In 2009 Brunico was awarded as the small-medium city in Italy with the best quality of life. And actually this small town in the heart of Val Pusteria, in Trentino Alto Adige, is not just a summer and winter tourist pole of great attraction, but also a cultural and economic center tailored to its approximately 15 inhabitants and also to the many young people, at least 5, who converge here during the school period from all over the valley. Located at 835 meters above sea level, it is dominated by its imposing castle which testifies to its ancient origins. And from the nearby mountain, defined as "at home", Crown Plan. A "panettone" 2275 meters high, in winter it represents the first ski area ofSouth Tyrol with its 119 kilometers of slopes. In summer it is the destination of many excursions and walks for those who love to go on foot but also for mountain bike enthusiasts. With the common denominator of the splendid landscapes that can be admired from these mountains. Plan de Corones is located on the watershed between Val Pusteria and Val di Marebbe, with the peaks of the Dolomites in the background.
The history of Brunico, born on the ancient communication route that connected Munich to Venice
The history of Brunico is interesting, a medieval town that was born on a very important communication route already at the time, because it connected Munich with Venice. It is no coincidence that there was a Customs House in Brunico, and that the commercial, artisanal but also hospitality businesses were very flourishing right from the start, precisely because they were linked to this road junction. Brunico is mentioned for the first time in some documents from 1256, and its name probably derives from the prince-bishop of nearby Bressanone, Bruno of the Swabian family von Bullenstätten und Kirchberg, who had a castle built to guard his possessions in the central Val Pusteria near a church and a small residential settlement. The first nucleus of Brunico.
A series of houses aligned to form a single street within the walls frame the picturesque Via Centrale which, with its medieval layout, it is still very similar to how it was in the XNUMXth century. You enter the city center by four doors decorated with frescoes. The eastern gate leads to the "upper town" which is dominated by the Sternbach Palace. It is surrounded by the walls of the Castle. This is also very old, from the XNUMXth century. It dominates the city from the top of a hill. Since July 2011 it hosts the fifth Reinhold Messner Mountain Museum - MMM Ripa and the mountain peoples. The sixth, MMM Corones, is located on the summit of Plan di Corones. Designed by Zaha Hadid, it is a journey into the world of the mountains.
On the Plan de Corones, where the Giro d'Italia also arrived
Not only the Messner museums but also the civic one of Brunico which, in addition to a historical collection of precious testimonies especially of sacred art, hosts temporary exhibitions every year. A curiosity is also part of the museum world of Brunico: the Museum of fire brigade helmets in nearby Gais. There are over seven hundred and they come from all over the world! But since in these parts nature is the real queen, one cannot but remember that, if Plan de Corones in winter is a paradise for skiers, in summer it becomes the temple of cycling. In fact, an extraordinary network of paths winds on the mountain and its surroundings, including cycle paths and mountain bike routes, of 1163 km.. Itineraries in the green valley floors with stretches along the streams, touching typical agglomerations of farms or historical centers, around Brunico and in the valleys of Anterselva and Casies. In the sunny highlands of Chienes, Terento, Falzes. And even in the most arduous paths of the Furcia, Erbe, Stalle passes, and on the top of the mountain. Not by chance in recent years the main stage of the Tour of Italy got its stage right here, with a very tough time trial from San Vigilio di Marebbe.
In Brunico to enjoy nature, to breathe history, to enjoy extraordinary landscapes, to get lost in walks where the green never seems to end. And also to taste many gastronomic specialties, born from a poor cuisine that has been able to wisely use the few products that grew in the valley. Three cuisines - Italian, German and Ladin - have coexisted in these parts for a very long time. Side by side, enriching and influencing each other.
(credit photo in evidence: IDM Südtirol-Alto Adige / Harald Wisthaler)