The Wassermann House in Villabassa tells the interesting historical development of tourism in the Upper Val Pusteria
Holidays 150 years ago... what times they were! In 1760 already Princess Isabella of Parma sojourned in the building, together with her service staff, but its origins date back to the 15th century, when it was owned by the Lords of Kurz. From 1892 to 1977 it housed the coffee house of the Wassermann family who collected a large number of folkloric items. With the aid of the province, the house was renovated in 1989 by the township of Villabassa who administers the Upper Val Pusteria Museum of Tourism - "Fremdenverkehrsmuseum Hochpustertal" in German, "Museo del Turismo dell'Alta Pusteria" in Italian - today.
On the ground floor and on the 1st floor, you can admire ancient taverns and baths. An important issue is also the building of the Val Pusteria Railway, which marked a watershed for tourism in the valley. When in the second half of the 19th century, this railway line connected Fortezza to Vienna, the Austrian capital was only a day of journey away - and the Upper Val Pusteria became easily reachable for the high society of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Soon after, guests from northern Italy started coming. Artists and musicians drew their inspiration from the beautiful landscape, alpinists started coming to climb the Sesto and Braies Dolomites.
The 2nd floor of the museum is dedicated to social tourism at the turn of the century. The museum offer is completed by a collection of obituaries of about 18,000 samples and an archive of Tyrolean personalities. The Upper Val Pusteria Museum of Tourism is also one of the 12 destinations of the Culturronda, a South Tyrolean cultural course. And how to reach it? It is located along the state road in Villabassa, 25 km away from Brunico. The bus stops a few meters away near the church (bus line 402 Brunico - San Candido).
The Museum of Tourism stays open from July to October, season start 2024 in early July.