The first stage of the Via Romea Germanica in Italy is short and easy, mostly downhill. The peaks of the Dolomites overlook us; in front of us the verdant slopes with cultivated fields, small hamlets, alpine churches. In the background, the Isarco valley.
You may start either from the Italy-Austria border or from the Brenner railway station. As soon as you leave the station, you follow the signs for the foot and cycle path for Vipiteno, which starts behind the Church of San Valentino and retraces the route of the ancient railway. After a few kilometers you will find the Terme del Brennero/Brennerbad. Then there are 2 tunnels, the old toll booths and the Ponticolo station; you arrive at the end of the footpath and cycle path and go down towards Colle Isarco/Gossensass which you can see below. (cyclists, at the second hairpin bend, take the cycle path to Ibsenplatz; they pass under the railway, pass Gattern, take Via Pflersch, cross Colle Isarco and continue on Via Faber; they pass under the motorway and continue along the railway up to Novale. They resume by making a part of the SS12 / Brennerstrasse and arrive directly in Vipiteno) In Colle Isarco there is the cemetery. After visiting the Chapel of S. Barbara, go down the miners’ stairway. You arrive on the Brennero state road; you pass under the highway. Path no. 21 leads to a beautiful coniferous forest. Leaving the woods you arrive at Castel Strasberg. Descend to the small agricultural village of Novale di Sopra walking through meadows and various crops. After various paths you arrive in sight of Vipiteno. Going down towards the railway, which you follow for a while, you pass under it, cross the Isarco river and arrive in the main square of Vipiteno, under the Torre delle Dodici/Zwölferturm.