Farm Holidays in Ritten - holiday flats and rooms in South Tyrolto the farms ▼The fact that the concept of 'Sommerfrische', or 'summer retreat', was invented here in the 16th century shows that a Farm Holiday on the Ritten plateau cannot but be a good idea.
A house to while away the summer in on the Ritten plateau. Anyone who was anyone in Bozen had one. The concept of 'Sommerfrische' was invented here for a reason. The oppressive high temperatures in the valley basin of Bozen still drives lots of town dwellers to the Ritten high plateau, where the heat of summer becomes a lot more bearable.
Farm Holidays in Ritten: connecting two traditions
The popularity of the Ritten area with the people of Bozen meant that tourists came to this high plateau early on. Yet agriculture still had an important role to play here: next to extensive woodland there were lots of green fields and arable land. These days, there is little arable land left, as the farmers have been able to keep livestock higher up on the Ritten thanks to the construction of irrigation and drinking water systems, whilst concentrating on fruit and wine farming in the lower-lying areas.
By cable railway and rack railway
The Rittnerbahn, opened in 1907, played a significant role in tourism on the Ritten. The rack railway used to start on Waltherplatz square in Bozen and take passengers directly to Oberbozen before moving onwards to Klobenstein on its one flat leg. The stretch to Oberbozen has now been replaced by a cable car, which is quite an attraction, as the rack railway was before it. You don't just get the chance to admire beautiful views of the Dolomites on the way from Bozen to Oberbozen, but get a glimpse of the Ritten earth pyramids. At sunset in particular, views of the Rosengarten-Latemar mountains glowing rose red are really spectacular. This old, renovated Ritten narrow-gauge railway train still runs from Oberbozen to Klobenstein – a definite must-see.
“Here on the Ritten plateau it is divinely beautiful and comfortable“
Sigmund Freud also travelled on this train. He spent his summer holiday in Oberbozen in 1911 and wrote in a letter to C.G. Jung: “My dear friend, here on the Ritten plateau it is divinely beautiful and comfortable. I am overwhelmed by the desire to just do nothing...!“. Tourists on a Farm Holiday on the Ritten would do well to mark these words and have a swim around Wolfsgruben See lake, just like Freud did. The little woodland lake is not far from Oberbozen. Anyone staying on the Ritten in winter will also appreciate the chance to go ice skating on the lake's frozen surface.
To the Rittner Horn!
If you book a holiday flat on Ritten with the intention of going hiking, you'll be doing the right thing. Lots of hiking paths lead through forests and mountain pastures. Those looking for mountain peaks can go up the 'Horn', set at 2,200 metres above sea level and the highest point on the high plateau. As there are no other mountains to obscure the views, you can see as far as the Großglockner in Austria, the Dolomites and the Ortler glacier. There's great skiing, snowboarding and sledging to be had here in winter.
Theatre or rock music?
But there's not just nature and sport on the Ritten: like in many other places, a hospice was set up in Lengmoos in 1200 as an important stop-off point for pilgrims on their way to Rome. Later on, the hospice decreased in importance and was converted into a base for the Order of the Teutonic Knights in the 14th century. The building standing today was built around 1500, after the original one was set on fire during farmers' revolts. These days, the building provides the setting for a rich and varied cultural programme. The Ritten 'Sommerspiele', or 'Open Air Theatre' with its high-quality performances taking place in July and August has in the meantime become famous.
If rock music is more your thing, you'll be catered for on the Ritten: at the beginning of July the 'Rock am Ring' festival, which is one of the summer festival highlights in South Tyrol, takes place on 'Arena Ritten' ice rink.
Why take a holiday on the Ritten plateau?
- Ideal for action-seekers: hiking, swimming, cycling, sledging, skiing, snowboarding, ice skating
- The cradle of 'Sommerfrische'
- A historical trip by train and cable car