The Passo della Mendola is considered an attraction. It is an Italian pass with German impact above the Lake Caldaro.
Image gallery: Passo della Mendola
The Passo della Mendola is situated at 1,364 m asl at the edge of the province of Bolzano and Trento. It is the deepest incision of the Mendola mountain ridge between the Penegal and Roen. The border between the Italian citizens of German and Italian mother tongue is easily recognizable and also audible. The few people spending their summer at the Passo della Mendola speak both languages and sometimes a bright mixture, which is nevertheless understood both by the inhabitants of South Tyrol and the Val di Non.
In general, the Passo della Mendola is a kind of summer resort for a large number of inhabitants of Appiano, Caldaro and Termeno. Many people have their little cottage or even house at the pass, where they live in July and August, and sometimes even the whole year round.
In San Antonio, a village that belongs to Caldaro, there is the lower terminus of the Mendola cable-way. The cable car takes its passengers directly on the pass within 12 minutes only, which is a good alternative to a car ride, as the 15 hairpin bends might make you sick. The mountain station is surrounded by a wide and very beautiful area which is offers trails and snack-bars. Also a little skiing area, belonging to Ruffré, is available. Mountains such as the Roen and Penegal can be reached on relatively easy hiking trails, while in Val di Non you can experience wide alpine pastures at close range.
Once upon a time the Passo della Mendola used to be a spa for noble families, even the Austro-Hungarian emperor Franz Josef sojourned in this place. The ancient historical buildings confer a very special flair to the Mendola pass. The residences, in which the famous ballroom is located, has been renovated and offers space for apartments.
Our tip: the weekly activity programme of the tourist office of Caldaro often includes tours at the Passo della Mendola.