Since summer is winding down here in the Alps, it's time to start thinking about how to enjoy the fall. I know everyone loves it when the wildflowers start to bloom in the spring, or when the smell of summer barbecues fills the air, but for me, fall is the most beautiful season. I'm happy to live in a place where fall actually IS a season. There's nothing like the crystal clear air, deep blue skies and brilliant foliage. And even though summer dresses and sandals may be more fun, who doesn't love putting on a cozy sweater and going for a walk on a fantastic fall day? I know we Texans live for that first cold snap which actually justifies dressing like it's no longer summer.
In central Europe fall is a wonderful time of year. This is the season for grape harvesting, roasted chestnuts and mountain hikes. My man and I always try to take a long weekend trip in the fall and our favorite destination is South Tyrol in northern Italy. For us it's a mere three hours away, but it's like entering another world. Usually we go to the town of Meran, but last year we discovered the area around Bozen and all it has to offer. Probably our number one discovery was the Steidler Hof in the village of St. Magdalena. The Steidler Hof is a farm and vineyard run by the Gasser family. They produce their own wine, which is best enjoyed on their terrace overlooking the town of Bozen. We've been there several times now and can't get enough of their fine wine, great home-cooking and unbelievable hospitality. I'm sure that St. Magdalena and the Steidler Hof will be real contenders for this year's fall trip!
The Steidler Hof in St. Magdalena, near Bozen