Bolzano is the principal city in the province of Südtirol (South Tyrol) – the only part of Italy where German is an official language. So you’ll often run across the German name Bozen instead of Bolzano. During the Middle Ages, the city secured a dominant position in controlling trade between Bavaria and northern Italy. Today, it is a lively provincial centre which has developed a year-round tourist trade. It has an undeniably Austrian feel – schnitzel and sachertorte come as standard in the town’s cafés.
Few Italian cities have as centrally located a station as Bolzano. The station is just a five-minute walk from the main square, Waltherplatz, and the cathedral. Given the city’s affinity with the German-speaking world, it’s no surprise that there are regular trains to Germany and Austria. EuroCity services depart every two hours for Innsbruck and Munich. There are some more adventurous listings on the departure boards with an early morning train to Moscow – but only once a week – and a similarly infrequent overnight service to Nice.
Bolzano is a favourite first stop in Italy for travellers following the Brenner Pass route through the Alps. The city has a useful range of services striking south, including direct Frecciargento trains to Bologna, Florence and Rome. There is also a useful direct EuroCity train to Venice.
Travel to Bolzano by train from anywhere in the UK or across Europe
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Image credits: © Richard Banary