The leaves on the trees turn to pastel shades and the mountains are dusted with the white of the first snow, yet in the city temperatures remain balmy. Autumn in Merano is the season of “törggelen”, the local custom that combines the tastes of roast chestnuts and new wine, as well as typical specialities from the cuisine of South Tyrol, all at outdoor events.
The apple and grape harvests are the background to the Merano Grape Festival, held on the third weekend in October, and more deeply rooted in tradition than any other occasion. Three days of folk music, dancing, gastronomic feasts and revelry take place in the town centre.
Fans of classical music can enjoy themselves at the Merano Music Weeks, long one of Europe’s most popular festivals, with concerts by prestigious orchestras and famous soloists held primarily at the Kursaal from the end of August until the end of September.
Meanwhile, highlights at the Merano Racecourse include the Burggräfler Palio, a challenge between local municipalities competing on Haflinger mounts and thoroughbreds, and especially the Merano Südtirol Grand Prix when, on the last Sunday of September, the eyes of the Central European horseracing world are on this race in Merano, the biggest and richest steeplechase in Italy, a contest that has been held since 1935 against a festive and sophisticated backdrop.
This palpable glamour can at the same time be found at the Merano WineFestival, held in the first half of November, which offers a wonderful journey of discovery through the highlights of Italian and international wine production, as well as of gastronomy and cooking trends. It is all framed by a galaxy of initiatives that address the theme of taste in an exclusive, joyful yet meticulous manner, celebrating different points of view while hosting tastings and meals, not to mention meetings and debates.