315 Sunny Days
Wednesday, 07. December 2016
315 Sunny Days

Plaus (519 m)

With around 680 inhabitants and an area of just 5 km², Naturno's neighbouring community counts as the smallest municipality of South Tyrol.

The history of the village Plaus - "Palus"= lat. "swamp" - around 4km east of Naturno, tells of the settlement of a swamp and moorland countryside. The earliest documentation of Plaus dates to 1270.

The Etsch river, running along the valley, has borne witness to the landscape and its people for over a thousand years. The waters of the Etsch offered the people of Plaus only very little arable and pasture land, often flooded over. Thus the large settlement was founded with economic limitations.


Until the last century, the town was jokingly referred to as the town with "seven houses". Due to the regular flooding, Plaus was also known as "Little Venice" in the area. Even today, people still talk of "gondoliers" who transported students to school in "coracles"(small boats).

Today, where the Etsch flows in a restrained and orderly fashion towards the south, only the Plaus mascot, the frog, remains to bear testimony to the "damp" past of this small village; an outsized specimen of the creature watches over the village car park.


These days, the extremely fertile valley stretches all around the village in vast orchards leading to romantic vineyards on the slopes of the Sonnenberg mountain.


In the village centre the picturesque parish church is witness to a pious past. Its tower is typical of the Roman Age. The foundation of the parish, according to local lore, dates back to Charles the Great. The church is surrounded by modern artwork. In the graveyard, the Vinschgau artist Luis Stefan Stecher immortalised himself a few years ago in 18 paintings, the "Dance of the Dead" frescoes. The illustrations, of great artistic significance, depict the farming traditions and character of the region, and draw our attention to social outcasts and to our eternal accompaniment, Death.


From the village centre one has a great view of the defiant and imposing Dornsberg Castle. The castle, still famed today, cannot be missed; with a little imagination, one can imagine himself as an erstwhile knight very well indeed. Directly beside the castle you can find the "Knight's Climb", one of the many pathways that start in the immediate vicinity of Plaus. The Vinschgau cycle path also leaves directly from the outskirts of the village , along the Etsch in the direction of Naturno or, in the other direction, towards Merano and Bolzano and on to Lake Garda.

For a spot of fitness we recommend a visit to the new Alpin-Well-Fit trail at the foot of the Nörderberg mountain.

You can get to the centre of Naturno by the Vinschgerbahn train, or by bus in just 5 minutes. Or, alternatively, stroll leisurely over the Etsch promenade and through the fruit orchards to the neighbouring town.


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