In the far northern region of Italy, Maranza (Meransen) is nestled into the gorgeous surrounds of the South Tyrol, located 40 kms northeast of Bolzano. Dominated by lofty peaks, Maranza (Meransen) is the place to come for fresh air, mountains views and altitudinous adventures from skiing, cycling and walking.
Its culture is very much a fusion of the countries it borders. It is Italy, but the language most prominently spoken is German, and on the streets, there is a hybrid culture, where sausages and beer stalls sit happily next hearty Austrian restaurants which weave rustic Italian cuisine into their menus.
The medieval town is a picturesque one - wander around the striking 19th century Franzensfeste Fortress, hewn from giant cubes of rock or ascend to Castello Rodengo, one of South Tyrol’s finest, which sits enthroned on a rocky outcrop like a fairy-tale castle surrounded by perpetually green forest. In summer Vahrner See is a pretty place for walks and swimming, the foliage-rimmed lake is the perfect spot for a picnic and a dip in its emerald waters. In winter, the snow-dusted landscape is a mecca for thrill seekers where 55 kilometres of slopes open up in the Gitschberg-Jochtal range.