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Ana on the road

Bolzano: naked Germans, flash floods & gelato for days

AUSTRALIA | Sunday, 19 June 2016 | Views [426]

German is a harsh language. It is spat at me through a large smile as I step out of my tent. I reply with a nod and smile, I know he only said good morning, but it sounded like he was insulting me (not to mention just yesterday I was greeted with some nudity, yep, some people don't think it's necessary to go to a bathroom to change, why not just strip in front of everyone?). It’s been three days and I’m still not quite used to this town and the mix of German and Italian. But this is forgotten as I take in my surroundings. The towering Dolomite Mountains, their peaks hidden beneath threatening clouds, encase me in their valley, and it is truly breathtaking. The sun tries to peek through and manages to hit the trees, which are scattered around the camp. Bolzano, a small town in northern Italy, is picturesque. It feels like you’re walking through a movie set, a real life Stars Hollow, if you will, until you are bumped aside for walking too slowly, and reality hangs onto your ankles once again, and you are reminded that not everyone is on holiday. The town, a unique mix of Italians and Germans, can be confusing, especially when entering a Gelateria with a ‘Ciao!’ and being greeted back with a ‘Morgen’, but I think this is what makes Bolzano so charming. The people are smart, the gelato is excellent and the weather is temperamental. Not quite a golden trio, but there’s always something about riding back to your leaking tent in the pouring rain, isn’t there? You’re reminded that, although you’re in this beautiful place, surrounded by these beautiful mountains that you could easily spend weeks getting lost in with the many trails that go up and through them, the weather won’t always hold off and your tent, which has survived thunderstorms, will sometimes hold water like a bucket and even though you keep swearing to yourself that you don’t need a proper rain jacket, the next morning when your canvas Cotton On coat hasn’t dried, you’re really starting to think you made a mistake (but who’s got the money now to buy a rain jacket? Not me, that’s for sure). If you’re looking for a big city to get lost in, Bolzano isn’t for you, but if you’re looking for old castles, horses, somewhere bike friendly and an endless amount of hiking just minutes away, then head straight to the north of Italy, because you’ll find what you’re looking for. 


Tags: bolzano, camping, dolomite mountains, europe, gelato, german, hiking, italy, mountains, northern italy


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