Sterzing, the northernmost city of Italy
The small town in the northern part of Eisacktal is a very enchanting place. Medieval oriels and old stairways characterise the townscape of the historical city centre, which is considered to have one of the most beautiful shopping streets throughout Europe.
The colourful houses of the picturesque new city were mainly built in the 15th century, as Sterzing had its heyday through trade and mining.
Early already, the city had become an important rest point for passing tradesmen from north to south. The Fugger family, a mighty trade family from Augsburg – had an establishment in Sterzing and was engaged in the silver mines in the environs.
Sights in Sterzing
As the northernmost city of Italy were unharmed by the big wars, many historical buildings and sights were preserved:
- The 46 m high Zwölferturm tower is the city’s landmark. It was built from 1468 to 1472 above the city gate and separates the new and old town. At that time, it was regarded as a symbol for the city’s economic and cultural upswing. The tower bears this name as its bell daily calls the inhabitants at lunch time.
- The Multscher and city museum is located in the former “Deutschhaus” next to the parish church. In addition to other sights, the ceremonial rooms of the building are a real highlight.
- The town hall of Sterzing has a remarkable art collection as well as the most beautiful Gothic council hall in Tyrol. It is open for visitors.
- In Freienfeld near Sterzing, there are two fabulous castles: Sprechenstein and Reifenstein.
- In Sterzing and environs, visitors are offered many worth-seeing churches, such as Maria Trens pilgrimage church.
- Right in the city centre there is the monument of Saint John of Nepomuk. It was rebuilt in 1739 after repeated floods. The saint was asked for help in case of imminent water dangers.
Active in winter & in summer
In winter, in the vicinity there are many slopes and cross-country ski trails, in summer you will find a first-class hiking area. Rosskopf hiking and skiing area can be reached from the centre of Sterzing within a few minutes on foot only.
For well-trained alpinists we recommend the glaciers of the Zillertal Alps with the about 3,500 m high Mt. Hochfeiler.
Many mountain huts are ideal bases for a break, so that also “normal” hikers and families get their money’s worth. Several alpine huts are reachable also with a short walk, a few also by means of lift facilities.
The environs of Sterzing are also a suitable terrain for cyclists and mountain bikers. There are available varied tours on old military roads and forest path, for practised bikers as well as for beginners. The cycle path across Eisacktal Valley – from Brenner to Bozen – directly goes along Sterzing.
Culinary delights in Sterzing
The whole year round, restaurants and inns in Sterzing and environs offer culinary delights, combining modern cuisine with indigenous and hearty dishes, South Tyrolean and Italian delicacies. Also, Sterzing has several bars, pubs and discotheques.
Among the culinary highlights are for example the annual speciality weeks "Eisacktal Fine Cuisine Festival", the "Yoghurt Days" or the "Dumpling Feast". In the pre-Christmas period, Sterzing offers a beautiful Christmas market too.