South Tyrol, Brunico: hiking, architecture and culture in the Pusteria Valley
03 October 2022
The temples of Messner Mountain Museum: Corones and Ripa
Brunico is synonymous with mountain, the ideal starting place to visit the Corones and Ripa Museums, both designed by Reinhold Messner, one of the world's most famous mountaineers, also known as the “King of the 8,000-metre”.
Both stand on high ground and offer an amazing panorama.
The MMM Corones is located on the summit of the mountain of the same name, Plan de Corones, at a height of 2,275 metres. Designed by architect Zaha Hadid, it clearly reflects its creator’s intention to create a space addressing the mountain, seen from close up. In fact, the museum is dedicated to the history of traditional mountaineering and the life of climbers.
To reach it, take the cable car in the valley to Riscone: you’ll be at the top in only a few minutes, with your gaze sweeping over the majestic Dolomites.
The MMM Ripa is instead housed in the rooms of Brunico Castle. It is an interactive museum dedicated to the peoples of the mountains, a meeting place for different cultures. There are many objects on display belonging to both Italians and foreign civilisations, all sharing the same characteristic: living in and with the mountains for millennia. Tools of peoples such as the Sherpas, Incas, Tibetans, Mongols and many others. You can learn about their culture and religion and also assess the impact of modern tourism on them. Ripa can be reached via a path from the foot of the hill to the entrance of the castle.
Old Town with its main road, shops, and castle
From the mountains to the historic centre: as you walk along Brunico's Via Centrale lined with architectural crenellated gables and scenic arched doorways, you’ll notice the numerous historic shops in the old town. Brunico also lived off local handicrafts, particularly textiles. The Muessmer woollen mill and the Ulbrich Texil Manufaktur bear witness to this.
The narrow streets and buildings of the historic centre retain their ancient medieval origins almost entirely intact. The Castle stands watch over them, which was built in the 13th century and later remodelled. Indeed, the ancient walls have been renovated with modern materials such as wood, glass and steel, which contrast with the original construction.
The Municipal and Provincial Museums and the War Cemetery: stages in history
The journey through Brunico's history continues in the Municipal Museum full of sacred artwork and exhibitions by contemporary artists.
The Provincial Museum of Teodone customs and traditions is also worth a visit, which explores the life of ancient rural society with numerous ethnographic collections.
Finally, we suggest a stroll up the small hill towards Riscone, which reaches the military cemetery of those who fell in the Great War, and a short stop at the Fountain of Tears.
Motorbikes and relaxation: Heliks and Cron4
Your stay in Brunico ends with some healthy exercise. Hiking and skiing, in all its forms, are a must, but the adventures in this town in Trentino Alto Adige certainly don’t end there. You can stretch your arms and legs at the Heliks climbing centre, with its 270 climbing routes for every degree of difficulty. Make sure not to neglect relaxation, though. The Cron4 indoor pools, saunas and massages are perfect.