Among the Upper Adige fruit trees, vineyards and welcoming medieval towns, a long itinerary starts in Terlano, a small township in the surroundings of Bolzano, runs along the Adige River and reaches Resia Pass, which is situated on the borderline with Austria.
Terlano is a farming center, known for its valuable wine productions, such as white wines made with Pinot blanc and Chardonnay grapes. Well worthy a visit is the historical winery of Terlano, that invites visitors to taste and buy wine. From the town of Vilipiano instead, along a nice panoramic road or a few minutes' trip by cableway, one reaches Meltina, the starting point of many excursion tracks and a recommended stop for wine connoisseurs.
A few kilometers after Lana, an industrious town situated in a wonderful natural environment, the itinerary arrives in the beautiful city of Merano. It is a city full of castles and princely palazzi, spas and perfectly geometrical gardens, it has always been a popular venue for vacations and treatments. Walking around downtown or along the banks of the Passirio River, one can still detect an extraordinary fin de siècle atmosphere, which in the past fascinated many important people, such as Kafka, who stayed here in 1920, and princess Sissi, who used to spend her vacations here. In the exclusive downtown restaurants one must taste the local dishes, heirs of the aristocratic Hapsburg tradition and the farmers' cooking, while the many old stocks of vintage wines offer valuable local wines such as Meranese di Collina.
Leaving Merano, there is more than one reason why one should proceed for the Vintschgau Valley. The townships of this area, apart from being producers of Doc white wines such as Chardonnay, Kerner, Müller Thurgau and Pinot Blanc, preserve artistic monuments of inestimable value. Recommend a visit to Naturno, with its small Roman church of Saint Procolo, whose paintings are a rare example of pre-Carolingian art, Silandro, with its high bell-tower and medieval fort; and finally the wonderful fortified town of Glorenza, completely surrounded by 6th century walls, a unique feature for the region. Glorenza still preserves the atmosphere of an old medieval town and it is for sure worth a visit.
Malles is very typical with its church of Saint Benedict and the most important pre-Carolingian paintings in Europe, and the Benedictine abbey of Monte Maria. Among the typical products an absolute delicacy is the Speck, the production of which is finest at in Vintschgau Valley. After Malles, one reaches the famous artificial Lake Curon Vintschgau, with the bell-tower of the old town emerging from its water and the Resia Pass that marks the border between Italy and Austria.