PWk: Prod, Tlk: GS2, Datacash: Live
The compact region of South Tyrol lies at the foot of the Dolomite Mountains, boasting dramatic and beautiful scenery. This region north of Italy borders Austria and has an interesting blend of cultures, where the Italian passion is evident and German influences can be seen in the architecture, food and language. South Tyrol's towns are nestled within verdant valleys and boast cosy cafés, beautiful architecture and excellent restaurants - this small region boasts around 20 Michelin-starred restaurants making it an excellent choice for foodies. The climate also helps South Tyrol produce some exceptional wines, with the vineyards located high in the hills growing a variety of grapes that make award-winning labels. Towns like Merano and the region's capital, Bolzano, are a pleasant mix of traditional and modern with design buildings, medieval castles and steepled churches sitting side by side. Combined with the Alpine scenery and the apple orchards that fill the valleys, this part of Italy is unlike any other.
The closest airport to South Tyrol is Verona airport, with transfers taking approximately one and a half hours. Direct flights to Verona airport (VRN) are available from Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Glasgow, London Gatwick, Manchester, Newcastle and Southampton and take approximately 2 hours.
Foodies are spoilt for choice in South Tyrol. Local cuisine is a mix of Eastern European and Mediterranean cuisine, with a huge German and Italian influence. It's a mix of cuisines that at first may not seem to get those taste buds going, however it does - proven so by the small area's 19 Michelin-star restaurants. Visitors can expect to see menus with ravioli and wild mushroom risotto, followed by the well-loved apple strudel.
What's to drink? The Mediterranean climate lends itself perfectly to winemaking. Native grapes to the area are Vernatsch, Lagrein and Gewurztraminer. There are plenty of wine tours and tasting opportunities in the area.