8/15/14, Friday Another country today, Italy! We left Germany, crossed the entire country of Austria, and stopped at Vipiteno, Italy first. Vipiteno is a medieval town known for its wine and leather goods. We sampled several local wines and schnapps at one of the local shops. We even tried their pear wine which is a specialty. When the pear bud starts, they tie a bottle around the bud so the pear grows inside the bottle. Then add various liquids depending on the taste you want and presto...pear wine, schnapps or whatever!! Robin checked out a number of the leather shops and finally found a purse that she liked. It was a holiday today in Italy so they were having a beerfest in the market complete with the town marching band. We also paid a visit to the local church (Church of Our Lady) which was in the Gothic style so a lot more plain than the others we have been seeing.
Next we headed for Bolzano. The main thing to see here is the South Tirol Museum of Archeology which houses the famous remains of Otzi, a 5300 year old iceman found in the local mountains. It was a very interesting exhibit and included the remains of his clothes, a copper axe head and the handle with leather straps to hold the head on, his bow and arrows, and enough shreds of clothes to be able to piece together what he wore. Otzi's mummified remains are amazingly intact due to the fact that he was so remarkably preserved in the ice for over 5000 years.
Along the road from Garmisch to Bolzano, we saw several fortifications and castles. One of the fortifications was a site at which the Nazis hid some of the paintings and other art treasures referred to in the Monuments Men books and movie.