At the very beginning of August, Christian and I spent a week of hiking in Südtirol, an area in the Alps of Northern Italy. We drove, so we made a small tour through Switzerland to get there. We started in Basel and had a short visit with family and then we drove on to Zürich. We only spent an hour or two in Zürich, just walking through the city and picking up a few things for a picnic lunch. It is definitely worth a longer visit at some point. From there, we drove further south for a stop in St. Moritz. I had wanted to stop there because it is a popular skiing area among celebrities. I was actually a bit let down. They do have expensive & probably very nice hotels, plus all the designers boutiques. I just thought it would be more glamorous & maybe it is during winter but when we were there it didn’t look as picturesque as some of the other ski towns we drove through.
We drove further south through Switzerland until finally reaching the Italian border.
After almost a full day of driving & our stops, we spent the night in the town of Tirano at a B&B called Contrada Beltramelli. This used to be a multi-use building for families to live & cook, as well as house farm animals & agricultural equipment. It has been renovated and now functions as a B&B. They did such an interesting job of renovating the building. We had dinner in their restaurant as well, where they serve local dishes.
The next morning, we had a beautiful drive through the Passo Dello Stelvio (Stelvio Pass or the Stilfser Joch in German). This is the highest paved mountain pass in the Eastern Alps. There were many bicyclists on the road, as well as quite a few cars, so we took our time and made a couple stops.
We made it to the top of the pass and still had a long, windy way to drive down. I can’t imagine cycling up or down this mountain pass!
Looking back up the steep section of the pass. We still would need to drive further down the mountains.
After exiting the pass road, we took a little detour towards the northeast, near a town called Sluderno (Schluderns in German). We had a picnic lunch and made a small hike right outside of town.
Our last stop before finally arriving at our destination in Südtirol was Merano (Meran in German). It is known as a spa town. It is right on the Passer River and is apparently also a popular canoeing area.
I really don’t enjoy car trips. I am quickly bored & antsy but the scenery through the mountains and going through all the small towns in Switzerland and northern Italy was stunning. I loved the flowers every where! I was so happy that we did do this drive & as you can see from our itinerary, that we made quite a few stops so we weren’t continuously in the car. It was the best way to enjoy the sights of this region during the summer!