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The Earth Pyramids of Renon
Masterpiece of nature

Through any breach in the forest of firs and pine trees, you can see them from afar. Grouped like organ pipes, the cone-shaped pillars rise out of deep gorges and wear a 'cap of stone': they are the Renon earth pyramids, the biggest of Europe.  
 
These bizarre pillars can reach heights of up to 30 metres. Made up of glacial moraine clay they result from the interaction of rain and drought. In dry conditions, the soil is hard as stone, but, as soon as it rains, it turns into a soft muddy mass that flows downstream.  

The large stone boulders on top of the columns protect them as a barrier from atmospheric events. The surrounding material, on the other hand, erodes and forms steep slopes. So, these majestic earth pillars literally rise out of the ground. Over the course of millennia, slender columns emerge from the bottom, and with each rain they become higher and higher. However, compared to mountains aged millions of years, the earth pyramids are not particularly long-lived in geological terms.  As soon as a column loses its 'cap', the pyramid begins to melt away until one day it disappears completely. The good news? While one earth pyramid vanishes further up the same slope nature is already forming a new one.

Join our guided excursions to admire this unique geological phenomenon!  

A beautiful path leads us to the panoramic terraces, with a great view on the pink earth pyramids of Longomoso, very much photographed but not the only highlight of this hiking tour. On the way back, we visit the beautiful church of Maria Assunta, which houses an iconic Madonna with an umbrella. Then we board the Renon train, the historic railway opened in 1907.

Less well-known, but just as impressive, are the earth pyramids of Auna di Sotto, with their whitish glow. On the Chestnut Trail you can admire them from below, which makes them look really huge. This path is one of my favourites. Especially in autumn, where you can admire the beauties of nature during the South Tyrolean tradition of Törggelen: new wine, chestnuts and delicious farmer's specialities.

Other fascinating formations can be found near Soprabolzano, a picturesque village on the Renon, which can be reached from our Lodge in about half an hour of pleasant walk.  It takes 30 minutes further to admire the pyramids up close.

In addition to the earth pyramids, the high plateau of Renon offers many other attractions. Let's discover them together!

Dominik Pellegrin
Hiking guide at ADLER Lodge Ritten