Merano (Italian, now most common in English; German: Meran, also used in English; Ladin: Meran; Archaic (857 AD): Mairania; Latin: Merona; many of the region's Italian languages/dialects use Meran), is a town in the province of Bolzano-Bozen, Italy. Generally best known for its spa resorts, it is located inside a basin, surrounded by mountains standing up to 3,335 m (11,000 ft), at the entrance to the Passeier Valley, the Vinschgau (Val Venosta) and the Ultental (Val d'Ultimo) valleys.
In the past the town has been a popular place of residence for several scientists and artists, who appreciated its mild climate.
Among the town's landmarks are the Museum of Tourism, which was opened in the spring of 2003 and shows the historical development of tourism in the province, and the Giardini di Castel Trauttmansdorff, a botanical garden. Both sites are located in the Trauttmansdorff Castle.
After the county had been handed over to the Habsburg family in 1363 after the abdication of Countess Margarete Maultasch of Tyrol, in 1420 Friedrich IV moved the court to Innsbruck. Merano subsequently lost its predominant position and almost all its importance as an economic hub across the roads connecting Italy to Germany. The important mint was also moved to Hall in 1577.
The county was later restored on the person of Anna Maria Josephine Plochl, morganatic wife of Archduke Johann of Austria. After World War I, Merano became part of Italy with the rest of the province of Bolzano-Bozen.
The city's handball team is one of the most important of Italy, winner of the scudetto in 2005. The ice hockey team won two national championships, but it is currently playing in the Second Division (A2 series).
Merano is a popular tourist destination especially for Germans and Italians. In summer there are concerts on the promenade almost daily, and there are fine walks around the town and in the surrounding hills, not least "Merano 2000", where there is also ski-ing in winter.
Travel: Short Break - Spaghetti Doesn't Reach This Far ; the Ancient Spa Town of Merano May Be in the Italian Tyrol but It Is Very Austrian, Writes John Brunton
Nov 12, 2000; Meet an Italian in the mountains of Alto Adige and you will be greeted by a friendly "Gruss Gott" instead of "Ciao". Locals...