Gais and Villa Ottone
The community of Gais is located at the shores of the Aurino River at 841 m above sea level. Coming from the vast valley basin of Brunico, you get to Gais by driving past the impressive ruin of the Chela Castle and the Canova Castle, before the Aurina Valley opens up in front of you.
Remains of settlements dating from the Bronze Age were found on the so-called "Gaisinger Pipe". The name "Gais" goes back to Indo-German roots. Gais means "alluvial land"; this is the perfect description for this region, which has lots of water.
One of the oldest and most important parish churches in South Tyrol can be found in Gais. The church is dedicated to the Evangelist John and was constructed in Roman style at the end of the 12th century. Hotel Burgfrieden offers something very special: a museum of fireman helmets displaying more than 600 helmets from all over the world.
Villa Ottone is a hamlet of Gais. This is not only a picturesque and enchanting village, but also features some remarkable buildings. Here you can visit the Santa Margherita parish church, the Stock manor or the ruin of Villa Ottone Castle reigning over the village.
Towards the end of the 15th century, the renowned master of Villa Ottone was born. His panel paintings are stored in the Novacella Monastery and in museums in Innsbruck and Vienna.