It is extremely easy to enjoy breathtaking views while visiting the lovely Meran (Merano), the small Vienna in the heart of Burggrafenamt (Burgraviato), it is surrounded by the mountains of Trentino Alto-Adige (Texel Group or Gruppo Tessa and The Salten or Altopiano del Salto) four valleys (Vinschgau Valley or Val Venosta, Passeier Valley or Val Passiria, The Etschtal or Val d'Adige and Ulten Valley or Val d'Ultimo) and situated along the Passer (Torrente Passirio).
Commonly known as Maia during the Roman period and developed as commercial city already during the 13th century, Meran is generally best known for its spa resorts since the 19th century, when was considered perfect for its thermal baths thanks to a mild climate together with a pleasurable sense of well-being; in a very short time Meran became one of the most renowned and appreciated curative spa resorts, its tourist offer improved more and more and was regularly visited by famous guests, politicians, writers, artists...; the extraordinary beauty of Meran is due to a perfect combination of charm and peace, entertainment opportunities and relaxing areas, sports activities and quiet spa, really a dream holiday destination for art and gastronomy lovers. Its wonderful old town boasts " i portici", the Steinach quarter and, among the other things, three remaining medieval gates.
The undisputed landmark of Meran is its Kurhaus, a work of the architect Josef Czerny inaugurated in 1874 with the lighting of 12 gas lamps, later during the first decade of the 20th century it was restored by the architect Friedrich Ohmann who also designed the grandiose Kursaal and the splendid rotunda. Originally conceived to be the place for the entertainment of spa guests from all over the world, the Kurhaus is today one of the most beautiful buildings in Art Nouveau style of the alpine areas, considered a gem of extraordinary beauty and elegance; with a splendid view of the Passer Promenade (Passeggiata Lungo Passirio) and a short distance from the thermal baths of Meran, it can accommodate up to 1000 visitors for a total of 13 wide and adorned halls, outside it boasts a refined curving façade with four columns and four dancing female figures above. The Kurhaus provides perfect settings for events of any kind, concerts, balls, banquets, presentations, press conferences find here their unique location. The structure also hosts the Tourist Authority of Merano and an information office for visitors and tourists.
The Kurhaus also includes the splendid Passer Promenade (first years of the 19th century) as part of its beauty, it is one of the most beautiful and popular "Promenaden" of Meran just along the right bank of the Passer River between Theater Bridge (Ponte del Teatro) and Post Bridge (Ponte della Posta); the promenade is the ideal place where to enjoy a relaxing break or breathtaking views of tree-lined avenues, flowerbeds, gardens and ancient palaces; among the European "Promenaden" of extraordinary beauty the stunning Tappeinerweg (Passeggiata Tappeiner, also known as "the crown" or "the gallery”, end of the 19th century) is worth a mention and a visit; it was named after the physician Franz Tappeiner, a great botany enthusiast and is rich in exotic, mediterranean and alpine plants (about 400 species), Tappeinerweg offers fantastic views of Meran's town, its vineyards and mountains along 4 km. extending from Gilf Promenade (Passeggiata Gilf) to the quarter of Quarazze.
The Christmas period in Meran is something special, its markets, traditionally located at both sides of the Passer, are among the most visited Christmas markets in Italy, hundreds of lights and decorations surrounded by dream sceneries make Meran an unforgettable holiday destination at Christmastime; our tour in Meran should also include a visit to Portici Alti where is located the Church of St. Nicholas (Duomo di San Nicolò) dedicated to Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of the city; as extraordinary example of Gothic architecture rich in frescoes and high-value sculptures, it is the symbol of the most ancient part of Meran's history dating back to the 13th century; the construction continued until the middle of the 15th century when the church reached its final shape dominated by its bell tower standing 83 m. tall.