The area of beautiful undulating vine-covered hills to the South of Bolzano is called Überetsch, i.e., ‘Beyond the Adige’, as viewed from Bolzano. It is guarded over by imposing medieval castles perched on ledges in the precipitous flank of the Mendel mountain.
One of the finest Überetsch castles is Schloss Hocheppan. A visit is a must for art devotees, while the views from there of the surrounding countryside and the nearby Dolomites are spectacular. The castle chapel contains some of the most exclusive and well-preserved works of Romanesque art (pre-1200), in the form of a religious fresco cycle by an unknown artist. The obvious Byzantine influence suggests he was probably Venetian. However he was probably helped by a local artist, for the paintings show a servant cooking ‘knödel’.
The castle tavern serves South Tyrolean specialties and there is a ‘bow-and-arrow trail’ with 21 stations. Hocheppan is part of the famous ‘castle triangle’ comprising Schloss Korb, now a gourmet restaurant, and Boymont.