Farm Holidays in Neumarkt: Miss Unterland
©TV Castelfeder – Marion LafoglerNeumarkt, the centre of the Unterland
On a Farm Holiday in Neumarkt you can get to know a real beauty queen: Neumarkt is one of the prettiest villages in Italy.This is the opinion of 'I Borghi più belli d’Italia' organisation, at any rate, which took on the task of choosing the prettiest places in Italy. Along with its historical centre and countryside setting, the fact that Neumarkt is the main town in the Unterland region and thus the cultural centre of the southern part of South Tyrol contributed to its receiving the award. The municipality comprising the districts of Laag, Mazon, St. Florian and Vill enjoys a convenient position in the Etsch river valley about 25 kilometres south of Bozen to thank, too.
Farm Holidays in Neumarkt: Alle Wege all ways lead through...
Neumarkt was founded in the 12th century and had a significant role as a meeting point for traders between north and south early on, because a major trade route went past it. In addition, the nearby Etsch river, which was navigable at the time, provided a simple means of transporting goods onwards. The proximity to the river did not only hold advantages, however: in the 13th century, the village was destroyed by flooding and had to be rebuilt, which is why it bears the name of 'Neuer Markt', or 'New Market'. The parish found wealth in the Middle Ages thanks to flourishing trade – something that may still be seen in the historical village centre of Neumarkt today.
The 'Lauben' arcades in the village centre, which afforded traders a sheltered place for their goods and business, are a striking witness to Neumarkt's trading past. As well as this street, there are lots of well-preserved houses built in traditional style and heavily influenced by Venetian architecture in adjoining Andreas-Hofer-Straße. This is where the 'Museum for Everyday Culture', which lends insights into the daily life of a 19th and 20th-century middle class household. If you fancy taking a walk outside the village without doing without a dose of culture, you should go on an easy walk to the ruins of Kaldiff castle in the district of Mazon. Although the walls started to decay at the end of the 18th century, there are still some remnants of frescoes to be seen in some places. Another better-preserved ruin is Klösterle pilgrims' hospice in St. Florian. Over the centuries, it provided lots of travellers coming to Neumarkt on the major trading route via the Unterland with accommodation. The hospice is one of the few completely preserved pilgrims' hospices in Europe and revives people again and again in the form of the Unterland 'Freilichtspiele, or 'open-air performances', taking place there in summer, where plays by great international and Tyrolean dramatists are put on to the backdrop of the monastery.
As far as your feet will take you
But there are other things worth a short walk along with Kaldiff ruins and Klösterle. The countryside around Neumarkt is reason enough to ensure that visitors don't just stay inside their holiday flats in Neumarkt. 60 percent of the municipality area belongs to Trudner Horn Nature Park, which is real hiking heaven with its 400 kilometres of marked paths. In addition, the World Heritage Sites of the Bletterachschlucht gorge and Castelfeder biotope are nearby – two of the highlights of South Tyrol. Farm Holidays in Neumarkt also cater for cyclists. You can reach the Trentino end of Lake Garda, Italy's largest lake, via the Etsch cycle path. Those looking for more uphill climbing should ride from Neumarkt along the tracks of the former Fleimstalbahn railway in the shade of tunnels and woodland to Truden. Neumarkt's 300 days of sunshine a year are a blessing for water lovers, who will really enjoy the local open-air swimming pool. However, Neumarkt is not just worth a visit at the warmer time of year: Jochgrimm ski slopes are about one hour's drive away and promise a successful winter holiday with their 80 kilometres of cross-country runs and ski pistes with snow guaranteed until April.
A real trailblazer
The Christmas market in Neumarkt is another source of winter fun. Hot drinks warm you up from inside, traditional wares are on sale at lots of stands and a live nativity scene brings the holy family to Neumarkt. There's lots to get you in the holiday mood in summer, too: at the start of August, the oldest village festival in South Tyrol takes place – the Neumarkt 'Laubenfest'. Three live bands provide atmosphere on three consecutive evenings in the alleyways and there are plenty of refreshments on offer.
Why take a holiday in Neumarkt?
- The centre of the Unterland
- Natural and cultural highlights in the South of South Tyrol
- Worthwhile in summer and winter