Tag Archives: Valle Isarco

From Barbiano to Dreikirchen via Keschtnweg (video)

Built from the 13th to 15th century, Dreikirchen, aka Tre Chiese (3 churches) is another trail destination that is easily reached from Barbiano. Dedicated to Santa Maddalena, Gertrude and San Niccolò, the cluster of churches sits on a single foundation, its gothic details looking like something you might imagine out of a Grimms’ fairy tale. Getting there is about 3 times longer than the waterfall trail, but it’s worth the extra effort and easy enough for the whole family. From our b&b at the south end of Barbiano, we headed north through town along the chestnut trail (Keschtnweg), then followed the Dreikirchen signs that pointed the way.

Edit: Information on trails in Valle Isarco can be found here – Valley of trails

Reasons to love Barbiano

When a holiday exceeds our expectations I’m compelled to jot down a list of all the reasons why. If you’re thinking of a stay in Barbiano, you might find this helpful.

  • The village is small, rural, quaint, and on the sunnier (western) side of Valle Isarco
  • The strangely peculiar leaning church tower (seen in video clip below)
  • It has a tiny green grocer within walking distance from hotels and appartments
  • It has a GREAT bakery that makes german-influenced breads and pastries
  • Restaurants, bars and cafes are within walking distance (or a couple minutes drive)
  • A lot of trails branch off from Barbiano, with the chestnut trail running right through it
  • Clean, fresh air, even if during the period when the cows have returned for winter, it might get a bit pungent depending on which way the wind blows.

You know you’re in serious milk territory when farmers drop off gigantic steel barrels full of raw fresh milk (you can hear the tractors pulling their precious load in the mornings). Not long afterwards, the co-op comes by to pump the milk into a huge tank.

Roadside chestnut-roasting stand next to the b&b. Perfect timing after a day of hiking.

An afternoon of wooden sculptures, beer, and desserts

Valle Isarco and its environs are dotted with so many picturesque villages that it’s difficult to choose which one to go to first. There was always the option of another scenic hike, but on day 2 into our trip, I was on a mission for local brews and Viennese-influenced desserts, all under the pretense of sightseeing and studying the architecture.

Is this part of Italy the land of wood-sculpting masters or something? I couldn’t believe how many sculptures we saw in a single afternoon, including this westie in Castelrotto. Mads wasn’t impressed.

On the edge of the village of Castelrotto stands a curious-looking sculpture of farm animals, one atop the other (below, left). In Bressanone, a man and his dog looks into a store window.

A beautiful fresco graces the facade at 4-star Hotel Elephant in Bressanone. At the entrance, a mosaic elephant welcomes guests.

The pedestrian center of Bressanone is small enough for a single visit. Before the parking meter runs out, be sure to stop in at Cafè Pasticceria Pupp for a hot drink and dessert. Their baked treats are divine, but the chestnut cakes are exquisite.

AH Brau brewery – the result google spat out when I put in a bunch of search terms. Located right along the highway, several miles northwest of Bressanone, it has a casual atmosphere and a no-fuss menu. They make a seasonal beer along with their usual brew, and it was a chestnut one at the time we visited. Fantastic, and hit the spot for a late lunch.