(Hi)story from the sunny heart of South Tyrol

Arriving on Ritten, if you stop for a moment and have a look around you, you'll see nature everywhere. Yet with each day of your holiday what also happens behind the scenes will be revealed, allowing you to not just experience the Ritten high plateau, but discover, grasp and feel it, and history lovers will uncover a real treasure trove of cultural history.
Ritten has a story to tell to those with ears to listen. To the curious, the researchers, the travellers. The latter have always been here! Up until 1500, the Eisack gorge was impassable, meaning that warriors, emperors, pilgrims and merchants had to make their way over the Ritten plateau. Witnesses to these times include the Teutonic Order in Lengmoos, which was originally built as a hospice for travellers..

A summer retreat

Getting away from the heat of the town and spending the summer in cooler, fragrant climes was the aim of the citizens of Bozen who chose Ritten as the place for a spot of 'Sommerfrische', or a summer retreat. This usually lasted for 72 days. On the 29th June every year, St. Peter and St. Paul's Day, household items and sufficient laundry of to well-to-do families from Bozen were packed into chests and boxes, and the children and the lady of the house – usually riding side saddle – were taken up the mountain. The houses used for this purpose on the Ritten still display some impressive architecture. Urban high culture was brought to the mountains of the high plateau with those summer visitors in the form of diversions such as boccia tournaments, target practice, bridge and tarot games and the annual ball held at the shooting range in honour of the Kaiser's birthday. And this culture is, in a fascinatingly subtle manner, still traceable today.

Make way!

The higher lying areas were only accessible with difficulty until the start of the 20th century. This all changed when the Rittner Bahn funicular railway was built in 1907. This led right from the centre of Bozen up to the sunny high plateau and climbed around 1,000 metres in altitude. In 1966, work started on a cable car that could connect Bozen and Oberbozen in a greatly reduced time. Still today, even the outbound journey up to the Ritten is an experience thanks to this cable car.

A place of inspiration

Ritten is and always has been stage and showroom for the feelings and motifs for artists: Franz Kafka wrote to his Milena from up here, the landscape and people inspired Sigmund Freud to write 'Totem und Tabu' (one of the things commemorating his holiday on Ritten is the Freud Promenade!), Friderike Zweig and Otto Flake presented their impressions and feelings about Ritten in their works. Painters travelling through in the 19th century were often taken in at the old villas and painted the wooden roofs of the houses in return for their board and lodging.

The Ritten is a corner of the earth that has been blessed by nature, shaped by many years of history and enriched by culture. It is this combination that makes Ritten a varied and interesting place at the centre of the sunny heart of South Tyrol. The absolute highlights? The best (insider) tips? We have them for you! And there are wonderful things right on our doorstep.