When you’re in the capital of the northernmost province of Italy on the Austrian border (a/k/a Bozen, Südtirol), surrounded by architecture like this,

which is surrounded by landscape like this,

then you simply must surrender to the aura by gorging on a dizzifyng array of dumplings—be they ravioli filled with spinach & ricotta di bufala, sprinkled with the unique local cheese known as graukäse,

at Zum Kaiserkron, which looks like this,

or the robust bread or potato dumplings called knödel, flavored at Loacker Moccaria with spinach & curd cheese alongside lentil salad.

You will invariably snack on copious amounts of speck, the indigenous lightly smoked ham. It may be accompanied by a mousse of herbed local goat cheese, rhubarb-strawberry salad, & the hearty brown bread called vinschgauer, as at Loacker Moccaria,

or it may be lightly fried & rolled around an orb of fresh, creamy mozzarella.

If you are really lucky, it will be followed by tagliatelle flavored with the ubiquitous crunchy flatbread called Schüttelbrot, tossed with delicate veal ragù, morels & pfifferlings (chanterelles).

If you are really, really lucky, that will in turn be followed by Schüttelbrot-crusted lamb chops over the tenderest of knödel, evoking gnocchi.

That’s not at all guaranteed, since the above was part of a catered lunch in advance of the Wine Tasting Forum at the Castel Mareccio, a/k/a Schloss Maretsch.

But I can promise you’ll encounter many an equivalent all around town. Top it off with a piece of apfelkuchen, relatively light, not too sweet.

And we’ve only just begun; click here for my detailed discussion of these & other specialties on ZesterDaily.