Kastelruth (Italian: Castelrotto) is in South Tyrol. Perched at about 1,000m above sea level in the Dolomites, this small town is a good place to stay while exploring the nearby Alpi Di Siusi alpine meadow and the surrounding peaks.
There are two major sources of income - tourism and agriculture. There are two tourism seasons - summer and winter (for the skiing). From January to March, there is little to no activity in the town. During the summer, the hills are green everywhere, with only the tallest and distant peaks of the Dolomites being bare. Like most towns in South Tyrol, there is a dual cultural and culinary identity: German and Italian. Natives are fluent in both languages, and outside of people directly dealing with tourists, spoken English is a rarity.
50 minutes by bus from Bolzano along a very winding and scenic view. The 170 bus goes onto Ortisei during the day, but in the evening, the route gets truncated to end in Kastelruth. The town of Seis is higher in altitude than Kastelruth, but comes before it on the 170 route. The main bus stop is in the center of town. Buses are fewer in frequency on a Sunday. The bus stop, in Bolzano, for the 170, is right outside the station, a little to the right (when facing away from the station). Tickets can be purchased from the bus driver.
The town itself is quite small and very walkable. Tourists staying in town and in the region can get (for free, from their hotel / lodging establishment) the "Live" / "MobileCard". This may not be provided automatically, so ask! This card allows one free travel on the regional buses from / to Seiser Alm and below. The card cannot be purchased from Bolzano. So one will have to buy the bus tickets to get into town, from Bolzano, but once one gets the "Live" card, one can return to Bolzano for free.
Kastelruth is a small town and there are no major sights. There is a bell tower that dominates the town skyline, and eating establishments that cluster around it in the center of the town.
- Marinzen chair lift. In the summer, this lift can take hikers up to the Marinzen alpine meadow. Its base point is located close to the center of town. This is different from the Marinzen ski lift which operates from a nearby ski resort area during the winter
- There is plenty of hiking that can be done. The cable car at the nearby town of Seis (Italian: Siusi) - which is reachable by the 3 / 3A bus service - will take one up to Compatsch (Italian: Compaccio), from where there are numerous hiking trails on the Alpi Di Siusi. There are "huts" to be found along many of these trails - which can in many cases be a restaurant that provides hot food.
- Restaurant Saalstuben, V. Oswald von Wolkenstein, O.-von-Wolkenstein-Strasse 12, 39040 Kastelruth. Good food and service at this full-service restaurant that is close to the town center.
- Hotel zum Wolf (Hotel al Lupo), Oswald von Wolkenstein street 5 I-39040 Castelrotto (Right behind the busbahnhof in the center of town). Mid-range place that has good rooms, with included breakfast, and a self-service bar that operates on the honor system
- There are many agriturismo establishments in the area. These are bed and breakfasts with the added twist of being part of a functioning farm. Some of these may be close to regional bus stops, but many are reachable only by car. The accommodations will be rustic, and not as polished as a hotel experience might be. However, staying at a farm can be a great experience, and on selected days, the produce of the farm (cheeses, fruits, etc) may be directly available for purchase.