Column: On the mountain

Bolzano nightlife is not very exciting, but the outdoors is great.

Every night is bar-night in Bolzano. Apparently, the evening starts at noon for most Italians. Whether during the week or at the weekend, you will see South-Tiroleans enjoy the good life in every bar you pass. However, there are no decent nightclubs in Bolzano. The few clubs that are available have limited opening hours due to corona.

But hey, what they lack in nightlife, they more than make up for in outdoor life. Hiking here is fantastic. There are numerous mountain trails that can be easily reached by public transport, which is also well-organised. As a student, you can buy a pass that enables unlimited travel in South Tirol.

Ideal: taking a cable car to one of the many mountain lakes during your lunch break

In addition to the train or bus, you can also catch the funivia. This funicular takes you from Bolzano valley to the mountain villages. These large cable cars take you up to 1200 metres in height in a mere ten minutes. Ideal if you want to spend your lunch break at one of the many mountain lakes.

A hike through the mountains near Bolzano during the introduction to the faculty.

Moreover, there are some 3000 hours of sun in Bolzano annually, which amounts to no less than 300 sunny days. In the Netherlands, we have half that. The many days of sun make hiking pleasurable, even during the chilly autumn months. We hiked in the mountains for two hours during the introduction to the faculty (see picture). There are few better ways to get to know each other.

This weekend, I hiked around Merano, an idyllic Mediterranean village at the foot of the Dolomites, equipped with a warm sweater, a backpack, a Tupperware container with pasta carbonara and my laptop. I typed this column sitting at a picnic table by a log cabin. Previous travellers used a sharp twig to carve popular backpack quotes into the table. A natural alternative to graffiti. Not all those who wander are lost, I read.

After writing and meditating for twenty minutes, I grab my poetry journal and try to capture the environment in a few sentences. If I had a paintbrush in my left hand, one might think the gorgeous blue river resulted from a flick of the wrist. And if I were to curve the fingers of my right hand, one might believe I had just raked the neatly positioned vines myself. This place makes me dreamy…

Oscar Delissen is a fourth-year Food Technology student. He is studying in Bolzano, Italy, for the next six months.

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