My daughter Francesca has long wanted to go for a walk with me and so many months ago we planned a one week walk from Innsbruck to Bolzano across the Brenner Pass.

This is a route I walked along 5 years ago but that time I continued on to Rome. The weather was perfect on that occasion, but this time we had forecasts of snow and rain.

The Brenner Pass when I passed through on my way to Innsbruck the day before our walk was to start. More snow was predicted.

I thought having Fran’s first two days ever on a long walk with a 900m climb up to the Brenner Pass in snow and rain was a bit much. We caught a train down to Bozen/Bolzano instead for a few days where the temperature was around 15 degrees warmer.

A typical bilingual sign in Bozen/Bolzano.

Bozen or Bolzano was a German speaking town until the whole South Tyrol passed to Italy after WW1. Now a majority in the city speak Italian, but for visitors it’s hard to know what language to address people in. Often Italian works but others times you get a blank stare!

We arrived in the afternoon and went to visit the museum dedicated to Ötzi, the 5,000 year old mummy found in the Alps. Study of his possessions, DNA and body have change our understanding of human development.

A reconstruction of Ötzi.

Today we walked the stage of the Via Romea Germanica heading south from Bolzano. It’s a walk of around 28km with 650m of climbing.

Leaving Bozen.

The area we walked through is given over to a mixture of vineyards and orchards . The apple trees are all in flower at this time of the year.

Grapes of varieties such as Gewürtztraminer and Riesling grow well on the valley slopes.
Frogs on the move .

Finally after 7 hours walking over almost 30km and 650m of climbing we arrived at Tramin. Here the church of Sankt Jacob or Saint James was an important stop for pilgrims on their way to Rome or Santiago.

Frescoes on the walls of the church from the 13th century of fantastic imaginary creatures symbolise the struggle between good and evil,

We were returning to Bozen for the night by train but the station was 5km away on the other side of the valley but by then we’d both had enough walking.

Our timing was perfect as the hourly bus to the train station arrived in ten minutes I and dropped us at the railway station, just in time to catch a train back to Bolzano.

Tomorrow we’re catching a train back up to the Brenner Pass to get back into our planned schedule and booked accommodation.