49 – (ITA STAGE1) – Brenner – Sterzing / Brenner – Sterzing

Place of Departure BRENNER/BRENNER
Lenghth – KM 16,5
Uphill Gap 189 m
Downhill Gap 602 m
Nation of the route Italy
Region Trentino Alto Adige
CAI (Diff. Escurs.) E
Praticability  Foot




Stage 1 – Brennero-Vipiteno – The first stage of the Via Romea Germanica in Italy is short and easy, mostly downhill. The peaks of the Dolomites overlook us; in front of us the verdant slopes with cultivated fields, small hamlets, alpine churches. In the background, the Isarco valley.

You may start  either from the Italy-Austria border or from the Brenner railway station. As soon as you leave the station, you follow the signs for the foot and cycle path for Vipiteno, which starts behind the Church of San Valentino and retraces the route of the ancient railway. After a few kilometers you will find the Terme del Brennero/Brennerbad. Then there are 2 tunnels, the old toll booths and the Ponticolo station; you arrive at the end of the footpath and cycle path and go down towards Colle Isarco/Gossensass which you can see below. (cyclists, at the second hairpin bend, take the cycle path to Ibsenplatz; they pass under the railway, pass Gattern, take Via Pflersch, cross Colle Isarco and continue on Via Faber; they pass under the motorway and continue along the railway up to Novale. They resume by making a part of the SS12 / Brennerstrasse and arrive directly in Vipiteno) In Colle Isarco there is the cemetery. After visiting the Chapel of S. Barbara, go down the miners’ stairway. You arrive on the Brennero state road; you pass under the highway. Path no. 21 leads to a beautiful coniferous forest. Leaving the woods you arrive at Castel Strasberg. Descend to the small agricultural village of Novale di Sopra walking through meadows and various crops. After various paths you arrive in sight of Vipiteno. Going down towards the railway, which you follow for a while, you pass under it, cross the Isarco river and arrive in the main square of Vipiteno, under the Torre delle Dodici/Zwölferturm.

1 – Points of Interest

Brenner – The history of Brenner is closely linked to the mountain pass, and takes its name from the Breuni, a population that in Roman times inhabited the upper Eisack Valley on both sides of the watershed, an area that the Romans called Vallis Vipitina. In the second century A.D. the Romans built a military road, as attested by milestones dated to the time of Marcus Aurelius, Septimius Severus and Caracalla. Conspicuous traces of the road are still visible even along our route. The 14th century Gothic church dedicated to St. Valentine is worth a brief visit. By climbing 84 steps you can also reach a bunker from the Second World War.

Vipiteno/Sterzing – Vipiteno was a Roman mansio at 948 m above sea level, which in the 9th-11th centuries took the name Wibitina. From the beginning of the 1200s, the Germanic-speaking population called it Sterzing. This picturesque town has over 6000 inhabitants. To visit: the parish church, Madonna of the Marsh, with a very high bell tower (32 m), was built on the remains of a Romanesque church next to the Roman necropolis, from which comes a tombstone exhibited in the same church; it underwent renovations in the 15th, 16th, and 18th centuries, and in the 19th century it was given a neo-Gothic style. Even older than this is the Church of Santo Spirito, from the late 14th century, frescoed by Hans von Bruneck in the 15th century with the Last Judgement, the Procession of the Magi and scenes from the Passion. The Tower of the Twelve, which divides the old town from the new, is the symbol of Vipiteno. The 16th-century Municipal Palace , in late Gothic style, restored at the end of the 19th century, recalls Nordic art while maintaining local motifs. Also worth seeing is the Deutschhaus, near the parish church, which contains the Municipal Museum, the Multscher Museum, the Church of St. Elisabeth, the Musical Institute and the Bürgerkapelle Sterzing.

Tower of the Twelve – There it is, in the heart of the city, the Tower of the Twelve. 46 metres high, it rises into the clouds, making it the highest building in Sterzing and the symbol of the city. It is crossed by a large arched doorway that connects the Old Town with the New Town. The first stone of the Tower of the Twelve was laid in 1469 by Duke Sigismund the “Coin-rich”, commemorated on the southern face of the tower with a gilded marble plaque. In October 1867 a fire destroyed the Gothic spire of the tower. It was then rebuilt as we see today, with its characteristic roof and stepped stone gable. The tower also became the city gate, and for many years was the headquarters of the Sterzing fire brigade.

The Old Railway – In 1999, the new international Brenner line was opened. To complete the Ciclopista del Sole, a route that connects the Italian-Austrian border at Brenner with the province of Verona along the course of the Eisack and Adige rivers, many of the disused sections of the Brenner railroad were reused to create the cycle path, with a modest slope and independence from the road infrastructure, and bridges and railway tunnels still in good condition. After leaving behind Terme di Brennero, you come to the first of the two tunnels on the route to Moncucco/Schelleberg. The cycle path is paved on one side and unpaved on the other. The former station of Moncucco is crossed by the cycle path where the rail yard used to be.

Brenner Baths – The locality is located about 3 km south of the Brenner pass. Since ancient times, this town has been known for its thermal springs, mentioned for the first time in 1400. During the Belle Époque, the Grand Hotel was inaugurated and transnational trains stopped in the small Terme del Brennero station: years of prestige and wealth for the locality. The springs of Terme di Brennero, which have an average temperature of 21.9 degrees, are the hottest thermal springs in the province; they offer cures and spa treatments, inhalations, mineral water and massages.

please, see the Official Guide of the Via Romea Germanica (


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 TRAIN -( Verona FS Railway Station – Brenner FS Railway Station BUS/LOCAL TRAIN – ( Bolzano FS Railway Station – Brenner FS Railway Station

Where to eat

Where to sleep

Oratorio Maria Schutz Via Santa Margherita 5
0472-765135 (don Giorgio)
Pensione Villa Maria Citta Vecchia,33 39049 – VIPITENO-BZ 0472-767622  
Albergo Silbergasser Brennerbad 5, 39041 – TERME DI BRENNERO-BZ 0472-631158
Olimpia hotel Via Karl Von Etzel, 10 – 39041 – Brennero-BZ 0472 631163
Appartamenti Monika Via Parrocchia 8, 39041 – COLLE ISARCO-BZ 0472-632 372
Pension Pichler Via Notenburg 1, 39042 – COLLE ISARCO-BZ 0472-632406
Albergo Alpenhof Strange 4,   39043 – COLLE ISARCO-BZ 0472 632346
Hotel Schuster Pfarrgasse 1, 39044 – COLLE ISARCO-BZ 0472-632322  
Hotel Gudrun via Posta vecchia 8, 39045 – COLLE ISARCO-BZ 0472-632318
Hotel Brenner Pruno, 17 – 39040 CAMPO DI TRENS BZ 0472-760620
Pension Frick via Deutschhaus 22,  39049 – VIPITENO-BZ 0472-764496
Camping Pizzeria Gilfenklamm via Val Giovo 2, 39040 RACINES -BZ 0472-779132

Bike Service

Bike rental at Brennero Via San Valentino,9/a – 39041 BRENNERO BZ 0472-631142    
Bike rental at Vipiteno Via Brennero,14 – 39049 VIPITENO BZ 0472-760627    
Rad Sport Freund Via Dante,3 – 39049 VIPITENO BZ 0472-767691    
Bauer Walter Via della Frana,5 – 39049 VIPITENO BZ 0472-766801    
M2 Bike M2 Design Via Novale,39 – 39049 VIPITENO BZ 0472-760470/762064    

Pilgrim Service

CAI Alto Adige Viale Europa 53/F – 39100 BOLZANO 0471 402144
CAI Brennero via S.Valentino,25 – 39041  BRENNERO 0472-631189 / 339-7279247
Associazione turistica di Colle Isarco Piazza Ibsen, 2 – 39041 COLLE ISARCO 0472-632372
Associazione Turistica Vipiteno Piazza Città 3 – 39049 VIPITENO 0472-765325
Portale Turismo Alto Adige   0471 402 144
Consorzio Turistico Valle Isarco Bastioni Maggiori 26A -39042 BRESSANONE BZ 0472-802232

Photos from the Track


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