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Törggelen: Italian Thanksgiving In South Tyrol


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Anissa Atwood



Welcome to the enchanting world of Törggelen, where Italian traditions and culinary delights meet in the picturesque region of South Tyrol. Often referred to as “Italian Thanksgiving,” Törggelen is a beloved celebration that takes place in the autumn months, bringing friends and families together to indulge in the bountiful harvest and savor the flavors of the season.


Originating in the rural areas of South Tyrol, Törggelen has deep roots in the region’s agricultural past. Historically, it was a way for winemakers and farmers to celebrate the end of the grape harvest and the completion of their hard work. Today, it has evolved into a cherished tradition that attracts visitors from all over the world, eager to experience the magic of Törggelen themselves.


The essence of Törggelen lies not only in the exquisite food and wine, but also in the warm and welcoming atmosphere that permeates every aspect of the celebration. As you walk through the charming villages and vineyards of South Tyrol, you will be captivated by the beauty of the golden autumn foliage and the inviting aromas that waft from the cozy taverns, known as “Buschenschänken” or “Stuben.”


During Törggelen, these traditional establishments open their doors to welcome guests with open arms. The rustic interiors adorned with wooden beams, the crackling fireplaces, and the tables laden with delectable dishes create an ambiance that is second to none. It is here that friends and families gather to partake in the age-old traditions of Törggelen, creating lasting memories and strengthening bonds.


As you embark on your Törggelen adventure, prepare to be delighted by a host of captivating activities and festivities. Whether you choose to explore the vineyards on a leisurely stroll, embark on a scenic hike through the breathtaking landscapes, or savor the traditional music and dances at the local festivals, there is something to suit every taste and interest.


Of course, no Törggelen experience would be complete without indulging in the gastronomic delights that await you. From hearty South Tyrolean specialties such as Speck, Schlutzkrapfen, and Kaiserschmarren, to the enticing aroma of roasted chestnuts and freshly pressed apple juice, every bite and sip is a celebration of the region’s culinary heritage.


Throughout this article, we will delve deeper into the rich history, traditions, culture, activities, and tantalizing food and wine of Törggelen. Join us on this incredible journey through South Tyrol as we discover the magic and charm of this Italian Thanksgiving. So sit back, relax, and indulge in the beauty of Törggelen, where autumn colors and flavors blend harmoniously to create an experience like no other.


History of Törggelen

The history of Törggelen can be traced back to the rural communities of South Tyrol, where agriculture played a central role in the economy and way of life. Originally, Törggelen was a way for winemakers and farmers to celebrate the completion of the grape harvest and to enjoy the fruits of their labor.


The name “Törggelen” derives from the term “Torggl” or “Torggel,” which refers to the traditional wine press used to extract juice from grapes. In the past, after the harvest was complete, farmers would take their grapes to the local Torggl and gather to press the grapes into wine. This communal activity marked the end of the harvest season and provided an opportunity for the community to come together in merriment.


Over time, Törggelen evolved into a larger celebration that extended beyond the wine press. It became a festive occasion for friends and families to gather, socialize, and enjoy the abundance of the autumn harvest. What started as a simple communal activity gradually transformed into a cherished tradition, celebrated with great enthusiasm throughout South Tyrol.


Originally, Törggelen was primarily associated with winemakers, who would invite guests to their vineyards or wine cellars to partake in the festivities. As word spread about the delightful experience of Törggelen, it gained popularity among locals and tourists alike, leading to the establishment of dedicated taverns and restaurants that specialize in this unique celebration.


Today, Törggelen has become an important cultural event in South Tyrol, attracting visitors from far and wide to experience the rich traditions and culinary delights associated with this autumn celebration. It not only serves as a way to pay homage to the region’s agricultural heritage but also provides an opportunity to showcase the local cuisine, wines, and hospitality.


Throughout the years, the essence of Törggelen has remained largely unchanged. It is still a time to gather with loved ones, embrace the beauty of the autumn season, and indulge in hearty food and delicious wines. It is a celebration of the region’s connection to the land, its deep-rooted traditions, and the joy of coming together in a spirit of warmth and conviviality.


As you immerse yourself in the history of Törggelen, you will gain a deeper appreciation for the traditions that have been passed down through generations. From the humble beginnings of grape pressing to the vibrant and inclusive celebration it has become today, Törggelen continues to be a cherished part of South Tyrolean culture, inviting visitors to experience the region’s rich history and warm hospitality.


Tradition and Culture of Törggelen

The tradition and culture of Törggelen are deeply ingrained in the fabric of South Tyrol. From the moment the autumn colors paint the landscape, locals eagerly anticipate the arrival of Törggelen, a celebration that embodies the region’s rich heritage and culinary delights.


At the heart of Törggelen is the spirit of togetherness and conviviality. It is a time when friends and families gather to celebrate the harvest season, reconnect with loved ones, and create lasting memories. The warm and inviting atmosphere of Törggelen is enhanced by the traditional taverns and quaint farmhouses that open their doors to welcome guests and offer a glimpse into the region’s rustic charm.


Throughout Törggelen, the traditions and customs of South Tyrol come alive. It is not just about enjoying the delectable food and wine, but also about immersing oneself in the unique cultural experiences that accompany the celebration.


One of the cherished traditions of Törggelen is the practice of going on a leisurely walk or hike through the countryside. As the leaves change color and the crisp autumn air fills the lungs, locals and visitors alike take to the trails, enjoying the stunning vistas and the peaceful serenity of the landscape.


During the walk, it is common to stumble upon small stands selling roasted chestnuts, or “Keschtn,” a quintessential treat of Törggelen. The aroma of the roasting chestnuts fills the air, inviting passersby to warm their hands and savor the smoky-sweet flavor of this seasonal delight.


Another integral aspect of Törggelen is the traditional music and dance that accompanies the festivities. Local musicians and performers take the stage, entertaining guests with lively folk tunes and traditional dances. The sounds of accordion, guitar, and traditional instruments blend harmoniously, encouraging everyone to join in the revelry and celebrate the spirit of Törggelen.


Throughout the celebration, the focus is on indulging in authentic South Tyrolean cuisine. The typical Törggelen meal is a multi-course affair, featuring a variety of hearty dishes that showcase the richness of local ingredients and culinary traditions.


Classic Törggelen dishes include Speck, a cured and smoked ham, served alongside fresh farmhouse bread. Schlutzkrapfen, a type of filled pasta, is a regional specialty that delights the taste buds with its savory filling and buttery sauce. No Törggelen experience would be complete without Kaiserschmarren, a fluffy and indulgent pancake dessert, often topped with powdered sugar and served with homemade fruit compote.


Of course, the main highlight of Törggelen remains the wine. South Tyrol is renowned for its vineyards and exceptional wine production. During Törggelen, guests have the opportunity to sample a variety of local wines, including the famous Vernatsch and Lagrein. The wine perfectly complements the hearty dishes, providing a delightful culinary experience.


Törggelen is not just an event, but a way of life in South Tyrol. It represents a deep connection to the land, a celebration of the harvest, and a genuine embrace of the region’s cultural heritage. As you partake in Törggelen, you will be enveloped in the warmth and hospitality of South Tyrol, experiencing firsthand the traditions and culture that make this celebration so unique and special.


Törggelen Activities and Festivities

Törggelen is not just about indulging in delicious food and wine; it offers a myriad of activities and festivities that engage visitors and immerse them in the vibrant atmosphere of the celebration.


One of the most popular activities during Törggelen is exploring the picturesque vineyards and beautiful countryside of South Tyrol. Take a leisurely walk or hike through the rolling hills, breathe in the crisp autumn air, and admire the vibrant colors of the foliage. The vineyards themselves provide a stunning backdrop for a tranquil stroll, and many wine estates offer guided tours where you can learn about the winemaking process and taste the local varieties.


For those seeking a more adventurous experience, there are plenty of hiking and biking trails that wind through the valleys and mountains of South Tyrol. The Dolomites, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, offer breathtaking views and an exhilarating outdoor experience. As you explore the trails, you can also visit charming alpine huts, known as “hütten,” where you can rest and indulge in traditional South Tyrolean cuisine.


Throughout Törggelen, various festivals and events take place, showcasing the region’s culture, music, and dance. These lively gatherings feature traditional costumes, lively music performances, and folk dances that encourage everyone to join in the merriment. From the energetic rhythms of the accordion to the rhythmic stomping of feet, these festivities create an atmosphere of joy and celebration.


One of the highlights of Törggelen is the opportunity to attend wine tastings and cellar tours. Many wineries open their doors to visitors, giving them a chance to explore the vineyards, learn about the winemaking process, and sample a wide selection of exceptional wines. The passionate winemakers are eager to share their knowledge and love of wine, making the experience even more enjoyable and educational.


During Törggelen, you can also participate in cooking classes and culinary workshops where you can learn to prepare traditional South Tyrolean dishes. Under the guidance of experienced chefs, you can master the art of creating regional specialties, gaining insights into the local ingredients, techniques, and flavors that make Törggelen cuisine so unique.


Shopping is also a popular activity during Törggelen, as it provides an opportunity to take home a piece of South Tyrol. The charming villages and towns are dotted with boutique shops and artisan stores where you can find a wide range of local products, including handmade crafts, traditional clothing, specialty foods, and, of course, bottles of locally produced wine.


Whether you choose to immerse yourself in nature, dance to lively music, learn the art of winemaking, or explore the local cuisine, Törggelen offers a wide array of activities and festivities that cater to every interest and taste. The sense of community and joy that permeates these events creates an unforgettable experience that will leave you with treasured memories of your time in South Tyrol.


Törggelen Food and Wine

When it comes to Törggelen, the food and wine are the stars of the show. South Tyrol’s culinary heritage takes center stage during this celebration, as locals and visitors alike indulge in a feast of flavors that showcase the region’s rich gastronomy.


The Törggelen meal is a delightfully filling affair, consisting of multiple courses that feature traditional South Tyrolean dishes. One of the highlights is Speck, a cured and smoked ham that is a staple in the region. Served thinly sliced, Speck is an explosion of savory flavors that pairs perfectly with fresh farmhouse bread.


Another iconic dish of Törggelen is Schlutzkrapfen, a type of filled pasta reminiscent of ravioli. These delectable pockets are traditionally filled with a mix of spinach and cheese or speck and served with melted butter, grated Parmesan cheese, and crispy breadcrumbs. The combination of flavors and textures makes Schlutzkrapfen a true Törggelen delicacy.


No Törggelen experience would be complete without indulging in Kaiserschmarren, a fluffy pancake dessert that is a true crowd-pleaser. Served hot and freshly made, Kaiserschmarren is torn into small pieces and sprinkled with powdered sugar. It is typically accompanied by a fruit compote, adding a burst of sweetness and tanginess to the dish.


Roasted chestnuts, or “Keschtn,” are a quintessential treat of Törggelen. Whether purchased from small stands on the streets or enjoyed around a cozy fireplace, these chestnuts add a delightful smoky-sweet flavor to the celebration. They are often paired with a glass of sweet, amber-colored “Zwetschgen,” a local plum brandy.


As Törggelen takes place during the harvest season, it is the perfect time to sample the region’s exquisite wines. South Tyrol is renowned for its exceptional wine production, and during Törggelen, visitors have the opportunity to taste a wide variety of local wines. Vernatsch, Lagrein, and Gewürztraminer are just a few of the renowned grape varietals that thrive in the region’s vineyards.


Each wine tells a story, reflecting the unique terroir and winemaking traditions of South Tyrol. Vernatsch, for example, is a light-bodied red wine with fruity notes that pairs well with the hearty Törggelen dishes. Lagrein, on the other hand, is a full-bodied red wine with bold flavors that can hold its own against rich and savory meals.


For those who prefer white wines, Gewürztraminer is an excellent choice. This aromatic wine has distinctive floral and spicy notes that complement lighter Törggelen dishes, such as delicate soups or seafood.


During Törggelen, wine tastings and cellar tours are not to be missed. Winemakers open their doors, welcoming guests to explore their vineyards and learn about the winemaking process. This offers a unique opportunity to gain insight into the artistry and dedication that goes into producing exceptional South Tyrolean wines.


From the hearty dishes to the exceptional wines, Törggelen is a celebration of South Tyrol’s culinary excellence. As you indulge in the delectable flavors, you will understand why this region has earned a reputation for its exceptional cuisine and remarkable wines.


Törggelen Locations in South Tyrol

South Tyrol is a region known for its stunning landscapes, charming villages, and exceptional cuisine. When it comes to Törggelen, there are several locations throughout South Tyrol that offer the perfect setting to experience this delightful autumn celebration.


One of the most popular Törggelen destinations is the city of Bolzano. As the capital of South Tyrol, Bolzano offers a vibrant atmosphere and a wide range of taverns and restaurants where you can indulge in the Törggelen experience. Take a leisurely stroll through the historic city center and visit the local markets to sample the region’s gourmet delights.


The picturesque village of Brixen is another ideal location for Törggelen. Nestled in the heart of the Dolomites, Brixen boasts a rich history and a charming Old Town. Here, you can enjoy traditional South Tyrolean dishes in cozy taverns, immerse yourself in the local culture, and explore the nearby vineyards and hiking trails.


The village of Kastelruth, located at the foot of the Alpe di Siusi, is renowned for its breathtaking alpine scenery and authentic Törggelen experiences. Enjoy a leisurely hike in the surrounding nature, feast on the sumptuous local cuisine, and soak up the warmth and hospitality of the village.


If you prefer a quieter and more remote location, the village of Völs am Schlern is the perfect option. Surrounded by the majestic peaks of the Schlern mountain range, Völs am Schlern offers a peaceful Törggelen experience away from the crowds. Explore the idyllic countryside, savor the traditional dishes in local taverns, and enjoy the tranquility of this hidden gem.


For those seeking a combination of Törggelen and wellness, the region of Merano is an excellent choice. Known for its spa towns and beautiful gardens, Merano offers a luxurious Törggelen experience. After a day of indulging in the culinary delights, unwind in the thermal baths and rejuvenate your body and mind.


Regardless of which location you choose, Törggelen in South Tyrol promises a unique and authentic experience. Whether you prefer the bustling city atmosphere or the serene countryside, you will find a place that perfectly encapsulates the essence of Törggelen and allows you to fully immerse yourself in the rich traditions and flavors of the region.


As you explore the various Törggelen locations in South Tyrol, you will not only be treated to delectable cuisine and outstanding wines but also have the opportunity to discover the breathtaking natural beauty and cultural heritage that make this region so special.



Törggelen is more than just a celebration of food and wine; it is a journey into the heart and soul of South Tyrol. This autumn tradition encapsulates the region’s rich history, cultural heritage, and profound connection to the land. As you immerse yourself in the Törggelen experience, you will witness the beauty of the landscape, savor the flavors of traditional cuisine, and embrace the warmth of South Tyrolean hospitality.


From its humble beginnings as a communal grape pressing activity, Törggelen has evolved into a cherished celebration that attracts visitors from around the world. With its picturesque vineyards, charming villages, and cozy taverns, South Tyrol provides the perfect backdrop for this gastronomic journey.


During Törggelen, you will have the opportunity to indulge in a delectable array of dishes, from the savory Speck to the sweet Kaiserschmarren. Each bite is a celebration of the region’s culinary traditions and a testament to the skill and dedication of South Tyrolean chefs.


Accompanying the exquisite cuisine is the outstanding wine produced in the vineyards of South Tyrol. Whether you prefer a glass of Vernatsch or Lagrein, the local wines perfectly complement the hearty dishes, creating a harmonious symphony of flavors.


But Törggelen is not just about the food and wine; it is a celebration of community, togetherness, and the beauty of the autumn season. As you walk through the vineyards, hike in the mountains, or participate in the lively festivities, you will feel a sense of connection to the land and a shared joy with fellow revelers.


Whether you choose to experience Törggelen in the bustling city of Bolzano, the peaceful village of Völs am Schlern, or any other charming location in South Tyrol, you are guaranteed an unforgettable journey into the heart of this Italian Thanksgiving celebration.


So, come and immerse yourself in the magic of Törggelen. Let the vibrant colors of autumn, the tantalizing aromas, and the genuine hospitality of South Tyrol captivate your senses and create memories to last a lifetime. Experience the tradition, taste the culture, and savor the moments of bliss that await you in this enchanting region. It’s time to embark on a Törggelen adventure like no other.