ filled with speck, cheese and gherkins. Not to mention the bread dumpling called ‘canederli’. The apple strudel is a dessert made up with a filling of apples, sultanas, pine kernels and breadcrumbs into a thin pastry, folded and folded and folded to create a roll. It’s served warm, accompanied by with vanilla ice, sauce or cream.
In South Tyrol everything tastes delicious and savory dishes too won’t leave you disappointed. Try the local cheese and smoked ham for instance: they’re both oustanding!
The whole region is very fascinating: breathtaking landscapes with the beautiful curtain of the Alps behind/around, pure mountain lakes, ancient traditions, which local farmers and artisans are keeping alive with a mix of courage, effort and pride. Besides Bolzano, South Tyrol has many other wonders to offer: Merano, the capital of spa treatments, that impressed famous writers such as Franz Kafka and Erza Pound; the vineyards where some of the most awarded white wines of Italy are produced, the Dolomites, with their rocky landscapes, as well as some of the most thrilling ski runs of the whole Europe. If you want to know more, have a look at here.
My suggestion is to reach Bolzano by train: from Milano it’s a long journey by car and along one of the most crowded highways which connects Milano to Venice. In order to feel more relaxed and not to risk a long queue due to traffic, travelling by train is far more comfortable. The train takes you from Milano to Verona (where you have to change and catch an other train) and then from Verona to Bolzano.
As regards the accomodation, there are many different opportunities, according to budget and personal preferences. If you’re staying in the city, for a quick visit or a weekend, hotel rooms are less expensive than in main cities of Italy, such as Milano, Florence, Venice or Rome and offer very high value for money. I stayed at the Scala Hotel, which means ‘Staircase’: it’s a quite standard 4 stars hotel with swimming pool (very beautiful in summer) with a very tasty restaurant and a comfortable location in the very city centre. From there, the walk to the main square of the city, called Walther Square, with the ancient church and the Christmas markets, or to the ‘portici’ full of nice shops and boutiques is very short and lovely.
Over the years, through short trips to my parent’s house back and forth, I’ve mastered the art of packing my suitcase. To Bolzano, I brought with me two winter essentials for the lips: Dior Lip Maximizer and Claris Insant Light Natural Lip perfector, as the weather there is very cold in this season.
As regards the make up bag, I took with me a Mac concealer, Clinique anti-blemish solutions foundation, a liquid black eye liner from Estee Lauder, a champagne-y eye shadow from L’Oréal and a natural medium brown from Mac to apply into the eye crease, for a very soft effect. What else? A dash of color on the cheeks thanks to Make Up Forever and its creamy blush. I took no blusher brushes with me, as this applies perfectly with the finger tips. To reduce the space even more, I tried to keep with me only products I can easily work with the hands.
Coming to skincare, everything was travel-sized or carried in mini quantity: from the intimate wash, to the deodorant, the eye make up remover, eye cream and moisturizer. If you’re wondering about the two transparent pots, they contain a little vanilla-scented body butter from Sephora and Clinique Take the day off. The best make up remover balm I’ve tested up until now.
I’m looking forward to share with you my next travel beauty bag and the pictures of a new location. Thanks for reading the post and enjoy your day!