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Front-row seats in South Tyrol: Ritten

Because the Talfer in the west and the Eisack in the east have hollowed out deep valleys, a pulpit has remained between the two rivers, which today is a high plateau bearing the name “Ritten”. High above the heart of South Tyrol you sit here on a box seat that offers an unbelievable view: to the south on the Bolzano basin, to the west on the Sarntal Alps and to the east in the middle of the most beautiful mountains in the world according to Reinhold Messner: the Dolomites.

So it is no wonder that Ritten, with an area of around 110 square kilometres, has always exerted a special attraction. To travellers as well as to those who stay here – whether permanently or only temporarily. The first category includes emperors and kings who passed here over the centuries on their way from the north to Rome. Later, in the 16th century, the fresh, clean air at Ritten was especially appreciated. Anyone who could (and these were above all rich people from Bolzano) built a summer resort house on the Rittner plateau and spent the hot days here.

Ritten: magnet for travellers and those who remain

In the wake of summer visitors, the first international guests spread out here as holiday-makers at the end of the 19th century, including the founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud. After 1907, Ritten was directly connected to the city centre of Bolzano with a cog railway, making it easily accessible. When it was abandoned, a cable car connected Bolzano with Ritten. It was completely renovated in 2009 and brings visitors from the state capital to Ritten all year round.

The cable car is used by all those who want to enjoy nature here on the high plateau: on the countless impressive walking and hiking trails, on bike trails and routes or even on horseback. In summer Ritten is a retreat and source of fresh air, in winter a winter sports area where you can hike, cross-country and ice-skate and ski and toboggan on the Rittner Horn. So there is hardly anything that the outdoor fan will miss at Ritten. And the holiday-maker certainly doesn’t.

The highlights on the Rittner plateau: