The arcades in Bolzano are 300 m long. When the suffocating sultriness in Bolzano heats the atmosphere in summer, this colonnade offers shade and refreshment thanks to the gentle breeze that blows through them.
The arcades in Bolzano are one of the most authentic ways in the historical centre of Bolzano. Back in the XI century the Bishops of Trento, who were the political as well as the religious authorities in Bolzano at the time, had the vineyards of the Tegernsee Abbey dispossessed and built an indoor market under the arcades in Bolzano that served as an increasingly growing trade centre connecting the north and the south. The Italian merchants mainly sold their goods under the northern colonnade ("Italian colonnade"), while the German merchants did under the southern colonnade. At the back of the colonnade goods were stored on the ground floor. Perishable goods were kept fresh in four underground storage levels, while houses were located in the skylight yard. Wonderful balconies decorate the rich façades of the palaces at the levels immediately above the colonnade. These buildings have been restored according to the style of the XVII and XVIII centuries. Here and there (e.g. the ancient city hall in Bolzano at number 30), however, an acute arch door recalls the Medieval trade times. In other areas, such as in the trading palace where the trading museum is based, the refined Baroque palaces have replaced the Gothic style. Today, like in the past, the colonnade in Bolzano, which is enclosed in the pedestrian traffic area, offers unforgettable purchase opportunities in the Medieval historical centre of the city.