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Ritten - hiking in the South Tyrol

by Nicholas Hobley
Located at circa 1200 meters, the table-top Ritten plateau is without a doubt a hiker’s paradise. An intricate network of paths totaling over 350 km await those who wish to discover this very particular corner of the Italian South Tyrol and walkers deciding to holiday here really won’t be disappointed: the beautiful countryside, typical farms, small villages lost in time and breathtaking views onto the Dolomites and Alps are quite simply unique.

Renon escursioni ritten trekking camminare

Since the Ritten (or Renon in Italian) is a plateau the walks are never particularly difficult. The paths lead through thick forests, up gentle slopes to well-kept farms, small churches, Erdpyramiden (literally translated as earth pyramids) and interesting small ponds to culminate at the highest point on the Ritten, the arid Rittnerhorn at 2259m.

This is the "Sonnenberg", a mountain blessed by the sun which means that the best seasons for walking here are definitely spring or autumn. Trekking is obviously also a viable option in summer, when the locals flee the heat from the torrid valleys below to enjoy the cool forests and their fruits.

The train
The Rittnerbahn – a small rack and pinion train which once connected the plateau to Bozen a thousand meters below - was inaugurated in 1907. In 1966 the steep first section between Bozen and Maria Himmelfahrt was replaced by the cable car, but a 100 years on the small wooden train continues to serve the entire mountain, from Oberbozen all the way to Klobenstein.

Erdpyramiden – Earth pyramids
The Ritten is also famous for its splendid earth pyramids, best seen close to Klobenstein and beneath Oberbozen. The rain continually sculpts these glacial moraine deposits into intricate pinnacles, but as soon as the protecting covering stones dislodge the rain washes them away in an instant.

Getting there
The Ritten is located at circa 1200m above the city of Bozen (Bolzano) in the South Tyrol, N. Italy. From Bozen take the SP73 towards Klobenstein (Collalbo). To reach Oberbozen (Soprabolzano) turn off left onto the SP134.

For these treks AKU recommends the LHASA GTX: for daily hikes or summer walks on all terrain.

AKU Expo Planetmountain
mappa renon
Kompass 1:25.000 RITTEN- RENON
Tabacco 1:25.000 foglio 034
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