The picturesque Italian town of Merano was once the spa retreat of the Austrian royal family, the Habsburgs. This influence can still be felt today: Art Nouveau villas line the streets, and the impressive imperial Castle Trautmannsdorf stands as a testament to Merano's unique past. It was not just royalty that came to Merano to revive their spirits: great thinkers such as Sigmund Freud, Ezra Pound, and Franz Kafka were frequent guests. Today, those seeking spa treatments can find any number of places in and around Merano to relax and revive their spirits. The well-preserved medieval old town is lined with restaurants and bars, and the mountains surrounding Merano are perfect for hiking and skiing.