The pyramids of Renon, a small Cappadocia in South Tyrol

The pyramids of Renon, a small Cappadocia in South Tyrol

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If you are looking for an unusual and fascinating destination for your next trip to Italy, we recommend you to visit the earth pyramids of Renon, spectacular rock formations that are located on the homonymous plateau, in the province of Bolzano.

The earth pyramids of Renon are also called earth pillars or pinnacles, and are the result of the erosion of the moraine soil left by the glaciers during the ice ages. These columns of earth, up to 30 meters high, are topped by large boulders that act as a hat and protect them from the rain. The earth pyramids of Renon have been compared to the famous rock formations of Cappadocia, a historical region of central Anatolia, in Turkey, known for its underground cities and its rock churches.

How to get to the earth pyramids of Renon

The earth pyramids of Renon are located about 15 km from Bolzano, the capital of South Tyrol, an autonomous region with special statute located in the north-east of Italy. To reach the earth pyramids of Renon you can take the train from Bolzano to Collalbo, the main town of the plateau, and then continue by bus to Soprabolzano, where there is one of the areas richest in earth pillars.

Another option is to take the cable car from Bolzano to Soprabolzano, and then walk along the paths that lead to the pyramids. If you have a car, you can follow the state road 12 to Prato all’Isarco, and then turn for the provincial road 73 that goes up to the plateau of Renon.

What to see and do at the earth pyramids of Renon

The earth pyramids of Renon are a natural and cultural heritage to discover and admire in all seasons. In spring and summer you can enjoy the green and flowered landscape that contrasts with the bizarre shapes of the earth pyramids.

In autumn you can witness the phenomenon of “törggelen”, a typical tradition of South Tyrol that consists in tasting the new wine and local products in cheerful taverns. In winter you can admire the snow-covered pyramids and practice cross-country skiing or snowshoeing on the plateau.

To appreciate the best of the earth pyramids of Renon we recommend you to follow one of the many hiking trails that cross them. One of the most suggestive is the panoramic path on the Corno del Renon, which starts from Cima Lago Nero and offers a breathtaking view on the Dolomites and the Alps. Another interesting route is the holiday walk and earth pyramid trail at Soprabolzano, which starts from the center of the village and passes through the areas richest in pinnacles. Finally, you can visit the earth pyramids of Monte di Mezzo, reachable with a flat walk suitable also for families with children.

In addition to the earth pyramids of Renon, the plateau offers other attractions not to be missed. You can visit the beekeeping museum Plattner Bienenhof, where you can discover the history and secrets of bees and honey. You can admire the castle of Wolfsthurn, a baroque residence that houses the provincial museum of hunting and fishing. You can take a ride on the train of Renon, a historic railway that connects Collalbo with Soprabolzano. And you can climb to the top of Corno del Renon, the highest mountain of the plateau, from which you can enjoy a 360-degree view on the surrounding valleys.

Where to sleep and eat

If you want to spend one or more nights at the earth pyramids of Renon, you can choose between different accommodation solutions. You can stay in one of the many hotels, farms, bed and breakfasts or apartments that are located on the plateau. You can also opt for a more original and romantic solution, such as a wooden hut or a room in a tree house. If you prefer contact with nature, you can sleep in a campsite or in a shelter.

As for food, you can taste the specialties of South Tyrol, a cuisine that combines the flavors of Tyrolean tradition with those of Mediterranean cuisine. Among the typical dishes to try there are dumplings, bread and speck balls served in broth or with butter; apple strudel, a pastry filled with apples, raisins and cinnamon; and speck, a smoked and seasoned ham. You can accompany your meals with local wines, such as Lagrein, Gewürztraminer or Schiava.

The earth pyramids of Renon are a destination to discover for those who love nature, history and culture. They are a magical and suggestive place, where you can live a unique and unforgettable experience. Do not miss the opportunity to visit this small Cappadocia in South Tyrol, and let yourself be enchanted by its wonders.

Photos by Walter Donegà (

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