For many Italians, Merano, seated in the middle of the Trentino area, is well known as a tourist destination. In summer they enjoy the very clean air, charming landscape and streetscape of the town, the excellent food and drink as well as the convenience of the location as a base for touring. However, apart from Austrians and Germans, not that many other Europeans or other tourists visit this welcoming town in northern Italy.
About 180 kilometres from Verona and less from Lake Garda, Merano is accessible by car and public transport. TrenItalia run regular services to the town from Bolzano and Trento, and it is only 20 minutes away from the A22 Autostrada. There is a wide range of accommodation available; since it is a little more expensive than some regions, it is advisable to book in advance.
We visited in early July when it was about 22C; do remember that Merano is situated at 325 metres and can be cooler than sea level. Our hotel, the very comfortable Hotel Juliane, was about 15 minutes walk from the centre and we arrived by car (free hotel parking); there are bus and taxis available as well. The town is extremely verdant with many high trees, providing shelter from the sun and rain. Having checked into our hotel, we were given a city map and walked downhill to the centre of town. Having reached the River (Fiume) Passurio (Passer in German), the waterway that dissects Merano (pictured left), we followed a charming pathway towards the centre of town. The bridge over the Passurio is beautiful (pictured on next page) and do take a moment to enjoy the golden grapevines, as well as the ironwork.