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A Farm Holiday in Branzoll: a wine village with an eventful history

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A Farm Holiday in Branzoll
Branzoll can look back on an eventful past. A Farm Holiday in Branzoll will tell you about the rise and fall of this municipality on the South Tyrol Wine Road.

Nestling amidst vineyards and apple orchards at 238 metres above sea level with vertical porphyry rock faces in the background is the municipality of Branzoll in the Unterland district of South Tyrol. Its houses were originally constructed on an extensive debris cone to protect them from the frequent flooding of the Etsch river. The proximity of the busy province capital of Bozen, 13 kilometres away, may hardly be felt in the 3,000-strong village. Guests appreciate the peace and quiet of holiday flats in Branzoll and the municipality's convenient location, as Branzoll makes the ideal base for excursions in the surrounding area. In spring, during apple blossom time, the extensive apple orchards may been seen to their best effect on a bike tour. In summer, nearby Kalterer See and Montiggler See lakes provide a place to cool off. And in autumn, there are plenty of inns and rustic eateries for a spot of 'Törggelen'. However, hikers can look forward to walks on the high mountain pastures of the Dolomites and the Ritten high plateau with its rewarding views of the Schlern massif and Rosengarten mountains, too.

A Farm Holiday in Branzoll: when my ship comes in
Still today, gorgeous country houses and residences tell of Branzoll's rich past. The municipality's fortunes took an upturn when a harbour was built on the Etsch river, which was once navigable and very wide at Branzoll. The village became a transhipment point particularly for the Bozen trade fairs and could boast its own post and customs office. People and wood made their way southwards, while spice and silk were carried northwards on the Etsch river on rafts of nearly 30 metres in length. Shipping companies and trading firms settled in Branzoll, resulting in rapid economic upturn which lasted until 1859. This year saw the start of work on the Brenner rail route, water transport gradually ground to a standstill and Branzoll declined in importance. A small open-air museum in the old harbour serves to remind guests on a Farm Holiday in Branzoll of this time. And during 'Unterlandler Flößerstechen' event, village teams still meet up on traditional rafts on the Etsch, thus keeping Branzoll's rich history alive.

A piece of Branzoll in Moscow?
Porphyry quarrying assumed great significance for the municipality from the end of the 19th century. Workers from neighbouring Trentino and Tyrol found work in the quarries and lots of villagers went into the quarry business. Still today, the workers' dwellings and reddish porphyry rock faces are reminders of this time. Lots of inhabitants of Branzoll even swear that the stone slabs that Red Square in Moscow are paved with come from their municipality, while others take it to be a myth.

Wine and culture
More land became available for cultivation in Branzoll thanks to the draining of the valley basin. Fruit farming increased and ousted porphyry quarrying. Roman finds, including a vine knife, point to a long tradition of wine and fruit farming there. Even today, fruit and wine farming plays a significant role in Branzoll on the South Tyrol Wine Road. Wine farmers from Branzoll grow Cabernet, Merlot, Lagrein or Vernatsch grapes on the sandy-stony soil. On holiday in Branzoll, if you look closely, you'll come across witnesses to its eventful history again and again in this pretty village near your holiday flat, too. Romanesque-late Gothic St. Leonhard church is held in particular pride, as it provides Branzoll with one of the finest church squares in South Tyrol. A special highlight is the marble baptismal font inside the church dating back to 1585.

Why take a holiday in Branzoll?
  • Right on the South Tyrol Wine Road
  • Near Kalterer See and Montiggl See lakes
  • Enchanting apple blossom

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