The Museum of Nature and beautiful old houses can be found in the Via Bottai alley on the eastern border of the old town.
The Via Bottai is one of the oldest and most typical alleys in the town: It is located at the eastern end of the Arcades and connects the Town Hall Square with the Via Weggenstein road.
As the wine business and wine trade were already worthwhile sources of income in the Middle Ages, an entire alley was named after the coopers, an important guild for town life. Moreover the Via Bottai was one of the most important transport route since the end of the 13th century. The alley, which was wide by the standards of the time, provided space for three-horse carriages which, coming from the Brennero Pass, stopped here in one of the inns and met with traders under the Arcades, or, coming from the south, moved northwards towards the Brennero.
Wrought iron signs of these old inns still adorn the facades of the houses today. In addition, at the northern end of the Via Bottai alley (Bindergasse, in German) you can see the Princely Office of Emperor Maximilian I, which was used for the administration of income. These venerable walls house a popular destination for families: the South Tyrol Museum of Nature. Opposite is the former administrative seat of the Bishop of Augsburg. Like the rest of the historic centre of Bolzano with its Arcades, the Via Bottai is part of the pedestrian zone and closed to traffic.