Bressanone and Abbazia di Novacella
Bressanone is mid-way between the Isarco and Rienza rivers in Bolzano province, a small town with a medieval feel founded in far off 901 and the oldest in the Tyrol. It is famous for its historic buildings, the landscape surrounding it and its food and wine. A stroll through the streets of this small town’s attractive heart affords views of the imposing peaks around an enchanted town which fills up with lights during its famous Christmas market. Don’t miss out on a visit to the famous Baroque style cathedral and its celebrated cloister and bishop’s palace.
Just a short way away from Bressanone is Novacella Abbey which is a functioning and lively abbey and an important historic building. Its church, cloister, art gallery and library are well worth a visit. The light-filled church is a good example of late Bavarian baroque architecture and the cloister is famous for its Gothic vaults and important fourteenth century frescoes. The library contains a series of Gothic altars and panel paintings, precious manuscripts and church objects, scientific tools and historic musical instruments. The Abbey’s library is a veritable gem boasting 92,000 volumes and a large Rococo style hall.
Novacella Abbey is also famous for its vineyards and wine cellars and has been producing wine since 1142. The vineyards to the north with their cool climate and the high mineral content of the soil make excellent wines such as Sylvaner, Müller Thurgau, Kerner and Gewürztraminer. The vineyards to the south, on the other hand, make excellent red wines like Lagrein, Karterersee, Pinot Nero and Moscato Rosa.