Historic Town and Arcades of Bolzano

Old meets new in the heart of the main town of South Tyrol - Bolzano is also called the “City of Contrasts”.

The first settlement of Bolzano (Bozen) was located in a rather marshy basin, in the surroundings of the present Assumption of Our Lady Cathedral. It is also presumed that there was a castle called Bozen on the Virgolo hill. Via dei Portici, how the Arcades Road of Bolzano is called in Italian language (”Laubengasse” in German), was realised by the Bishops of Trento in the 12th century as the pulsating centre of the flourishing trading town, founded already around 1180 AD. The Arcades consist of picturesque arcades for trading, the vaults for warehousing and the apartments above, equipped with wrought-iron handrails and a central light-flooded atrium.

Today you can experience the unique South Tyrolean flair in the city centre - a bit Mediterranean and a bit alpine. The Via Museo road - where the South Tyrol Museum of Archeology with Oetzi, the Iceman, is located - marks the western entrance to the Arcades of Bolzano and the beginning of the pedestrian zone. The romantic alleys all around provide a special atmosphere: Via Argentieri behind Piazza Walther square, Via della Mostra, Via Bottai with the Museum of Nature and Via Dr. Streiter with its Capitol Cinema. By the way: the Arcades of Bolzano are 300 m long, the Arcades of Merano, however, are with 400 m the longest arcades of Tyrol!

The historic district, so to speak the old town, is a popular meeting point for shopping and strolling. A colourful mix of well-established businesses with a long history and international fashion chains characterise the Arcades, how they are simply called. Numerous restaurants and cafés invite to have a drink and a pleasant chat with friends. The Mercantile Museum which leads also in the underground cellars of Bolzano provides detailed information about the history of the Arcades of Bolzano. And how to reach the Historic Town of Bolzano? It is a pedestrian zone and therefore closed to traffic. Parking spaces can be found in the surroundings, e.g. on Piazza Walther or Piazza della Vittoria (Victory Square), also the buses stop in these places.

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