Chiusa ristorante Turmwirt
Il ristorante Turmwirt di Gudon, vicino a Chiusa

In the vacation area of Klausen, Barbian, Feldthurns/Velturno and Villanders/Villandro in the Eisack Valley, just a few kilometers from Bolzano, you are always sure to be welcomed as an exceptional guest. A place for small and great joys, where spontaneity, friendliness and love for one’s roots have always distinguished this land.

Ph. Tobias Kaser

Such as at the“Turmwirt” restaurant in the charming village of Gudon, 2 km from Klausen/Chiusa, a canonical place that has brooded generations of innkeepers who have passed the craft from father to son. In the 17th-century courthouse scribe’s house, the Gasser family has been serving seasonal cuisine accompanied by fine wines from the surrounding vineyards for five generations.

Chef Maria brings homemade dishes to the table: alongside pasta and ice cream, guests are especially delighted by freshly baked seed bread. And when the season allows, juices and brandies are also homemade.

gastronomy Klausen South Tyrol
Ph. Tobias Kaser

The “Turmwirt” is not only a fine restaurant where tourists can enjoy a traditional South Tyrolean meal, it is also a meeting place for the entire village. Outside, one is enchanted by the facade, decorated with wall paintings by Josephus Nussbaumer dating back to 1835, while the warm “stube,” inside, captivates with paintings by Hugo Atzwanger from the year 1907.

South Tyrolean Dumplings Chiusa
Ph. Alex Filz
Villnösser Brillenschaf Klausen
A Villnösser Brillenschaf sheep typical of the Chiusa area

After all, it is undeniable that creativity is paired with professionalism, respect for traditions and for one’s origins: this enlightened encounter gives birth to high-value products ranging from dairy products to eggs, from vegetables to fruits, from fish to game. Not forgetting meats. Among the most prized in these places is the Villnösser Brillenschaf (literally meaning “Funes Valley spectacled sheep”), the oldest breed of sheep in South Tyrol. High-quality sheep meat, thanks mainly to the natural diet based on pasture grass.

And it is precisely some young entrepreneurs in the area who have committed themselves to recovering forgotten animal and plant breeds. They are visionaries, but with their feet and hands firmly planted on the ground. One of the “keepers” of rare species is located in Barbian, the picturesque locality situated on the mid-coast above the Eisack Valley. Harald Gasser has spent years studying rare herbs and vegetables on his Aspingerhof farm. Today Harald’s“De horto naturali” field measures about 3,000 square meters and is home to 400 different vegetables that end up in the kitchens of the area’s top chefs.

Chiusa, Harald Gasser of the Aspingerhof farm
Harald Gasser of the Aspingerhof

It is difficult, for a gourmet, but also for a simple gourmand, not to love then the mushrooms-porcini, pioppini, chanterelles, morels or champignons-that in September emerge from the moist soil of the woods and vast meadows on the outskirts of Klausen.

But the Eisack Valley stands out most of all for its wines: famous (and award-winning) are the fruity, juicy, mineral-rich whites with an elegant, bold body-all traditionally vinified in purity. Among the most popular are Sylvaner, Kerner, Müller Thurgau, Gewürztraminer, Riesling, Veltliner, and the elegant Pinot Grigio.


Centrally located in Chiusa is the Spitalerhof farm. It is famous for its Sylvaner “Sepp’s Alte Rebe,” a white, still, dry wine that is among the wines on the list offered at the Spitalerhof hotel, which has been located on Sabiona Mountain for 63 years. The Spitalerhof, run by the Oberpertinger family, is first and foremost a wine estate, the gourmet kind. Here you have experiences that remain in your heart and mind. Like the flavors of a good meal, tasting spirits in the distillery or the thrill of sleeping in the “Fassl Gourmet,” a giant wine barrel complete with whirlpool.

Chiusa Spitalerhof
The Spitalerhof farm

Not far from Klausen, set among forests and vineyards, stands out the Steinbock Castle in Villanders/Villandro, a historic estate with 12 exclusive suites. The 18th-century manor house is used as a refined gourmet hotel, in which the characteristic Alpine style of period South Tyrolean structures dialogues in perfect harmony with contemporary design.

Here, too, refined gastronomy is the icing on the cake: in the “stube,” chef Tomek Kinder‘s soulful food, awarded 2 toques from the Gault-Millau Guide, is based on seasonal local products revisited with a Mediterranean twist. A seemingly simple dish like bread with chive oil suddenly creates a palatal indulgence of the highest order. The castle‘s wine cellar, under its Gothic vaults, holds more than 800 labels, many of them true rarities.

Closed wines

The old restaurant “Gasslbräu” in the old town of Klausen is also certainly worth a stop. Constancy and friendliness, renewal and curiosity are the values of Helga and Norbert Andergassen, owners of the brewery where they brew natural beers from raw materials sourced from South Tyrol: grain, malt and water.

Master brewer Norbert produces blondes, darks and weizens but also more creative seasonal craft beers, such as the highly regarded chestnut beer. All to be paired with typical dishes at the inn, a lively and convivial place, well protected by the Sabiona Monastery, erected on the cliff that guards the village of Klausen.


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