The narrow lanes of the capital of the Pustertal valley tell of deeply rooted traditions and a fine feeling for the fun and beautiful things in life. Bruneck is home to a lively people that is in no way averse to customs and festivals, and with their open and joyfully creative manner, they fill the small city in the mountains with a very special charm.
Where the vineyards end, it is hops and malt that take charge. In spite of its modest size, the city of Bruneck once boasted two brewhouses at the same time: the Kirchberger Brewery and the Sternberger Brewery, both of which brewed delicious beer at a very central location on Via Centrale-Stadtgasse.
Today, Rienzbräu continues this tradition with Bruneck beer that not only enjoys great popularity as a local specialty, but has also already brought home coveted awards and recognitions at international competitions.
Things are of course traditionally merry in and around Bruneck with the local festivals. Every two years, the town puts on the big City Festival, at which a grand procession with bands, floats, thigh-slapping folk dancers, and Goaßlschnellern [ceremonial whip-toting goat-drivers] provides the setting for delicious local food and drink.
And speaking of which: anyone who has been particularly taken by the Pustertal valley cuisine absolutely should not miss the Kuchen-Krapfen-Knödelfest, a celebration of cakes, fritters, and dumplings, which is held every August in Gais.
Bruneck has been successful in building the bridge between being cosmopolitan and being conscious of tradition in such a way that big contrasts also have a harmonious effect.
That is clearly illustrated by a stroll through the picturesque Via Centrale-Stadtgasse, where trendy shops and boutiques range from top labels to small personal stores which offer not only the local delicacies, but also a good many examples of artistically produced handicraft that are based upon a long tradition.
Artistic weavers, wood carvers, cobblers – much of what is sold is produced locally. So it is possible to look over their shoulders while they are working. Anyone who would like to experience that in great style would do best to visit the Mössmer Loden Factory and experience how simple handicraft has written the history of success. Even deeper insights into the handicraft and industry of days gone by are provided by the Folklore Museum in Teodone-Dietenheim.
With a merry, bustling clatter on the cobblestones, an Alpine-Mediterranean flair wafts through the narrow streets. Anyone who travels to Bruneck comes here to taste the deliciousness in a picturesque setting and to enjoy genuine handicraft.
Culinary hearts will be won over by Pur Südtirol. This is the place to find carefully selected specialties from sustainable cultivation, and thus only the best. Those searching for a suitable wine pairing would do best to stop off at Harpf, which also offers a magnificent selection of beers and spirits. Gourmets will then continue on a few buildings and look in at Horvat on the Via Centrale-Stadtgasse, which is particularly renowned for its legendary homemade jams and fruit syrups from purely natural ingredients.
Residents of Bruneck have also always had a liking for herbs and essences. There are bewitchingly spicy scents, oils, and much, much more at Bergila in Falzes-Pfalzen, at the Kräuterhof Hauser in Perca-Percha, or from the well-known local brand that is headquartered in Bruneck, Vitalis.
Material for memories is woven by the Kunstwebereien Franz and Ulbrich in the form of pillows, tablecloths, and other must haves for the home. And the oldest factory in the Pustertal valley is also located in Bruneck: the Tuchfabrik Moessmer, which today is still one of the few that produces fabric with fully integrated production.