Welcome to Merano, a picturesque city and comune located in South Tyrol, northern Italy. Nestled within a basin and surrounded by towering mountains, including peaks reaching up to 3,335 metres (10,942 feet) above sea level, Merano is a haven for nature lovers and adventure seekers. But it’s not just the breathtaking views that draw visitors to this charming destination – Merano is also famous for its spa resorts, which have attracted numerous artists, scientists, and literary figures over the years, including Franz Kafka, Paul Lazarsfeld, Ezra Pound, and even Empress Elisabeth of Austria. Both the Italian name (Merano) and the German name (Meran) are used in English, and the Ladin form of the name is Maran. The area has been inhabited since the third millennium BC, and the story of the city itself dates back to 15 BC when the Romans established Statio Maiensis, a road station in the Adige valley. Merano was officially elevated to the status of a city during the 13th century by the Counts at Castle Tyrol, who made it the capital of their County. Today, visitors can explore the city’s rich history by visiting landmarks such as the medieval city gates (including the Vinschgauer Tor, Passeirer Tor, and Bozener Tor), the Gothic St. Nicholas Church, and the 15th-century Princely Castle (Landesfürstliche Burg), which was once a residence of Archduke Sigismund of Austria. The city is also home to the Steinerner Steg stone bridge, which dates back to the 17th century, and Trauttmansdorff Castle and its gardens, which house the Museum of Tourism. But Merano is not just a city of history – it’s also a city of culture, with events such as the Asfaltart Festival, MeranOJazz, and Meraner Musikwochen drawing visitors from all over the world. And of course, no visit to Merano would be complete without indulging in the local cuisine and wines. The area is well-known for its vineyards, which extend right into the city itself, and for its extensive orchards, which export apples throughout Europe. Be sure to try the local wine, Meraner Leiten (Meranese di collina), a light red wine best enjoyed young, and the range of beers produced by the Forst Brewery. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing spa vacation, an adventure in the mountains, or an exploration of Italy’s rich history and culture, Merano has something to offer everyone. Come discover why this hidden gem should be on every traveler’s bucket list.