The conical and pillar-shaped Earth Pyramids on the Renon mountain near Bolzano stretch up to 15m into the almost cloudless sky. These impressive towers of earth on the sunny high plateau are a landmark of the parish of Renon and, as such, are one of South Tyrol’s most loved tourist destinations.
The Earth Pyramids consist of material that is approx. 25,000 years old. Over the course of time, the heaped up, cone-shaped loam and overlying rock formations have developed into quite a bizarre landscape. This quirk of nature is caused by the composition of the earth below the formation. In some areas, the ground on the Renon consists of late ice-age moraine loam left over from the Val Isarco main glacier and a few other nearby glaciers. When the ground is dry, it is rock solid, yet, when it rains, it turns into a weak, muddy purée that forms slopes of between 10 and 15m in height. Certain weather conditions cause the Earth Pyramids to develop from these slopes.
It’s hard to know exactly how long it takes for such Earth Pyramids to develop. Equally difficult is knowing exactly how old an Earth Pyramid is or how much older it can become. One thing is clear, however: when the capstone at the tip of the pyramid falls off, the pyramid will be no more. The pillars will be unprotected and, therefore, eroded by the rain and truly disappear.
The hike to the Earth Pyramids begins in Collalbo. The path takes you through Collalbo to Longomoso. From Longomoso, take path no. 24 into the Earth Pyramid valley. The path is relatively flat, meaning every type of shoe is suitable and the path is easily accessible with a pushchair. Once you reach the Earth Pyramids, you can admire them from the viewing terraces. The journey back takes you on the same path to Longomoso, until the start of path no. 37. From here, continue on the Passeggiata Von Eyrl, which will take you back to the starting point at Collalbo station.