This morning I resumed my descent down the valley from the Brenner Pass. The valley is quite narrow for some kilometres, with barely enough room for the freeway, highway, railway and bikeway

Via Romea Germanica Italy

In fact, the bike path follows the route of the old railway, complete with tunnels and abandoned stations.

Via Romea Germanica Italy

Via Romea Germanica Italy

Gradually the valley opened out.

Via Romea Germanica Italy

Here’s a nice village house!

Via Romea Germanica Italy

This village church looks exactly like the ones in Austria, which is not surprising given the area is culturally part of German speaking Tirol.

Along with the Italian speaking area around Trento farther south, it was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until the First World War. After the war, the Italian border was moved up to the Brenner Pass.

All the signs in this area are bilingual and in the larger towns you hear both languages spoken.

It seems to be the time of the year when the firewood for next winter is cut up and stored.

Via Romea Germanica Italy

Via Romea Germanica Italy

I passed the ruined 13th century Strassburg Castle.

Via Romea Germanica Italy

After a half day’s walk I reached the pretty little town of Sterzing or Vipiteno in Italian .

It’s divided into the old town and new town by the 15th century ‘Tower of the Twelve’. Here’s the new town.

Via Romea Germanica Italy

This is the old town.

Via Romea Germanica Italy

Via Romea Germanica Italy

This is the beautiful old lock to the door to get into the tower.

My hotel, the ‘Goldenes Kreuz’ is in the ‘new’ town. Mind you, it’s been operating since 1604.

I’ve got a nice western facing room with lots of sun to dry my washing.

Tomorrow I have a longer walk to the larger town of Brixen/Bressanone,

PS I’ve no idea why part of this post is in italics. It’s not easy writing a blog post on a small phone!