+39 0471 356 127

The Ritten, Bozen and surroundings

South Tyrol’s last narrow-gauge railway, dancing witches and Ötzi

“Here on the Ritten plateau it is divinely beautiful and comfortable”, wrote Sigmund Freud in September 1911 to his colleague C. G. Jung from the Bemelmans-Post in Klobenstein. The world-famous founder of psychoanalysis meant in particular the nature and peace & quiet that continue to draw holidaymakers to the Ritten to this day.
But there are also a number of interesting attractions to discover on the Ritten, in nearby Bozen and in the surrounding area. We have summarised some of these highlights for you here.

The “Ritten railway” and the Ritten cable car

The “Ritten railway”, South Tyrol’s last narrow-gauge railway, began operation back in 1907. Today it runs every half hour between Klobenstein, Oberbozen and Maria Himmelfahrt. At Oberbozen you can change onto the Ritten cable car that in just 12 minutes takes passengers down to Bozen, the capital of South Tyrol.

Parking is available for those who prefer to drive to Oberbozen and start their trip from there.

Both railway and cable car run regularly from early morning until late at night, providing excellent connections from the Ritten to Bozen. The city is well-known thanks to its special atmosphere, a unique blend of South Tyrolean tradition, Mediterranean influences and international inputs.

Fenn promenade in Klobenstein and Freud promenade from Klobenstein to Oberbozen

The Fenn promenade and Freud promenade are two of the most beautiful promenades on the Ritten, with spectacular views over the surrounding mountains. The paths are accessible to all and highly recommended for families with children and for seniors.

Earth pyramids

The Rittner earth pyramids rise up to 30 metres in height: they are earth pillars with a stone on top and are the highest and finest in Europe. There are numerous such pyramids on the Ritten: in the Finsterbachgraben near Lengmoos, in the Katzenbachgraben below Oberbozen and in the Gasterergraben in Unterinn.

Themed trail in Oberbozen

The trail, a circular walk of about two hours, shows nine special features of the Rittner high plateau.

Cable car to the Schwarzseespitze/Rittner Horn

“He who wishes to see all Tyrol at a glance should climb these heights” stated Tyrolean mountain climber and instructor Ludwig Purtscheller in the 19th century as regards the Rittner Horn and its fabulous 360-degree panoramic views. The 2,260-metre summit can be reached via the approach on the Rittner Horn cableway from Pemmern to the Schwarzseespitze, followed by a hike of about one hour; fitter visitors can make the ascent without using the lift.

Panoramic trail on the Rittner Horn

The panoramic trail, which is also suitable for families with small children and pushchairs, as well as for seniors, begins from the top station of the Rittnerhorn cable car and takes about one hour. Along the way you can stop at the “round table”, a project by Ritten artist Franz Messner, to admire the mountain panorama, where a metal strip shows the silhouettes and names of the surrounding peaks.

The “Hexenbödele”

The “Hexenbödele” is a mystical place near the village of Lengstein where, according to legend, terrible witches would in former times meet to dance together. The misshapen trees in the clearing in the forest today provide evidence that perhaps not all was well in this place.

Plattner Hof Bee Museum

The Plattner Hof in Wolfsgruben is one of the oldest farms on the Ritten. Inside the farm you can learn how the peasants lived in the past. You can also learn all about bees and beekeeping in South Tyrol. A nature trail shows visitors the world from the perspective of the bees.

South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology

Since 1998 the Bozen Museum of Archaeology has housed Ötzi, the world-famous iceman, along with his clothes and the objects he still carried with him when he was found. The chance discovery of this man and his equipment over 25 years ago up on the Tisenjoch Pass in the Schnals Valley has made it possible to conduct important research into the time he lived, 5,300 years ago.

South Tyrol Museum of Natural Science

The museum presents the biological and geological development of the land and its habitats by means of reconstructions, multimedia and interactive stations, with a particularly interesting display showing the creation of the Dolomites from the ocean. Children can get closer to and learn about the plants and animals of South Tyrol.

MMM – Messner Mountain Museum Firmian

Sigmundskron Castle in Firmian near Bozen is where South Tyrol mountaineering legend Reinhold Messner (the first person to climb all fourteen of the world’s 8000-metre peaks without bottled oxygen) has established one of his series of museums on the topic of the mountains. The “Messner Mountain Museum” MMM Firmian shows man’s encounter with the mountains.