The Old World Charm of Bressanone, Italy

Traveling through the northeast part of the Trentino/Alto Adige, you will discover the old world charm of Bressanone/Brixen, Italy. The quaint little town is just 25 miles northeast of Bolzano and definitely worth a visit. It is in a beautiful valley that is surrounded by orchards and vineyards that creep up the slopes of the nearby mountains.

My husband and I entered the medieval quarter through a wonderful town gate.

One of the Town Gates of Bressanone, Italy

This is another gem of a town with narrow, twisting cobblestone pedestrian only streets lined with gabled pastel colored buildings.

Gabled, Pastel Colored Buildings

The core of the old town is the Piazza del Duomo.

Piazza Del Duomo

The ┬ápastel yellow and blue Duomo is from the 12th – 15th centuries and has two beautiful bell towers.

Duomo With Bell Towers

The inside is absolutely stunning with wonderful frescos and glass chandeliers.

Beautiful Duomo Interior

Next to the Duomo is the Cathedral of the Assumption from the 10th century. We walked from one to the other through lovely cloisters.

After wandering through the streets, we went in search of a restaurant for lunch. Our track record has been amazing in finding wonderful restaurants and today was no exception. I don’t know…we must have some kind of food radar that draws us to our finds.

The Wonderful Sign Above the Restaurant Finsterwirt

Our restaurant this time was Finsterwirt, that is owned and part of the Goldener Adler Hotel, located near the cathedral. The building is 500 years old and was the first hotel in the town. On the restaurant’s ground floor they have a tavern, serving traditional food, beer and wine. If you go upstairs, you will find the main restaurant which has dark wood paneling, leaded windows, and very traditional decor from the area. Here their menu specializes in regional products prepared in a modern and creative way. It was a beautiful day and we were seated on the outside terrace. It has a modern feel, with glass walls surrounding the terrace, large white umbrellas and wooden tables dressed with white table runners. Grape vines grow along and up the walls from the downstairs courtyard.

We had no idea at the time that the restaurant’s chef, Hermann Mayr is considered one of the top chefs in the South Tyrol (Alto Adige). They have served many famous heads of state as well as celebrities over the years.

For the week they were having a special menu of dishes prepared from lamb from the area. This is the menu that my husband ordered from. His starter was lamb ham served with white, yellow and red beet leaves, and an olive marinade.

Lamb Ham, Beet Green Salad and Mustard Ice Cream

His second course was breaded and fried lamb chops with herbs, served with a red cabbage and potato salad and mustard ice cream.

Fried Lamb Chops With Red Cabbage Potato Salad

I ordered off their regular menu for the week My starter was goat cheese served three ways with pickled apple and onion.

Goat Cheese Three Ways with Pickled Apple and Onions

My second course was a truffle risotto with savory cabbage and vegetables.

Truffle Risotto with Savory Cabbage and Vegetables

What can I say, other than the whole meal was delicious. I can see why they are so well known. Not only was the atmosphere great, but the food, wine and service could not have been better.

I cannot say enough about this area of Italy that is often overlooked by so many travelers. It is convenient to the autostrada and makes a wonderful starting point for many day trips. We could not have been happier with our visit.

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About Karen

I travel the back roads of New England and beyond, sharing great food and interesting places.
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45 Responses to The Old World Charm of Bressanone, Italy

  1. The Duomo looks ravishing – lamb ham, less. Fabulous post.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Roger, The Duomo was just beautiful. Believe me, I tried the lamb ham and it was incredible. Thank you for your very nice compliment, it really do appreciate it.

  2. It had never occurred to me to want fried lamb chops. Now I’ll be craving them for the next few days. They look amazing as does all the food.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Greg, Fried lamb chops. Who knew anything like this was on an Italian menu. The lamb chops were incredible. We don’t get lamb like this at home. Thank you for following along on our trip.

  3. cabinet stew says:

    Just fantastic. speechless at that stunning town the the food.

  4. Gary Lum says:

    The food looks divine, especially the crumbed lamb cutlets.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Gary, Thank you for your nice compliment. It is nice to know that you refer to them as lamb cutlets…here in Europe you see that so often. At home in the USA, they are referred to as lamb chops.

  5. spicegirlfla says:

    Another wonderful post! I so enjoy traveling along with you! While I can’t taste these dishes I do agree you seem to find the best food!! How pretty the streets look with those pastel buildings and those window flower baskets are so, so pretty!!!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Linda, Thank you so much for your lovely compliment. I means a lot to me that you are enjoying following along with our journey. We do seem to find the most wonderful places to eat. I do try to make sure that the restaurants are popular with locals. The northern part of Italy is more beautiful than you can imagine…photos don’t do it justice.

  6. lulu says:

    Great job sharing your trip. Your food photos are always terrific.

  7. More pretty buildings! Oh my – the fried lamb chops?? I am drooling over here:-) I am also completely intrigued by the lamb ham…I can’t quite figure out what it would taste like, but I love lamb to pieces so I am sure it would be wonderful…actually it all looks great!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Becki, Bressanone really was lovely. The fried lamb chops were so tender and juicy. If you didn’t know it was lamb, you would just think it was lightly smoked ham.

  8. Were you a travel agent in your previous life? Wow!!! this entire trip looks just wonderful. i must say I am sooooooo jealous. Have a safe and wonderful time. I’ll be back – great photos and oh the food!

  9. ChgoJohn says:

    Such beautiful pictures, Karen! I could go to Italy, do nothing but tour its churches for 2 solid weeks, and I would come home very satisfied. They are all so beautiful and The Duomo of Bressanone is no exception. Gorgeous!

    • Karen says:

      Hi John, Thank you for your lovely compliment. You are so right…the churches are beautiful. You are stunned when you walk through their doors.

  10. Ann says:

    Your meal looks delicious, your pictures are so beautiful! ….but those chandeliers – WOW! I’m stunned at their beauty!

  11. Following your journey is an amazing experience. Your images are jaw dropping and the “light lunches” are veritable feasts! It is so hard not to drool – just tell me you won’t be reporting about all these lovely places and fabulous meals after winter sets in here in the US. It’s already difficult not to be envious. . .

    • Karen says:

      Hello Valerie, Thank you for your nice comment. My husband and I do really know how the eat “light” don’t we. We will be home before winter and then I’ll post about my home cooking.

  12. Tandy says:

    I have told David about this as we are going to be driving from Munich to Venice and this is on the route :)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Tandy, I know that you will enjoy Bressanone. The town is so quaint. Do try to have a meal where we did…one of the best restaurants on our trip.

  13. Charles says:

    Ham and mustard ice-cream? :o What an ingenious idea :D

  14. Another wonderful post, Karen, and food that looks so good you could eat it off the page! I just nominated you for an award in my next post, BTW. Cheers to you!

  15. Your amazing trip continues! One of our little local bars does very similar fried lamb chops – and I agree that they are delicious :)

  16. Michael donofrio says:

    Wow the best food so far

  17. Yvette says:

    A beautiful part of Italy, I’ve lived in Treviso, for twelve years,this being my first Spring back in Australia. Oh! how I miss it, your photo’s are a beautiful memory of that area I’ve visited so many times.Your meal looks so delicious. Isn’t the Italian cuisine divine!

    • Karen says:

      Hello Yvette, Thank you for stopping by my blog and your comment. Yes, Italian cuisine is wonderful. How great to have lived in Italy for twelve years…I know you must miss it. I am happy that I brought back beautiful memories of your time spent there.

  18. lvaletutto says:

    Lovely, lovely, lovely! Can’t wait to see pictures of Germany!

  19. koritt says:

    As always, beautiful photos! Italy is on my places to go list. My classmates and I used to try and convince my Latin teachers back in middle school and high school to take us to Italy, but we never managed to be convincing enough.

    The food looks amazing! Personally, I think that the best part about traveling is eating. hehe.

    I can’t wait to have a chance to go.

    Great post! :)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Koritt, Thank you for the compliment. I agree that the best part of traveling can be the food…especially when you are in Italy. Even a very simple bowl of pasta seems to always be great.

  20. voodoodr06 says:

    Hi Karen

    I have been following you site for a while now and today I am presenting you with “The Versatile Blogger Award”.

    Check out my post to learn about the award, pick yours up and post it on your site if you like.

    Lee

    http://voodoodr06.wordpress.com/2011/10/16/voodoodr-receives-the-versatile-blogger-award

    • Karen says:

      Hi Voodoo, Thank you for thinking about me for the Versatile Blogger Award. I am very flattered that you and several other bloggers have thought of me for this award. When I return home, I will follow through with the award.

  21. Bridget says:

    Great pics…lovely buildings…but best of all the blue sky! If only we could have some of that in Ireland. It is so grey and damp here at the moment.

  22. Allison says:

    I would love to get my hands on that risotto recipe!

  23. WOW!!! My mouth is watering. Looks so fresh….

  24. niasunset says:

    “The Wonderful Sign Above the Restaurant Finsterwirt” Exactly and you captured so beautifully, I am being lost with all these flowers… But yes, I can see how delicious the food too! Thank you dear Karen, you almost took me into this journey. With my love, nia

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