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Take a Bite Out of Sud Tyrol

Posted by Carol Sicbaldi

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Yes, it’s true. Our Sud Tyrol Roll is a dreamy alpine trip without the climbs! Hard to believe this scenically spectacular and diverse bike tour lets you glide (literally, and mostly downhill) through lush river valleys allowing for stellar, stunning views of the Dolomites to the east and the Alps to the west. Breathtaking views around every corner but without the strenuous or extreme challenge of high passes or climbs. Now, when it comes to food talk: we do get a bit vertical with our tastings. Have a look at what’s in store for you in our favorite Tirolean culinary corner of the map.

Our gorgeous Sud Tyrol Roll bike tour is full of stress-free cycling combined with jaw-dropping vistas. The highlights run the gamut of immersive experiences, including a far-out lunch in Oberbozen in the company of beautiful Avelignese horses and Tibetan llamas, and a visit to the archaeological museum in Bolzano that houses Otzi, the 5,300-year-old mummy found nearby in Val Senales!

How can you miss out on all that? But let’s get to the meat (and potatoes and polenta) of the matter: mountain food.

 

Slope Food, Beer & Wine

Right now in the Sud Tyrol area of the Dolomites, there’s a foodie movement evolving and it’s something that many are referring to as "Slope Food." This ingenious idea—inspired by an innovative local hotelier—highlights Michelin-starred appetizers and dishes in alpine huts. Some of these "plates" include the sort of more trendy finger food or street food, while other dishes are more elaborate. But all of these dishes
have been created by a group of culinary experts, including 12 (yes, that’s right) Michelin-starred Italian chefs, who are referred to as the Mythical Chefs of the Dolomites—or DoloMitici.

DolofishSome sample Slope Food plates might include Alto Adige beef with speck and apple pastry. Or how about salmon tartar with creamed potatoes and lemon, braised onions, speck, cucumbers and radishes? Flower, fruit and herb salad? Baccala (salted codfish) spread with polenta. And so on and so forth.

A must mention is the amazing artisan beer in this area. On the first day of our adventure, we enjoy a fascinating brewery visit to set the tone. As for the wine, we explore all possibilities, but surely Gewurztraminer and Sauvignon Blanc rate top on the list. Yet, more recently the unique Pino nero—locally produced by star producers such as Franz Haas and many others—seems to be taking center stage. This wine is very distinct and has been considered “the white wine among the reds.” Pino nero is difficult to tame, almost akin to trying to convert a furious horse to move elegantly and with dignity. Truly exceptional and definitely worth a try (or two!)

 

Stube Talk

One very special element to any trip in the Sud Tyrol (and not talked about much, but an integral part of the life there) and throughout the Italian Dolomites is the very special experience of the stube.

From the beginning, the stube was a multi-functional room in alpine buildings or homes and by its very nature, a meeting place. The stube has always been the center of the house and the focus of the family structure, and conveys a very special feeling of warmth . Therefore, it has always been considered the center of alpine comfort and hospitality. The stube was the largest room within the farmhouse and most of the windows were positioned to allow the sunlight to flood in. The stube and the kitchen were the only rooms that were kept really warm. This is where the family gathered to eat, knead bread, talk about their daily toil, pray, and even grieve! It’s the center of home life. Nowadays, we see restaurants built around a stube or in lots of other public places. But the intention remains the same: to gather in warmth with good food, wine and company.

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So, the secret is out. From the top-rate (and completely doable) gorgeous riding to the Michelin star-level menus, the Sud Tyrol Roll easily falls into our top foodie trip category—hands down!

 

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