One of our favorite things to do in Bolzano is to hike up Rittner Horn (Corno del Renon in Italian), 2260 meters (7415 feet, 1.4 miles) high, with a peak 2000 meters (1.25 miles) above Bolzano. We start with a ride in the Rittner Seilbahn (Funivia del Renon) cable car up to Oberbozen (Sobrabolzano) at 1220 meters (.76 miles) and take the Rittner Bahn train (Treno del Renon) along the side of the mountain to Klobenstein (Collalbo) at 1160 meters (.72 miles), where we start up Path Number 1 to the top.
The map tells us that Path Number 1 takes us 11.4 km (7.1 miles) to the peak, with a difference in elevation of 1100 meters (3600 feet, .7 miles), and should take about 4 hours. We start by hiking through several fields separated by gates.
The next stage of the hike is on paths through the forest, still continuing up gradually, with great views periodically appearing through the trees.
We pass Gasthof Unterhorn, the last Gasthof (and opportunity for food, beer, wine, and toilet) before the top and start up a set of steps to the summit.
We arrive and quickly admire the views. It's beautiful, but very windy and cold.
At the bottom of the steps, we pop into Gasthof Unterhorn for warmth, a little lunch, and some wine, dining on speck dumplings in hot broth, which are warm, filling, and just what we need. Inside, we find almost everyone we've seen on the path, all with the same idea: warmth, food, and drink.
Warm, rested, and ready to face the weather, we head out and continue down the mountain, passing through fields where the cows and horses have come out to graze.
The animals seem as curious about us as we are about them and the young ones wander over to say hi as we go through. The older ones just stare.
As we get back to Pemmern (the base of the second gondola, which we didn't take), we stop to look at the maps of the mountain trails and ski paths.
From here, it's only another hour or two back to Klobenstein (Colalbo) to catch the train to the Rittner Seilbahn gondola station.
At the train station, there is time for a glass of wine (1 euro, $1.17 USD) before the next train departs, taking us to the gondola back into Bolzano, treating us to more beautiful views of the mountains and the approaching city.
It's been a great adventure: we've seen beautiful scenery, met some livestock, had a simple, tasty lunch, and hiked up (and down) a mountain.