Stage 3 – Bressanone-Chiusa – With this stage you leave the Isarco valley floor to climb to higher altitudes and follow the Chestnut Path, passing through San Cirillo, Pinzago and Velturno, in a landscape interspersed with meadows, crops, woods and chestnut groves, to go back down to Chiusa. The visit to Sabiona is magnificent and all the time on the left you can enjoy the view of the Puez-Odle Dolomites group.
Starting from Piazza del Duomo, follow the signs for the “Sentiero del Castagno” which crosses the railway and the motorway. Then continue straight on Pian di Sotto; you go along the path no. 8 (white-red) for S. Cirillo (cyclists follow the road passing through Pian di Sotto until they meet the VRG route again). The path climbs rapidly and along it there are numerous votive chapels dedicated to saints of various European nations. A path leads to the small church of San Cirillo (a reference point for pilgrims, attested by the presence of a fresco of San Cristoforo, protector of wayfarers, on a facade of the church). Continue the Chestnut Path; you come across a house with a fountain nearby. A small chapel with the effigy of the Madonna, a splendid wooden crucifix with a wonderful panorama of the Dolomites behind it accompany the pilgrim who, continuing on a paved road, arrives in Pinzago. We pass the crossroads in the center of the village and we reach the locality of Rittner: the Dolomites still stand out on the left. Then the Church of S. Ulrico; climb among stupendous chestnut trees until you reach another road; cross the stream in the middle of the wood, then again in the middle of the fields and then the small church dedicated to San Nicola (another point of reference for pilgrims). You arrive at another agglomeration of houses and at Maso Gfaderhof; take path 11A (cyclists follow the road to the left for Giovignano SP74 up to Velturno and then take the SP142 again, passing through Verdignes up to Pardell). On foot you continue to climb first in the middle of fields then in the forest, up to 960 m a.s.l.; cross a small bridge over a stream and go down to take path 11 for Velturno; in the midst of splendid chestnut trees, a country path leads back to the paved road. Finally, the first houses of Velturno and the Castle of Velturno which deserves a careful visit for the frescoes and furnishings. After the visit and the supply of water at the source, various types of crops are encountered, including elderberry; you arrive near the small town of Pedratz. Follow signs for Pardell. The dirt road passes through fields, chestnut trees and woods. At the exit, a beautiful meadow appears in front of you to cross to reach the paved road. Descend towards the farm: to admire the small church dedicated to Santa Caterina and the valley near Chiusa. We then arrive at Pardell: Sabiona is ahead, below. A visit to the Abbey of Sabiona is essential. Leaving the Abbey you reach the Church of Santa Croce from where the cobbled road passes; then a small path between the walls leads directly to the historic center of Chiusa, one of the most beautiful villages in Italy.
3 – Points of Interest
Chiusa/Klausen – Located along the Eisack River, it was historically a customs town. In spite of its small size, it boasts “city” status, along with seven other municipalities in South Tyrol. Its name derives from the Latin clausa, clusa, indicating the “lock of a water course”, in this case the Eisack. The name appears in documents from 1027. The town is dominated by Säben Abbey/Kloster Säben, which between the years 800 and 1000 was an important bishopric, later transferred to Brixen, the centre of the Bolzano-Brixen diocese.
Feldthurns – The summer residence of the prince-bishops of Brixen. It is the centre of Törggelen: here many chestnut trees bloom, which are the symbol of the municipality. The Chestnut Trail leads you through chestnut woods tinged with warm autumnal colours: an experience not to be missed. Velthurns Castle is a real Renaissance gem, which houses the local museum.
Chestnut Trail – A single belt of chestnut trees covers the slopes of the Eisack Valley from Novacella Abbey, near Brixen, to the Ritten Plateau, and down to the “illustrated castle,” Runkelstein Castle, just north of Bolzano. The “Keschtnweg” is a trail with a variety of vegetation, fascinating in season, with deep green meadows and ancient chestnut trees.
Törggelen – The name of this tradition, “Törggelen”, derives from the Latin torculum, the equipment used to “twist, press, squeeze”: it refers to the pressing of the grapes after the harvest. Usually towards the end of the autumn months, people gather in the stube (a cross between a cellar and a dining room) during the period of grape pressing. Following this tradition, after a nice walk in the countryside, everyone goes to the inns, to the old wine cellars, to the Hofschanks. The “Buschen” inn was already well-known in the Middle Ages, and was recognizable by a green branch that was hung at the entrance. Thus it was signaled to travellers that the door was open for guests.
Säben Abbey – Säben Abbey (Kloster Säben) dominates the landscape like a castle on a high cliff, the “Acropolis of the Tyrol”, overlooking the town of Klausen in the Eisack Valley. From here, the Christian faith spread throughout South Tyrol. For 400 years, the Church of Santa Croce represented the bishopric of the “Bistum Sabiona”, which in around 1000 AD was moved to Brixen. Since 1687, Säben has been a Benedictine Convent, which was first inhabited by nuns from Nonnberg, near Salzburg. In 1699, the building became an abbey, and Maria Agnes Zeillerin the first Abbess. Still today, the nuns live here according to the Rule of St. Benedict of Nursia: Ora et labora et lege (Pray, work and read). The Convent itself is not open to the public, but the four churches can be visited. The complex is only accessible on foot
Bold type for structures we already used Red type for structures we have an arrangement (with Credential*) (*) Prices might change for special situations: please book early and ask for confirmation In some places it is difficult to find accommodation only for one night: we suggest you to take accommodation for more nights, using, for your movements, the comfortable and cheap local trains, route Brenner-Trento-Bassano del Grappa.
How to arrive
From airport (BOLOGNA, VENEZIA, MILANO-ORIO, VERONA) to Verona FS Railway Station