We arrive at Ratschings in an electric car. Around us the mountain peaks and picturesque natural landscapes. We meet the locals, we discover unbelievable corners of pristine nature. We taste the products of the earth, we know ancient trades. We explore this corner of South Tyrol and fall in love with it. With 7 villages, 3500 inhabitants and 3 valleys, with an altitude that varies between 950 and 3500 meters, Ratschings is the sixth largest municipality in the region and has focused on sustainability, investing in organic agriculture and eco-friendly tourism, dreaming of energy autarky.

We tell you something about our trip, revealing 10 reasons to choose the beautiful Alpine Pearl of Ratschings as a destination for your next holiday. Between ancient mines and breathtaking waterfalls, wellness at high altitude and slow mobility.

Stanghe waterfall

Stanghe waterfall

Surrounded by majestic old trees, accompanied by the sounds of the forest and the roar of water, crossing canyons and suspension bridges, we reach the beautiful Stanghe waterfall, which is almost an open-air spa, thanks to the high concentration of oxygen ions.

The underground world of mines

The underground world of minesGluck Auf. Our guide greets us at the entrance to the mine. We wear helmets and enter the cold, dark belly of the mountain. The museum of Monteneve mine allows us to experience the hard work of the miners who have here mined minerals for centuries. It is the highest settlement in Europe, today the mountain is covered by 150 kilometers of tunnels and the whole surrounding landscape has been shaped by mining activity.

A fairytale castle

Wolfsthurn Castle, Ratchings
via Wikimedia

In the village of Mareta, which is part of the municipality of Ratschings, we find the only baroque castle of South Tyrol. We reach it through the thematic forest and water path, which starts from the parish church. Children run to discover these two habitats, discovering the different stations and display boards that provide information and curiosity. They remain charmed, and we with them, in front of the fence of fallow deer. The Wolfsthurn Castle is now a hunting and fishing museum. In its sumptuous rooms we discover a rich collection of historical-artistic concerning hunting and fishing, we admire the original decor of dance halls and living rooms.

Mountain flavors

Mountain flavors

Mountain butter, fresh sliced ​​speck, mountain herbs and cheeses are just some of the delicacies that Ratschings and its valleys give us. Between one adventures and another, we stop in the typical huts that offer local products of own production. A truly unforgettable taste experience.

High altitude wellness

High altitude wellness, sauna in the eco-friendly hotel Rainer, Ratchings
Sauna, eco-friendly hotel Rainer

The whole territory of Ratschings is a huge open-air SPA, the owner of the Rainer Hotel, where we stay, remind us. Angles of nature to be covered on foot, places where to breathe pure air, like at the Stanghe waterfalls, and regenerate. When we return to the hotel the natural wellness treatment continues. Scented pine wood rooms with mountain views, organic and local food, saunas, swimming pools and relax areas. We walk barefoot on the fresh grass of the garden to the Tyrolean style sauna. We are enveloped by the fumes of hot air flavored with essences and mountain flowers, then we cool off in the tub of ice water and relax on a chaise longue.

The slow mobility of Ratschings

The slow mobility of Ratschings

We live more slowly in Ratschings. We walk along the many paths, rent a mountain-bike. With the free mobility card we can use all means of public transport. Our movements do not pollute.

The Alpine town of Vipiteno

Vipiteno (Sterzing)
By Schorle [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia Commons
Back to the electric car we rented and in 15 minutes we reach Vipiteno. A lively and charming town. Set among the mountains, we discover it walking among its picturesque medieval squares, its colorful houses and shopping streets.

Giovo Valley

Giovo Valley
By Mattana [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons
Among the three valleys of Ratschings perhaps it is the one where life flows more peaceful. For children it is a natural playground, for us adults a perfect place to regenerate.

Visit to the Latteria Vipiteno


In Italy, Vipiteno’s yogurt is known by almost everyone. In Latteria factory we discover all the secrets of this product and its processing. Everything is made with the fresh milk that comes exclusively from the surrounding mountain farms, which follow the philosophy of sustainable farming.

High altitude hike trail

By Mattana [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons
By Mattana [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons
We start from Giovo Valley, along the paved road. After 15 minutes we find the path n.13 that we follow to the Bärnfiechtalm hut. We are surrounded by alpine meadows, we continue to walk and climb. After two hours we reach the highest and rocky point of the itinerary, the Bock Mount. The view is magnificent and repays us for the effort; it is a show that warms the heart. From the opposite side of the Bock we go down the path n.12 to the Bergalm hut and then along the forest road that takes us back to the starting point.

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