Mendola Funicular and Renon Railway

One of the steepest funiculars throughout Europe and a historic narrow-gauge railway are special means of transport in South Tyrol.

Around Bolzano there are two very special means of transport which invite young and old to an unforgettable trip. One is the Mendola Funicular - “Mendelbahn” in German, “Funicolare della Mendola” in Italian -, one of the steepest funicular railways throughout Europe. It starts in San Antonio (St. Anton), a district of Caldaro (Kaltern), at 510 m a.s.l. and takes you up to the Passo Mendola mountain pass at 1,364 m a.s.l. Empress Sissi, Mahatma Gandi and Karl May were already here on summer holidays. On the Renon High Plateau, however, an old narrow-gauge railway runs from Soprabolzano (Oberbozen) to Collalbo (Klobenstein) and back, the Renon Railway - “Rittner Bahn” in German, “Trenino del Renon” in Italian.

The Mendola Funicular overcomes 854 m in altitude and 64% incline in 12 minutes. Arrived at the mountain station, you can enjoy a fantastic view on the Valle dell’Adige valley and the South Tyrolean Bassa Atesina area. The history of the bright red funicular railway, which was renewed in recent years, dates back to 1903. Planned by the Swiss engineer Emil Strub, it was a superlative work at that time: Austria’s first electrically operated cable car, the steepest funicular in continental Europe and the longest in the world. And how can it be reached? Its valley station is located in San Antonio in Caldaro. The bus line Bolzano - Caldaro (no. 131) also stops there.

A very special narrow-gauge railway, however, can be found on the Renon High Plateau. On its 7 km length the Renon Railway connects the villages of Maria Assunta, Soprabolzano, Costalovàra, Stella and Collalbo. It was opened in 1907, only four years after the Mendola Funicular, and ran directly from the Piazza Walther square in Bolzano up to the Renon until 1966. Today it is replaced by a modern aerial cableway, the valley station is a little further to the east. And how to reach the Renon Railway? The new Renon Cable Car takes you from Bolzano to Soprabolzano, where the “Rittner Bahnl” - how it is called by the locals - starts. In the Christmas season it becomes a special place: at the stations in Soprabolzano and Collalbo a small Christmas market takes place.

Travel times - Mendola Funicular: all year round
daily approx. three times per hour
closed from October 30 to December 16, 2018 (mantainance works)

10.00 Euros (adults, round trip), free for kids under 6 years
free with the MobilCard, museummobil Card or bikemobil Card

Further information:
phone: +39 0471 963169,

Travel times - Renon Railway: all year round
daily every half hour

6.00 Euros (adults, round trip), free for kids under 6 years
reduction with the value card, MobilCard or SouthTyrol Pass
free with the RenonCard

Further information:
phone: +39 0471 356100,

Suggested accommodations

  1. Gloriette Guesthouse

    Gloriette Guesthouse

  2. Hotel Hasslhof

    Hotel Hasslhof

  3. Hotel Weingarten

    Hotel Weingarten

  4. Boutique Hotel Kircher

    Boutique Hotel Kircher

  5. Hotel Schwarzhorn

    Hotel Schwarzhorn

Tips and more infos