Seven Unesco World Heritage sites – A Journey by Train and PostBus
The Venice – South Tyrol – St. Moritz Tour is an unforgettable experience: a fusion of nature, 3 linguistic cultures, and 7 UNESCO World Heritage cities. Travel by bus and train from the crisp mountain air of the Alps directly into the fresh sea air of the Adriatic.
The extraordinary Engadine Valley
Our journey begins with a trip into the Engadine Valley. Here, you can enjoy the sparkling waters of Lake Zurich and Walen Lake, delineated by the Churfirsten mountain range. The UNESCO Albula Line of the Rhaetian Railway runs to chic St. Moritz: the town’s breathtaking mountain ranges and rich culinary tradition make it an inviting stopover.
Through Ofen Pass to Malles/Mals
After visiting the Zernez National Park Museum, you’ll take the PostBus through Ofen Pass. This pass affords fabulous views over the Spöl Valley and the seemingly endless forests of the Swiss National Park.
In the UNESCO biosphere reserve of Val Müstair, the locals speak Romansh, a language that derives from the Latin spoken by the Romans. Our next stop takes us to another UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site: the Convent of St. John, which dates from the eighth century. Even today, cloistered Benedictine sisters live in the convent.
Still within sight of the monastery, we cross the border into Italy, arriving in South Tyrol – a province known for its linguistic diversity. South Tyrol’s smallest city is located just 20 km past the border. The city walls of Glorenza/Glurns are still completely intact, making it truly unique in South Tyrol. The Venosta/Vinschger Line, which was renovated in 2005, begins in Malles and is a very pleasant way to travel.
Through the orchards of Venosta/Vinschgau to the Spa Town of Merano/Meran
The Venosta Line runs extremely modern trains. The carriages have large panoramic windows that give – in winter and summer alike – a colourful vantage point on the expansive orchards and spectacular mountains of the Venosta Valley. Running past the town of Lasa/Laas, known for its marble, the trip to Merano/Meran offers castles and well-preserved castle ruins all along the way.
From Merano/Meran to Bolzano/Bozen
Among Merano’s attractions include its popular thermal baths, known for their radon water drawn from the thermal springs at Vigilio/Vigiljoch. The botanical Gardens of Trautmansdorff Castle are also extraordinary: they grant insights into exotic Mediterranean landscapes and offer splendid views of the surrounding mountain ranges.
Sigmundskron Castle, which legendary mountaineer Reinhold Messner acquired and restored, is located just about 40 minutes from Merano by train. Bolzano Train Station is just a few steps from Walther Square, and is thus a stone’s throw from the heart of the city. The city has much to offer from an historical viewpoint, ranging from its medieval Lauben arcades to its Fascist-era avenues and buildings. When the weather is good, Bolzano offers marvellous dawn-and-dusk views of the Rosengarten Massif, which is located within the UNESCO World Heritage Dolomites.
There is a direct train that runs from Bolzano to Verona’s Porta Nuova Station (1h 40 min). Verona’s Old Town (UNESCO), famous for Piazza Bra and the Roman Arena, is just a ten-minute walk from the station. After an aperitif at Piazza delle Erbe, the tour continues to Padua.
An absolute must for all visitors to Padua is the Basilica of San Antonio and, behind it, the oldest botanical garden in the world (UNESCO).
Travelling by train from Padua to Venice takes less than 30 minutes. So we’re off to the last stop on the tour: the City of Love. Let yourself be swept away by the atmosphere of the city and enjoy a cup of coffee at the most famous piazza in all of Italy: Piazza San Marco. The archetypal way to appreciate Venice’s uniqueness and authenticity is also one of the best ways: aboard a Venetian gondola.