When Dan and I were recently in Bolzano, we obviously took a food tour (because we do that everywhere we go!). This food tour was slightly different, in that it mixed history, of which Bolzano has a lot, sightseeing and, of course, food! We enjoyed this, as we had really not had a proper chance to explore Bolzano prior to the tour.
Our tour started at 10:30 AM with a pick up from our hotel in historic Bolzano, which is always a nice touch. We walked a few minutes to Bolzano’s main square, Piazza Walther, to begin the tour.
STOP ONE: PIAZZA WALTHER AND THE BOLZANO CATHEDRAL.
We learned a good amount of history about Bolzano in Piazza Walther and walked to the Bolzano cathedral for additional information concerning the town and surrounding area. This was our first real history lesson about Bolzano and the Italian Tyrol, and it was very interesting. I recommend brushing up on your Tyrolean history before visiting this area if you are not taking a history tour. Of particular interest to us, we learned that one of the entrances to the Bolzano cathedral, in addition to the standard religious figures, features statutes of grapes and winemakers, emphasizing the importance of wine in the area even back when the cathedral was built. Definitely our kind of church, LOL.
STOP TWO: REAL WÜRSTEL AT A WÜRSTELSTAND!
Moving on from Piazza Walther, we made our first foodie stop – and the one I was most excited for – a würstel from a real Tyrolean würstelstand!! If you know me, you know I LOVE hotdogs, and a würstel is basically a Tyrolean hotdog, so this was incredibly exciting. In any case, this würstelstand was Walter & Michl’s and its apparently quite well-known in Bolzano and has even won Italian food awards! Certainly the best in Bolzano (at least according to our guide) where these stands are pretty easy to find.
We ordered the Meraner from Walter & Michl’s, which is one of about six styles of würstel available at Walter & Michl’s. Dan & I split the Meraner, which is a würstel served with a piece of local bread and the most delicious mustard I think I have ever eaten (seriously, the mustard was phenomenal)! The würstel was also very tasty, and one was plenty for the two of us to share. The mustard was seriously where it was at though!
STOP THREE: BOLZANO’S DAILY MARKET.
A tiny bit stuffed from our Merander, we walked a very short way to Bolzano’s famous market in Piazza delle Erbe. This market is open every day but Sunday and is filled with fruits and vegetables, bread, flowers, meat, cheese, desserts, etc. Basically anything one may want! We saw the market on both Saturday and Monday and it was hopping both days, and with locals! We made a few stops here on the tour, the first one for local Tyrolean bread at a bread stand.
STOP FOUR: TYROLEAN BREAD.
The bread stand that we visited is a regular at the Bolzano market and is open daily. We tried two types of local bread, including a really hard local bread that was more like a hard cracker and a brown bread with nuts. They are apparently both local to the area. The bread samples were tasty, but I want to return here to try the little pizzas…..
STOP FIVE: TYROLEAN SPECK AND ITALIAN CHEESE.
Our fifth stop was also in the Bolzano Market, literally just down the street, for traditional Italian meat and cheese, except Tyrolean style. Speck is a cured, lightly smoked pork from South Tyrol. And while you can find speck elsewhere, its the best here in Bolzano, where it’s made under specific circumstances set by the government. The speck made here even gets a special designation from the government if it complies with local requirements! For our speck, we visited a traditional speck stall in the Bolzano market. The proprietor of the speck stall packaged us a little box of local speck with Parmigiano-Reggiano (not from Tyrol). The speck was excellent, as was the cheese (but that is always guaranteed to be good).
STOP SIX: THE MOST DELICIOUS SWEETS.
We continued in the market to our next stop, which was just across from the speck stand, a sweet (or dolce) stall, where we tried two traditional local sweets. I, unfortunately, cannot recall what these were made of, but they were both verrrry delicious. The both also reminded me of Christmas, and our guide confirmed that these are often served at Christmastime. Find this stall if you find yourself in Bolzano – its directly across from the speak stall pictured above.
STOP SEVEN: ALMOST IN VENEZIA.
The next stop was very exciting for me, as I had really wanted to eat at this restaurant – Osteria dai Carrettai – but we had missed it on our previous nights. I was super pumped when we stopped in on the tour. Osteria dai Carrettai specializes in actually a Venetian specialty – cicchetti! If you have ready my Venice posts, you know that cicchetti are like Venetian tapas and are incredibly popular in Venice (and if you have not read my posts, they are here and here). Osteria dai Carrettai was set up similarly to Venetian cicchetti bars and operates on a “pick what you want and pay” system. Osteria dai Carrettai also has wine on tap and makes great spritzes. And, if that was not enough, the restaurant is located in a former stable! You can actually see some of the stable’s features remaining in the osteria.
Indeed, in Osteria dai Carrettai, we really felt like we were back in Venice, lol, but the owner is from Bolzano and school friends with our tour guide! We picked out our favorite cicchetti and both ordered Carrettai’s take on a Spritz! I highly recommend Osteria dai Carrettai to anyone visiting Bolzano!
STOP EIGHT: WINE AT AN OLD SCHOOL WINE BAR.
Our last stop of the tour was for a glass of local wine at an old school wine bar called Enoteca il Barcaro. Enoteca il Barcaro is located off one of Bolzano’s main streets, down a few stairs. Once in the wine bar, part is in a cellar style seating area, and there is also a surprise wine garden in the back! Here, we both drank a glass of Bolzano’s local red wine, Lagrein.
All in all, we really enjoyed this food tour and were stuffed when we left! We also really enjoyed learning about the city of Bolzano and its super interesting history. Our guide, Claudia, was also great and honestly must know everyone in Bolzano!
STEAL OUR TRIP
Tour by Locals Bolzano Street Food Tour: This is the website we used to book.
Walter & Michl’s Würstelstand: Via Goethe, 7/1, 39100 Bolzano BZ, Italy.
Osteria dai Carrettai: Via Dr. Josef Streiter, 20/B, 39100 Bolzano BZ, Italy. Closed Sunday.
Il Enoteca Bacaro: Via Argentieri, 17, 39100 Bolzano BZ, Italy. Closed Sunday.