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Merano guide 2

The town centre features many elegant (and sometimes expensive!) shops, a selection of bars and restaurants, and features of its use as a spa resort. The local wine is excellent, and food menus tend to concentrate on meats in this region. There are Botanical gardens to the east of the centre (but about 30 minute walk), and pleasant walks and promenades along the river Passurio/Passer.

Merano is an excellent base to explore the region and beyond, ideally with a car, but also possible on public transport. With a car you can drive the spectacular passes of this area, particularly the Passo Rombo (2500 metres and 50 kilometres from Merano) and the amazing Passo dello Stelvio (over 2700 metres, 75k from Merano). It is possible to drive a circuit to both but remember these few useful tips:

  • always check the passes are open; both close during the winter months due to snowfall and ice. It is best to drive them in the summer months
  • Leave plenty of time to drive them; there are many hazards (hairpin bends, other road users, cyclists, etc) and it is most enjoyable when you take your time and stop to admire the views where possible.
  • Avoid them on summer Sundays, especially the Stelvio, due to the volume of traffic
  • If you decide to continue over the Rombo, you cross into Austria and soon after reach a toll barrier if you want to continue near Hochgurgl. The price for a car in summer 2013 was €14; well worth the price if you wish to continue and explore the Austrian Tirol.

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merano bridge over river passer
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