Two weekends ago we were hopping around sunny Italy, thanks to the long Bank holiday weekend and an unbelievably reasonable last minute hotel deal. As Switzerland is nicely nestled in bang in the middle of Europe, it's very easy to reach our neighbours, which is fantastic when you've got itchy feet.
This time we went to visit our southern neighbours. And boy, was that a nice drive.
This part of the world is incredibly lush in spring, showing off every shade of green imaginable. Orchards and vineyards as far as the eye can see, even snuggled in between houses in towns and villages, with impressive mountains as a backdrop. It would be incredible to come back for another visit when the apple trees are in blossom.
Al lago di Tovel
But there is more on offer than just green. The South Tryol region has got some charming towns which ooze mediterranean flair. We went to explore this trio - Merano, Bolzano & Trento. As luck would have it, Merano presented us with "La paseggiata dei Sapori" - "The Gourmet Walk." Mmmmh yummy, a must visit for sure.
Next we headed to colourful Bolzano, which spoiled us with some brilliant sunshine. It's also home to a small archaeological museum, which used to be one of the quietest places in town but not anymore. An impressive queue winds round the small building all day long.
The reason for this is one (ice) man - famous Ötzi. He was discovered by hikers in 1991 in the Ötztal Alps, on the border between Austria and Italy. The 5'300 year old ice man has now found his final resting place in Bolzano.
Last but not least picturesque Trento, the capital of Trentino located in the Adige River valley.
After so much exploration of the countryside and hopping around beautiful towns you get very hungry but that's not a problem at all around here. Look at this..
You can try this and so much more in the Ristorante Pizzeria Agostini in the small mountain village of Fai della Paganella, our home for the weekend.
The restaurant was situated right around the corner from our hotel, the lovely Hotel Paganella. This family run hotel is a very friendly place, with spacious rooms and an inviting outdoor seating area. At breakfast you're looked after by the nonna herself, who dishes up a great spread to start the day. Afterwards you think you're full until you come across the next tasty treat that is - Italy is full of them :-)