Bressanone (Brixen in German), founded in 901 AD, is the oldest town in Tyrol, an area in the Dolomites (part of the Unesco from 2009) in northern Italy.

This little town offers many activities both for winter and summer. Sure enough you can find something to do for every age (from kids to the elderly). So, here is a list of things to do in Bressanone.

  1. Enjoy a walk in the historical center. In fact, Brixen at one time was the seat of an independent ecclesiastical principate and a favorite vacation destination of Pope Benedict the 16th before becoming Cardinal of Munich. Apart from shopping in its modern, trendy shops, you will be surrounded by history.
  2. Visit the Cathedral. It dates back to 1200, but following several unlucky fires it was rebuilt many times. The current buildin (built from 1745 to 1754) reflects the Baroque style. Inside you can admire frescoes by Paul Troger (Austrian painter) and the high altar made by Theodor Benedetti. The cathedral boasts one of the finest church choirs in northern Italy named “Domchorbrixen” with a history dating back nearly 1000 years.  They hold concerts at the cathedral several times a year.  More information available here
  3. Right next to the Cathedral you can admire the Cloister, a splendid Romanesque structure.Things to do in Bressanone
    Things to do in BressanoneThe cloister is also known as “The Bible of the Poor” because its frescos illustrate the principal scenes of the Bible.
  4. The “White tower“, the parish tower.Things to do in BressanoneOnce it was called “Black Tower” because of its black roof but, in 1591, the it was changed into a white roof so the name changed as well. The tower is 72 meters tall and at the top there is a moon dial.  You can reserve to climb its 89 steps leading to a carrillon equipped with 43 bells that can play more than 100 melodies.
  5. Pharmacy Museum: Opened in 2002, a small but interesting museum on the history of medicines and herbs.
  6. Trekking: among the things to do in Bressanone you should spend some time trekking in the near mountains and/or lakes. If you don’t feel up to trekking you can also walk along the river in Bressanone: the views are stunning!
  7. Plose Mountain: this 2000 mt high peak can be reached easily with the Plose cable lift.Things to do in BressanoneIn winter, it is great for skiing and in the summer for hiking. A breathtaking panoramic view of the Dolomites from the top is guaranteed.
  8. Acquarena: if one day you need to chill out and just relax, Bressanone has a wonderful structure with pools and several kinds of saunas.
  9. Christmas Markets: if you go during Christmas time, don’t miss the Christmas markets (usually they are set up from the end of November to the 6th of January).  See more about Christmas traditions in Italy.

To better enjoy things to do in Bressanone, don’t forget to activate your Brixen card for many benefits:

  • free use of public transportation (including train to other nearby, quaint towns, such as Brunico and Merano).
  • one free round trip on the Plose cable lift
  • one free entrance for a day at the Acquarena
  • free entrance to most of the museums
  • and other – visit the website for further details

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