Listed among the most beautiful villages in Italy, it has been awarded the orange flag by the Touring Club. Architectural harmony, integrity of the urban fabric, high quality of the historical-artistic heritage. But also the presence and guarantee of punctual services to the citizen. The liveability that marries cultural and landscape beauty. An almost idyllic balance. Instead, it really exists! Up there, in what is the northernmost city in Italy, Vipiteno stands. A treasure chest in which all the charm of past times is kept.
Vipiteno: bits of history
Vipiteno is above all a pretty medieval village. What we can observe today is the result of a splendid past history. And in this all the sensitivity of having preserved and enhanced emerges. Arriving here for the first time, an element that acts as a “compass” stands out. It is the large civic tower that divides the old city from the new one. Also known as the Tower of the Twelve, it is the emblem of the village and allows you to orient yourself easily. Shops and hotels have taken the place of old shops and inns along Reichstrasse, the main street that crosses the more modern area. However, the city development did not affect the historical core.
Moving beyond the tower, in fact, you can breathe all the splendor left by a prosperous past, when Vipiteno knew the wealth of the mining industry. Silver together with the location of the village made the fortune of the city. Located along the most important trade routes, the small settlement immediately proved to be an interesting place. So the owner of the Fugger family, originally from Augusta, chose it as a center for sorting the products of the nearby mines. Of these important merchants and bankers, traces remain today in the “House of the Fuggers”.
A preserved past
The economic impulse led to a growth so that in the XII century Vipiteno obtained the recognition of “City”. The village soon became attractive also to emperors and royalty who chose it as a summer residence. That’s why castles peep out on the surrounding hills. Immersed in the vegetation they peer with austere air. Among these is Tasso Castle, one of the oldest and most historically important strongholds in Trentino. But the grandeur of the past is also preserved in the characteristic houses with bay windows, typical balconies. As well as in many cultural institutions. Examples are the museum dedicated to the German carver Hans Multsher as well as the Civic Museum of Vipiteno. Both are housed in the Teutonic Order Palace.
It was originally a hospice, founded in 124. Here there are also numerous religious sites, an expression of intense faith as typical of mountain places. Among these, the late Gothic Church of Our Lady of the Marshes worths of particular mention.
Leisure, fun and good food
In addition to its cultural beauties, Vipiteno is also a sports city. Ski resorts, skating rinks and toboggan runs. Mountain bike trails and golf courses. For the most reckless there is the Alta Fune Park where you can experience adrenaline with climbing and rickety bridges. Easily accessible by public transport for during the day. If then you would like to experience something unusual then there are mountaincarts! It is a descent on a three-wheeled vehicle, strictly without an engine. They do not make noise, they do not emit fumes. They are environmentally friendly and allow us to have fun while fully respecting nature. And they can be rented in the Ladurns hiking area and can be used along a route full of driving pleasure.
Some good food after all this sport is more than deserved! And then there is the succulent cuisine, the Tyrolean one. Smoked ham and intense flavored cheeses, pretzels, strudel, dumplings and herbal liqueurs. If you are looking for delights for the palate, then it is appropriate to visit the city during the months of March and July. It is in fact in these moments that two important events take place. The “Week of gastronomic specialties from the Isarco Valley” and the “Yogurt Days”, with lots of guided visits to the local dairy. Between excursions and tastings you can thus discover one of the most typical products of the South Tyrolean tradition. Vipiteno is a city that certainly does not leave disappointed! A concentrate of culture, traditions, good food, landscapes. Where man has wisely enhanced history by reconciling it to the needs of modernity, thus arriving at a balanced beauty.