Page 1

english

english

» Almanac Alta Pusteria/Hochpustertal valley

Your holiday region in South Tyrol

«

Issue no. 1, 2011/2012

Issue no. 1, 2011/2012

Your holiday region in South Tyrol

» Almanac Alta Pusteria/Hochpustertal valley

«

» bewitching

» bewitching

» moving

» moving

» curious

» curious

» informative

Tourist Info Alta Pusteria/Photogrüner

Tourist Info Alta Pusteria/Photogrüner

» informative

www.three-peaks.info

Available free of charge from the Tourist Associations and partner companies in the Alta Pusteria valley All information is supplied without liability.

www.three-peaks.info

Available free of charge from the Tourist Associations and partner companies in the Alta Pusteria valley All information is supplied without liability.


Südtirol Festspiele

Salzburg” and “Beethoven Energy” in Bolzano also bear the unmistakeable mark of the Maestro: they are spirited, merciless and fascinating. His own little musical universe.

The charm of the Three Peaks on Facebook:

Share your favourite holidays snaps with us on Flicker!

www.facebook.com/ConsorzioAltaPusteria

www.flickr.com/photos/altapusteria

» Alta Pusteria/Hochpustertal online « www.three-peaks.info

Video on Alta Pusteria on Youtube:

www.youtube.com/altapusteria Mobile website Alta Pusteria is always with you thanks to the mobile website www.three-peaks.info.

Express your opinion on your favourite hotel in Alta Pusteria on Holidaycheck or Tripadvisor! News in brief from Alta Pusteria on Twitter:

www.twitter.com/AltaPusteria

2

www.tripadvisor.com

The latest fruit of his inexhaustible love of music is the Alto Adige Festival, which had its debut last September in Dobbiaco. It is to continue to complement the traditional Gustav-Mahler Music Weeks in coming years as a second music festival in the spirit of Mahler. “I see the Alto Adige Festival primarily as an event that complements the Gustav Mahler Music Weeks, which have already achieved great things, especially in terms of musicology and teaching, and which will continue to do so in future“, says the Maestro. “The basic principle of the festival is however to get the best out of a composition, to go into it in depth, to work on it, to feel your way into it and allow yourself to be inspired, especially here in this magical place.” That is also why the Haydn Orchestra of Bolzano and Trento and all participating musicians and singers arrive in Dobbiaco for a daily marathon of rehearsals a whole week before the festival begins. The intensive preparation is important for Gustav Kuhn, so that he can file away at the works until a flame ignites, breathing life into them, and so that ultimately the performances get under your skin, become unforgettable. This fervour in interpretation is no accident. It is the basis and guiding principle of the Alto Adige Festival’s artistic programme. The focus is on the Dobbiaco works of Gustav Mahler. The song cycle “Das Lied von der Erde”, and his 9th symphony, which Mahler composed during summer stays in Dobbiaco in 1908 and 1909, are considered to this day to be his most personal and moving compositions. Another important consideration is that these works were first performed after Gustav Mahler’s death – so they do not contain any revisions made by the composer. They thus have an element of eternal mystery – one that supplies musicologists with endless material for debate, but which is not uncontroversial from an artistic point of view, either. The result is a great openness for instrumentation and interpretation. It is this sheer wealth of possibilities that defines the festival. This concept has nothing to do with any narcissistic bent of the Maestro, but is based on a statement by Gustav Mahler himself, who, it is said, once called upon the young Otto Klemperer to “undertake corrections”, should he “see the musical need to do so”. He is said not only to have given him the unreserved right to intervene, but to have indicated that it was his urgent duty to do so. Gustav Kuhn can therefore draw on unlimited resources in all good conscience. Because although the festival has only just been inaugurated, it already has an established tradition: the concert series will open each year with “Das Lied von der Erde”, and will culminate triumphantly with Mahler’s 9th Symphony. Between these two

Südtirol Festspiele

Alto Adige Festival in Dobbiaco

Dobbiaco’s music festival in the spirit of Mahler:

The Gustav Mahler Music Weeks www.gustav-mahler.it

Alto Adige Festival www.festspiele-suedtirol.it

cornerstones there is plenty of scope for musical contrasts – for contemporary composers, for example, or for the world of “bel canto”. A recipe for success? Who knows? Despite the media, who watched the proceedings like hawks, the first Alto Adige Festival in September 2010 was widely acclaimed by the concertgoers. This year too, the concert series will run on the basis of the motto “Mahler – contrast – bel canto”. From 16th to 25th September, it will offer its public a varied programme of operas, orchestral works and contemporary interpreters. And Maestro Gustav Kuhn and his boundless love of music will be fixtures of every evening. Veronika Pfeifhofer

27 2


» Tourist Boards

Content… 4–5

The Alta Pusteria/ Hochpustertal valley … your own personal fairytale

6–7

Skiing paradise with a view of the “Three Peaks”

8–9

Cross-country skiers live longer

10–11 12–13 14 15 16–18

Magnificent panoramas Nocturnal Alta Pusteria Skicross – The show begins Where well-being is rooted The Dolomites – a UNESCO World Heritage site

19–20

The higher you go, the more you see

21–22

Admire. Inhabit. Protect.

23–25

Over hill and dale with the whole family

26–27

For love of music

in the Alta Pusteria/ Hochpustertal valley «

» Alta Pusteria/Hochpustertal

Via Dolomiti 29, 39034 Dobbiaco tel. +39 0474 913 156 | fax +39 0474 914 361 e-Mail: info@altapusteria.info Internet: www.altapusteria.info

» Sexten/Sesto

Via Dolomiti 45, 39030 Sesto tel. +39 0474 710 310 | fax +39 0474 710 318 e-Mail: info@sesto.it Internet: www.sesto.it

» San Candido/Innichen

Piazza del Magistrato 1, 39038 San Candido tel. +39 0474 913 149 | fax +39 0474 913 677 e-Mail: info@sancandido.it Internet: www.sancandido.info

» Dobbiaco/Toblach

Via Dolomiti 3, 39034 Dobbiaco tel. +39 0474 972 132 | fax +39 0474 972 730 e-Mail: info@dobbiaco.info Internet: www.dobbiaco.info

» Villabassa/Niederdorf

Via Stazione 3, 39039 Villabassa tel. +39 0474 745 136 | fax +39 0474 745 283 e-Mail: info@villabassa.it Internet: www.villabassa.it

» Braies/Prags

Braies di Fuori 78, 39030 Braies tel. +39 0474 748 660 | fax +39 0474 749 242 e-Mail: info@valledibraies.info Internet: www.valledibraies.info

3


Tourist Info Alta Pusteria/H. Oberhofer

Tourist Info Alta Pusteria/H. Oberhofer

» The Alta Pusteria valley … your own personal fairytale « “The world is a book. And those who do not travel read only a page.” We should like to welcome you to the Alta Pusteria valley with this quotation of the Roman philosopher, Aurelius Augustinus. So open the book and join us on a journey of discovery as we visit the villages of this holiday region. The first page, or the first thing that will catch your eye, will be meadows of brightly coloured flowers and lush green fields, the mighty rock formations of the Dolomites towering above them, and a clear sky. Even if the various villages in the Alta Pusteria valley appear similar at first glance, they do in fact all have their own special charm, their own characteristics. Their own “genre”, to adhere to our book motif. Continue to turn the pages and you are sure to discover the features that make them unique. “Campus gelau”, or “the icy country” – the Alta Pusteria/ Hochpustertal valley acquired this descriptive epithet in the early Middle Ages. And not without reason. In terms of the climate at least, little has changed to this day. From December to March, wintry landscapes blanketed in a deep covering of snow continue to be the typical picture of the region, lending it a special charm. Here you can experience winter in its purest form - with all that it entails!

4

» Sesto With its unique mountain scenery, Sesto has stolen the heart of many visitors. However, you should not judge the village on its appearance alone – you would be missing quite a lot if you did! This is where you can really experience the winter landscape – in every conceivable way. Whether you are skiing or snowboarding in the Dolomiti di Sesto-Alta Pusteria ski resort, tobogganing, cross-country skiing, snow-shoe walking, riding on a horse-drawn sleigh or simply walking – winter here is never boring. The village of Sesto nestles between the Catena Carnica/ Karnischer Kamm ridge and the impressive Dolomite summits of the Meridiana di Sesto/Sextner Sonnenuhr “sundial”. However, you should not judge the village on the basis of its spectacular panorama alone – you would be missing quite a lot! There are contemplative hiking and walking routes, climbing areas and mountain bike tours, or unforgettable summits to view or conquer. Here, any conceivable aspect of Alpine sport can be enjoyed to the full.


» San Candido In San Candido, past and present merge to form a popular meeting point for young and old. Here, there is something for everyone – whether you are skiing or tobogganing on the Monte Baranci/Haunold mountain, shopping or enjoying a cosy aperitif in the pedestrian precinct, or relaxing for a day in the Acquafun leisure pool. The village will particularly impress you with its urban touch and the historic sights in the centre. In December, the Ski Cross World Cup assures the village of a generous slice of action, bringing San Candido definitively to life after a short period of hibernation! In San Candido, past and present merge to form a popular meeting point for young and old. Here you can experience nature without having to forgo urban flair. Just a few steps will take you from a comfortable café in the historic pedestrian precinct into the most beautiful natural landscape. Highlights for families are the fun-bob toboggan run on the Monte Baranci/Haunold mountain and the Acquafun leisure pool.

» Villabassa Villabassa is considered to be “the cradle of tourism”, which is perhaps why it attaches so much importance to tradition and the maintenance of ancient customs. Especially around Christmas and Easter, it is still possible to see some of the old customs and rituals for yourself. Villabassa’s great strength is however in its role as a health spa. Here people live according to the Kneipp philosophy even in winter, and various activities and health spa programmes are thus on offer to promote a holistic and healthy lifestyle. Villabassa is considered to be “the cradle of tourism”, which is possibly why it attaches so much importance to tradition and the maintenance of ancient knowledge, such as knowledge of the revitalising, healing waters of Alta Pusteria. The tradition of the former therapeutic spa continues to be very much alive in Villabassa. Italy’s first “Kneipp für mich ®” (“Kneipp for me”) holiday village now also offers an open-air inhalatorium.

» Dobbiaco Dobbiaco is completely dedicated to cross-country skiing and is not often referred to as the “Nordic Centre” without reason. It is a venue for one of the stages of the Tour de Ski, so that the sports facilities in the village have been upgraded dramatically in recent years. As well as a professional-standard cross-country skiing stadium, Dobbiaco is now home to the highest indoor climbing wall in Italy. But culturally, too, the place that inspired some of Gustav Mahler’s most famous works has all sorts to offer – for fans of classical music, the Cultural Centre at the Grand Hotel in Dobbiaco is just the place. In the summer months, Dobbiaco metamorphoses into the cultural capital of the Alta Pusteria. With two large music festivals to choose from – the Gustav Mahler Music Weeks and the Alto Adige Festival – culture vultures will find a programme that is as varied as it is sophisticated. But sports enthusiasts will also find plenty to do here. The new indoor climbing centre in the Nordic Arena and the roller skating rink offer a diverse range of sports activities.

» Braies Anyone who appreciates the peace and raw beauty of untouched nature is likely to feel at home in Braies. Here you can experience the Dolomites in all their authentic glory, far from the hustle and bustle of city life. Extended snow-shoe tours, cross-country skiing through forests covered deep in snow, the chance to enjoy perfect peace and quiet... or maybe you’d prefer a relaxed afternoon in a warm chalet? The people of Braies share a close affinity to nature and a deep sense of tradition, something which is also reflected in their cuisine – so Braies is the place to be for all true gourmets! Anyone seeking a dialogue with nature is in exactly the right place if they come to Braies. Here even more so than in the other villages, it is possible to experience nature in its purest form. Whether you go hiking in the Dolomites or on the famous Prato Piazza/Plätzwiese high mountain pasture, or take a gentle walk around the enchanting Lago di Braies/ Pragser Wildsee lake, this is the place to come to if you wish to collect sensory impressions you will never forget.

5


Tourist Info Alta Pusteria/M. Schönegger

» Skiing paradise with a view of the “Three Peaks” « (Tre Cime di Lavaredo/Drei Zinnen) The six-mountain “ski carousel” What a backdrop! Anyone admiring the rugged peaks of the Dolomites from the Monte Elmo ski resort, including the Cima Dieci/Zehner, Cima Undici/Elfer, and Croda dei Toni/ Zwölfer, and the impressive rocky crags of the Punta dei Tre Scarperi/Dreischusterspitze and Monte Baranci/Haunold, cannot fail to be fascinated. Only the famous Tre Cime di Lavaredo, also immortalised in the logo of the Dolomiti di Sesto/Alta Pusteria ski resort, could not be seen from here up to now – unless you undertook a ski or snowshoe tour and climbed for several hours to see them. But that is soon to be all part of the past, because the Dolomiti di Sesto mountain cable car companies have big plans.

Seven ski areas available at one swoop! And yet the existing slopes and lifts available already leave no wish unfulfilled! The Dolomiti di Sesto/Alta Pusteria ski area

6

includes the Monte Baranci, Monte Elmo and Croda Rossa mountains, the lifts in Dobbiaco, Braies and Waldheim, and – new since last winter – the Val Comelico ski area south-east of the Monte Croce di Comelico/Kreuzbergpass. As yet, it is only your lift pass that unites the individual areas with their total of 31 lifts and 77 kilometres of piste - the Dolomiti di Sesto ski pass is valid for use on all lifts and also entitles you to free use of the ski bus, which allows you to move from one ski area to another with ease. Skiers can already use this in the course of the Giro delle Cime/Sextner Dolomiten Runde ski tour to explore the Monte Baranci, Monte Elmo, Croda Rossa and Monte Croce mountains as well as the Comelico ski area near Padola in a day – admiring as they do so the distinctive Dolomite backdrop of the Alta Val Comelico. If you would like to learn more about the numerous summits or “Cime”, you can get to know all of them, peak by peak, by doing the “Giro delle


Cime” in the company of guide Rudi Krautgasser or another ski instructor. In future it will be even easier to move from one area to another, because work on the connections between individual areas is already underway. The mountain cable car companies are planning a huge “ski carousel” that will stretch from Versciaco/Vierschach via Monte Elmo, Stiergarten, Croda Rossa and Monte Croce as far as Padola, to comprise a total of around 95 kilometres of piste. By incorporating the Monte Baranci, Monte Elmo, Stiergarten, Croda Rossa and Monte Croce mountains and the Val Comelico ski area, the Giro delle Cime will thus become the “six-mountain ski carousel”.

Dolomiti Superski/U. Bernhart

The mountain cable car companies are also working hard on the continuous improvement of existing services. From Christmas 2010, the Gigante Baranci/Riese-Haunoldhütte refuge at the mountain station of the Monte Baranci chairlift shines in new splendour. This popular mountain refuge has been completely re-built in Tyrolean style and now offers cosy, traditional rooms with lots of old wooden fittings. A new “Beginners’ zone” is available for children and beginners in the Fun Park on Monte Elmo, further improving the facilities offered in the Tre Cime Snow Park. On the valley descent from Monte Elmo to Sesto there is a new piste that on the one hand helps reduce the risk at the danger spots (Kristlerhang slope at the turn-off for the valley station Moso/Moos; final slope before the car park), and on the other makes it easier to enter the Moso ski area via the Bruggerleite lift. Stefan Herbke

Tourist Info Alta Pusteria/H. Rier

Improvements to infrastructure

7


Tourist Info Alta Pusteria/PhotoThomasGrüner

» Cross-country skiers live longer « The health benefits of cross-country skiing Endurance sports such as swimming, cycling, running and cross-country skiing, among others, have an extremely positive effect on the cardio-vascular system, and can help – if practised regularly – to prevent or reduce the risk of health problems such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar levels, high blood fat levels (cholesterol), arteriosclerosis and obesity. But how exactly do they do so?

8

Regular exercise and stimulation in the course of the right amount of physical training causes the body to adjust to endurance requirements. Blood circulation and oxygen exchange in the blood vessels of the heart, lungs and muscles are improved. The heart becomes slightly larger and the flow of blood is better. All this means that the heart can transport more blood per beat, both when you are at rest and when you are involved in physical


activity. The pulse rate is reduced and the heart becomes more efficient generally. Endurance training is not only good for the cardiovascular system – it also has a positive influence on other things, such as the metabolism. The energy supply to the cells is improved, and the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the organs and muscles is increased. And as cross-country skiing is not just an endurance sport, but a “whole-body endurance sport”, the positive effects are even greater: the whole body – and thus a large proportion of the muscles – are included in the workout. In order to function, muscles need fuel – just like a car. If lots of muscles are working, they burn up a lot of energy and thus lots of calories. Cross-country skiing is thus the ideal way to help you maintain or regain your ideal weight during the cold winter months. Both the body and its immune defence system are strengthened by the physical activity in the fresh air. Many endurance sports enthusiasts – whether elite athletes or “just” people who enjoy sport in their free time – talk about a real surge of happiness stimulated by sport. It’s true - endurance activity does in fact set free “happiness hormones” (endorphins), making you feel happy every time you strap your skis on again to glide across the winter landscape. For this to happen it is however essential that the exercise is regular. People who perhaps have to force themselves out on to the cross-country track the first few times will – if they persevere – soon notice how much good it does them. As well as or perhaps even because of the many positive effects of cross-country skiing on your physical condition, there are benefits for your mental well-being, too. Exercise taken in the fresh air and countryside can reduce stress and alleviate anxiety and tension. Your perception is trained and your physical awareness and selfconfidence grow as a result of your improved performance. A general feeling of well-being is established. Here are a few tips to help all those cross-country skiers and would-be cross-country skiers to create the conditions for this to happen: Cross-country skiing is – as already mentioned – a “whole-body” sport that burns off a lot of energy, i.e. it is hard work!! So, with your first cross-country excursions, you should begin slowly and deliberately. Anyone who bolts off full of enthusiasm right from the start may well find that they have run out of puff and the fun has dissipated after just a few 100 metres. Cross-country skiing uses many different groups of muscles. The muscles on the insides of the legs, and the upper arm and shoulder girdle musculature are particularly important. So too are the abdominal and back muscles, which are important stabilisers providing the balance necessary to glide. Those who prepare themselves for cross-country skiing in the snow-free months by undertaking whole-body fitness training have a huge advantage at the beginning of the season, and should be able to enjoy their first few excursions without suffering from aching muscles.

No one is a born cross-country skier: it is a technically demanding sport. It doesn’t matter whether you prefer the classical (diagonal) or the skating technique – as long as you learn the right technique under competent supervision right from the start, you can be sure of progressing elegantly and easily, whereas the self-taught often only proceed with great difficulty, with poor technique sapping their energy. You can exploit the positive effects of cross-country skiing – and much more – to the full in Alta Pusteria. As the heart of the Dolomiti Nordic Ski crosscountry skiing “carousel” (www.dolomitinordicski.com), the Alta Pusteria valley offers a contiguous network of at least 200 km of cross-country tracks, with well-groomed tracks for both the classical and skating techniques. All tracks subject to charges are also reserved exclusively for cross-country skiers. There are separate hiking trails for walkers. From 23rd December, snow is guaranteed! There are many access points to the tracks and they are easy to reach using public transport. The tracks range from easy training tracks for beginners, to tracks of a high level of difficulty that will present a major challenge even to worldclass cross-country athletes. The peripheral support services and facilities on offer will cater for every need, too: you can hire the equipment you need or have equipment repaired or re-conditioned in one of the ski hire and service stations, where qualified personnel will be happy to advise you. If you prefer to use your own equipment, the sports shops will provide expert advice, and there are of course ski schools with certified ski and cross-country ski instructors. Various cross-country events will have competitive athletes and/ or spectators pricking up their ears: on the cross-country tracks in Alta Pusteria, there are amateur competitions for anyone, as well as World Cup races and even the Tour de Ski. In the new “Nordic Arena” cross-country skiing centre in Dobbiaco, toilet facilities and a bar and restaurant are available for cross-country skiers. Other restaurants and pubs along the tracks welcome cross-country skiers and will spoil you with typical local and Italian dishes and other specialities. So – we seem to have covered all you need to live a long, healthy and happy life. But as the English doctor Cicely Saunders once said, it is probably more a case of “not adding days to your life, but life to your days”. So there you have it: strength-sapping climbs, breakneck descents, or gentle cross-country skiing excursions into the countryside under cloudless blue skies or in heavy snow, the odd fall or two into the soft white stuff, interesting encounters with like-minded people, a cappuccino and a slice of apple strudel at the edge of the track, and a fantastic view of the surrounding mountains - all this and more awaits cross-country skiers in the Alta Pusteria valley. Martina Pfeifhofer

9


Tourist Info Alta Pusteria/H. Oberhofer

Âť Magnificent panoramas ÂŤ The best sights do not have to be invented and constructed. In Alta Pusteria, the unique magnificence of the Dolomite peaks fascinates mountaineers and nature-lovers alike. This popular holiday region boasts numerous little known panorama-viewing points that open up captivating views of a unique mountain landscape. In Alta Pusteria, holiday-makers tend to do unusual things on occasion. Some of them set off early in the morning, when the rest of the valley is still fast asleep. They head off on foot for hidden places, to experience the breathtaking beauty of the sunrise over the Dolomite peaks. Others climb towards the summit at dusk, when the setting sun bathes the rock faces in gleaming red. Spectacular shows of nature are daily events

10

in Alta Pusteria. Le Corbusier exalted the Dolomites as the most beautiful mountain range in the world. In 2009, UNESCO inscribed them on the World Natural Heritage List. The Alta Pusteria valley offers ideal conditions for experiencing the unique natural beauty of the area at close hand and from all sorts of angles. Often you only have to go round a few bends in the road or walk a few minutes to reach fantastic viewing points from which it is possible to observe a natural spectacle that will outshine the scenery of any romantic film. That is why we should like to present some of the most beautiful places here. Anyone entering the Alta Pusteria valley from Brunico can stop off for a delightful diversion right at the beginning, between Monguelfo and Villabassa. A short, easy walk up to the Eggerberg viewing platform at almost 1500 m a.s.l. will be rewarded


time from the position of the sun, and the romantic Val Fiscalina/Fischleintal valley, looking towards the Tre Cime di Lavaredo. A beautiful high-altitude path to the Nemes Alm mountain pasture will round off the excursion nicely. Magnificent views are of course part of the deal. Georg Weindl

Tourist Info Alta Pusteria/H. Oberhofer

with a unique view of the Picco di Vallandro, Monte Specie, and Monte Baranci mountains, among many others. Just after Villabassa, it is worth making the trip via Ponticello/Brßckele up to the romantic Prato Piazza high mountain pasture. On a high plateau at 2000 m a.s.l., it could scarcely be recreated more beautifully by a landscape painter. The 360 ° panorama is a fantastic backdrop for a lovely walk. But back to the main road – the Via Pusteria/Pustertaler Strasse. The northern side of the valley with its sunny slopes is like a magnificent balcony from which to enjoy the view. Above Dobbiaco on the Monte Rota/Ratsberg and Costa dei Nosellari/Haselsberg mountains, and further east on the Versciaco/Vierschacher mountain, it is possible to find wonderful panorama viewing points that promise to be idyllic in themselves. Here you can bask in the sun while you enjoy a unique sense of harmony and peace. If the talk is of stunning scenery, then the Dolomiti di Sesto should certainly be mentioned. One of the best places is without a doubt above Sesto, if you take the road up to the Monte di Mezzo/Mitterberg mountain and to the Sesto alpine pastures. This excursion will give you a perfect view of the summits of the Meridiana di Sesto sun dial, from which it is possible to tell the

11


G. Leitgeb

» Nocturnal Alta Pusteria « The Alta Pusteria valley captivates its visitors with fairytale winter landscapes, first-class views and a wide range of winter sports activities. But because the days are short in winter, many winter sports are now also on offer in the evenings, or at night. When the sun disappears behind the mountains, and darkness spreads through the valleys, guests spending their winter holidays in the Alta Pusteria can withdraw satisfied to their comfortable rooms in the hotel or guest house and put their

12

feet up. They can, but they don’t have to. Because Alta Pusteria offers visitors a whole series of winter sports activities that do not start until the day ends. In Dobbiaco, also known as “the gate to the Dolomites” thanks to its fantastic position, a new cross-country skiing centre opened in January 2010: the Nordic Arena. Here, cross-country skiers can give vent to their sporting ambitions even after dark, skating or skiing in classical parallel-style on the cross-country skiing track, which is floodlit from 6 pm to 8 pm. Anyone still unfamiliar with cross-country skiing techniques can book a


cross-country ski instructor for the evening. And because crosscountry skiing is known to be quite hard work, the Nordic Arena offers night skiers changing rooms and shower facilities. The Nordic Arena is also the starting point for one of the two torchlight walks organised weekly by the Tourist Association of Dobbiaco. While thousands of ice crystals sparkle and glitter in the light of the torches, and the crusty snow crunches under your winter boots, the walk takes you along easy paths from Dobbiaco to the Lago di Dobbiaco lake. Once you get there, there are biscuits and waffles with tea and mulled wine in the cosy “Schneeschupfe” restaurant, before it is time to set off on the walk back, which takes just under an hour. The second torchlight walk, offered by the Tourist Association of Dobbiaco every Wednesday evening from 9 pm to 11 pm, starts from behind the parish church, and will lead you along wintry, snowcovered paths to the Silvesterhof hotel, and then back to the centre of the village. Both walks are accompanied by musicians with accordions and alpine horns, and you can expect some dancing and partying on both. But that is not all. In Dobbiaco you can also go tobogganing in the evenings. The Monte Rota toboggan run is floodlit on request. An easy walk of around an hour will get you to the starting point of the toboggan run, which is two kilometres long and has a change in altitude of 240 m. What is particularly agreeable about it is that a fast toboggan can be hired for as little as one Euro. And for particularly keen tobogganists it is also possible to pay by the hour. There are also other excellent places elsewhere in the Alta Pusteria valley from where it is possible to race down into the valley at night on the runners of a toboggan. You can reach the start of the Croda Rossa toboggan run easily from Sesto using the Croda Rossa cable car or – for the more sporty – in approx. 1.5 hours on foot. From there it’s an exciting 5 km descent down to Sesto/Moso, with a change in altitude of almost 700 m. And atmospheric walks by torchlight at night are of course also offered from Sesto. Every Wednesday evening at 9 pm there is a walk as far as the Rifugio Fondo Valle/Talschlusshütte refuge at the end of the fairytale Val Fiscalina valley. There you can warm up again with mulled wine and music, fortifying yourself for the walk back. The Alta Pusteria has no shortage of first-class panoramas to offer, but the Val Fiscalina must surely be one of the most beautiful destinations for an excursion. In San Candido you can try the 3 km-long “Baranci” toboggan run. Once a week from January to March, there is tobogganing by moonlight, when the toboggan run is open from 8 pm to 10 pm. You can reach the starting point using the Baranci chairlift. Then down you go, back to the centre of the village in an exciting, 3 km ride with a 320 m change in altitude. The Val Campo di Dentro/Innerfeldtal valley toboggan run offers a particularly special night-time tobogganing “experience”. It is

offered on the long, wonderfully romantic nights when there is a full moon in the Alta Pusteria valley. The starting point is the “Gweng” car park at the entry to the Val Campo di Dentro. While the full moon illuminates the snow-dusted peaks of the Dolomites, you walk for approximately 1.5 hours along a secluded path to the Rifugio Tre Scarperi/Dreischusterhütte mountain refuge at just under 1500 metres. Here, in the middle of the Natural Park, Alfred Innerkofler, the energetic manager of the refuge, strikes up a melody on the accordion while a tasty fullmoon meal is prepared in the kitchen. And as the Tre Scarperi refuge does not have overnight guests in winter, neither the manager nor his guests need to worry too much about closing time. No particular difficulties await tobogganists along the four kilometres or so of the toboggan run. You should not have any difficulty finding lots of fun evening sports activities in Villabassa, either. At the ice rink in the village square you can go ice-skating, try your hand at curling, or just enjoy a steaming mug of grog in the “Eishütte” refuge. And anyone who then withdraws to their room at the hotel or guesthouse to put their feet up, will almost certainly sleep like a baby. Sabine Holzknecht

13


Ch. Tschurtschenthaler

» Skicross – The show begins «

The four of them launch themselves all at the same time down a mogul-studded course of steep bends. Breath-taking overtaking manoeuvres at breakneck speeds and the steely determination of its athletes are the outstanding features of this spectacular sport, Ski Cross, which made its Olympic debut in Vancouver in 2010. Like gladiators into the arena, the four Ski Cross athletes catapult themselves simultaneously into the course of rollers, kickers and hairpin bends. They only remain parallel for the first few metres. Then come the first rollers, the first jump. And off they fly into the air, to land safely again 30 or 40 metres further on, where they aim to be first if at all possible on the ideal path into the next steep bend. It’s a wild ride, involving daring overtaking manoeuvres, risky jumps and spectacular falls on a toboggan run peppered with rollers. At speeds of up to

14

100 km/h, physical contact can scarcely be avoided, and any momentary lapse in concentration is exploited mercilessly by the opponents. As in Boarder Cross, 4 skiers set off simultaneously in Ski Cross to master jumps, rollers and bends set out over a course that is approximately a kilometre in length. It works on a knockout basis, i.e. only the first two home move up to the next round. 32 men and 16 women progress to the finals, and the winners are determined after 24 races. The rise of this exciting serial race has been extremely rapid, and yet Ski Cross is still in its infancy, at least in terms of its age. The first Ski Cross World Cup was hosted in Europe in 1998. As early as November 2006, Ski Cross was declared an Olympic discipline by the IOC – not least because the competition delivers spectacular television viewing. Karlheinz Molling, a former competitor in the Alpine Skiing World Cup, who “caught the Ski Cross bug” during the 2001 season, knows that this is true of almost every race. “I saw a race on television and thought ‘hey, that looks really cool’. But standing at the start and competing yourself is ten times better”, the first South Tyrolean Ski Cross athlete raves. During his time as an active competitor, up to 2008, he was able to carry off one World Cup victory and several places on the podium. “The adrenaline kick at the start is addictive. In Ski Cross I measure myself against the others face to face, whereas in the Alpine World Cup, you‘re out there on your own.” And that is exactly what makes the competitions so interesting for the spectators. They see straight away who is going on to the next round. There is excitement and plenty of action in every race. “We are the motocross riders of winter sport”, says Karlheinz Molling. “Ski Cross is not for the faint-hearted. If four skiers are pushing and jostling to maintain the ideal course whilst travelling at breathtaking speed, spectacular falls are inevitable. One of them will always be wiped out”, he grins, ruefully remembering that he too was injured several times during his active career. “But then you only think about one thing: recovering as soon as possible to start again”. Growing awareness of this young and popular sport was what led to South Tyrol’s first Ski Cross World Cup being held in San Candido in December 2009. Hanna Erharter, director of the Tourist Association of San Candido, is convinced that „the future belongs to Ski Cross.” And so she is delighted that two FIS Ski Cross World Cup races are to take place on Monte Baranci in San Candido at the beginning of the new season. Spectators are welcome, and entry is free of charge! Stefan Herbke


Rosso nero

Tourist Info Alta Pusteria/M. Gratton

The famous summits of the Dolomites form a distinctive mountain landscape, and the products of their unspoilt nature are original sources of health and beauty. After years of study and research, the Patzenfeld Mountain Resort created its natural cosmetics series ROSSO NERO, based on the long-established South Tyrolean culture and ancient traditions of the region. “The power of berries” provides a basis free of preservatives and colourings, and focuses on the medicinal effects of cranberries, elderflower and rosehip, which have been well known for generations. As a perfect combination of tradition, nature and science, these cosmetic products are highly effective, as well as being simple and versatile in their application. The natural aromas promote the wellbeing of body and soul.

» Where well-being is rooted « The eco-boom and health tourism are leading to a change of thinking, especially in the spa and health holiday industries. Luxury goods as we used to know them and conspicuous consumption are less and less likely to be flaunted. New values such as authenticity, health, ethics and ecology will prevail. Many of the usual Far-Eastern spa treatments are somehow not quite justifiable here in the mountains, and in spas, people also want to be “treated”, i.e. looked after individually, and not just left to their own devices. Applications with natural cosmetics made from edelweiß, mountain pine, apples, cranberries and blueberries among other things are just one aspect of the new, regional awareness. Hay baths and “Kraxenofen” wicker-back ovens with sweet-smelling hay from untreated mountain pastures will help you to relax and de-tox, reminding you of blooming meadows and mountain pastures with their scents and aromas. Honey massages, which

help to remove harmful substances and poisons via the skin, are increasingly popular. The beneficial effect of a regenerative massage with warm St John’s Wort oil will give you lasting relief from aches and pains. In the spa gardens of Villabassa, you can get to know a tried and tested, scientifically recognised programme of activities designed to promote well-being, including affusions, wading, and walking barefoot. This is not too much for anyone, and yet it still has an effect. The Alpine region offers natural conditions for the Kneipp philosophy, so that you can experience the 5 key elements – water stimulation, movement, medicinal plants, nutrition and a structured way of life – outdoors and in natural surroundings. In the new salt therapy room, asthmatics can relieve their symptoms by breathing in salty air and essential pine and blackthorn oils. Mud packs made of medicinal earth from the Val di Braies soothe joints and help to counter cellulite. As Sebastian Kneipp used to say: “Nature has given us plenty of everything we need to remain healthy.”

15 15


Amt für Naturparke/G. Tappeiner

» The Dolomites –

a UNESCO World Heritage site On 26th June 2009 in Seville, in the course of their 33rd session, the UNESCO World Heritage committee inscribed the Dolomites on the World Natural Heritage List, thus awarding them the highest possible international accolade as a natural property. The Dolomites were classed as unique in the world on account of the beauty of their landscape and their significance for geomorphology and geology. In 1972, UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) adopted the “International Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage”. Internationally, this is the most important instrument ever implemented by the community of nations to protect its cultural and natural heritage. So far, the World Heritage List comprises 890 properties in 148 countries. Of these, 689 are

16

«

Cultural Heritage sites, and 176 are Natural Heritage sites. A further 25 properties are mixed sites identified as monuments of both cultural and natural significance. Italy has 44 properties on the World Heritage List, although just two are World Natural Heritage sites: the Dolomites and the Aeolian Islands.

The criteria for inclusion on the World Heritage List To be inscribed on the World Heritage List, sites must be considered by the World Heritage committee to be of outstanding and universal historic, artistic or scientific value. In order to be identified as a Natural Heritage site, a property must fulfil at least one of four established criteria:


It must … > “be an outstanding example representing significant ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of ecosystems”; > “contain the most representative and significant natural habitats for the in-situ conservation of biological diversity” > “contain a natural phenomenon or an area of exceptional natural beauty or unique aesthetic importance”; > “be an outstanding example representing major stages of the Earth’s history”;

Tourist Info Alta Pusteria/H. Rier

various revisions. The new application submitted in February 2008 comprised 9 territorial units spread over five provinces and proposed as “serial Natural Heritage properties of the Dolomites”. After a first positive evaluation, two IUCN experts inspected the area in September 2008. On 11th May 2009, the IUCN returned a positive report on the application. The Dolomites were declared to be of unique global significance in terms of their landscape, geomorphology and geology. On the basis of this evaluation, it was proposed that the area be inscribed in the World Heritage List, subject to certain constraints. After an illustrative report and subsequent discussion with the 21 members of the World Heritage committee, the application was accepted unanimously on 26th June 2009. The Dolomite “serial Natural Heritage properties” on South Tyrolean territory are the Tre Cime di Lavaredo/Drei Zinnen and Fanes-Sennes-Prags/Fanes-Senes-Braies Natural Parks, which, together with other mountain groups of the Belluna Dolomites make up Unit 5, the “Dolomiti Settentrionali” or “northern Dolomites”; the Puez-Geisler/Odle Natural Park (Unit 6); the Sciliar-Catinaccio/Schlern-Rosengarten Natural Park, Latemar

In December 2004, the Italian Ministries of Culture and the Environment launched their bid to have the Dolomites inscribed on the World Natural Heritage list, clearly defining the areas to be included. Partners in the project were the five provinces of Belluno, Bolzano/Bozen, Trento/Trient, Pordenone/Portenau and Udine. They concentrated primarily on the Dolomite region and only selected areas that were already specially protected. The first formal application to UNESCO, submitted in September 2005, comprised 22 existing protection areas. In summer 2007, the decision of the World Heritage committee was postponed on the basis of the IUCN report, which proposed

Tourist Info Alta Pusteria/H. Oberhofer

History of the candidacy

17


Tourist Info Alta Pusteria/H. Oberhofer

massif and the Trento side of these ranges (Unit 7); and the Rio delle Foglie/Bletterbach gorge (Unit 8). The other areas are: Pelmo – Croda da Lago (Unit 1, Belluno); Marmolada (Unit 2, Trento and Belluno); Pale di San Martino – San Lucano – Dolomiti Bellunesi – Vette Feltrine (Unit 3, Trento and Belluno), the Dolomiti Friulane/Friaulische Dolomiten and Massiccio dell’Oltrepiave/Oltrepiave massif (Unit 4, Udine, Pordenone and Belluno) and the Dolomiti de Brenta (Unit 9, Trentino).

Tre Cime di Lavaredo/Drei Zinnen (“Three Peaks”) Natural Park This protection area covers 11,635 hectares, and constitutes the north-eastern cornerstone of the Dolomites. It is bordered to the north by the Val Pusteria/Pustertal valley, to the east by the Val di Sesto/Sextental valley, to the south by the regional border with Belluno, and to the west by the Valle di Landro/ Höhlensteintal valley. The Natural Park is captivating with its landscapes of exceptional beauty and world-famous peaks and mountains, especially the world-famous “Three Peaks”.

18

Fanes-Sennes-Prags/Fanes-Senes-Braies Natural Park This 25,680-hectare Natural Park covers an extensive area of mountain pastures and high plateaus that are extremely diverse in terms of both morphology and landscape. The protection area is a typical Dolomite landscape, much of which is of great scientific importance due to its complex geomorphology.

Obligations of the Dolomite World Natural Heritage Site An inscription on the World Heritage List is a rare honour. With the inscription, the country undertakes to protect the World Heritage properties in their uniqueness and integrity, and to retain and maintain them for future generations. Markus Kantioler


Tourist Info Alta Pusteria/A. Burgmann

» The higher you go, the more you see « The attraction of the Dolomites is almost impossible to resist. Many hiking paths lead through this unique landscape, declared a World Natural Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2009. The most beautiful are the high paths on opposite sides of the valley – anyone walking along the Alta Via di Dobbiaco/Toblacher Höhenweg or Traversata Carnica/Karnischer Höhenweg paths will be captivated by the unique backdrop presented by the Dolomites, and can, if they wish, experience a very special sunrise.

It has to be special. No holiday-maker would normally decide to get up voluntarily in the middle of the night – or would they? The car park at the Monte Elmo/Helm cable car station in Sesto is quite full by four in the morning, with several dozen people queuing to go up in the first cable car. The hike from the mountain station to the summit of the Monte Elmo/Helm mountain (2434 m) takes just over an hour. It is an easy ascent in fresh mountain air that will soon wake you up as the darkness slowly gives way to dawn.

19


Tourist Info Alta Pusteria/H. Rier

20 20

Bonnerhütte Tourist Info Alta Pusteria/A. Burgmann

Certainly by the time you reach the top of Monte Elmo, your early-morning sluggishness will have vanished. Early-risers will be met with a cup of tea, whilst a campfire offers some warmth. And then you will look – and gaze in wonder. It is simply fascinating to watch as the colours change, the contours of the mountains slowly become clearer, and the ridges emerge gradually from the morning mist. Suddenly, the uppermost mountain peaks of the Dolomiti di Sesto are bathed in warm, reddish light that wanders slowly down their flanks, incorporating ever larger areas. And then it all happens very fast. You can watch as the sun literally bobs up from behind a distant peak and gains height rapidly, chasing the shade from the valleys, and allowing the coolness of the morning to give way to the pleasant temperatures of a warm summer day. A sunrise in the mountains will never fail to fascinate, whether you witness it with like-minded people in the course of one of the „Sunrise Experience on Monte Elmo“ trips offered several times throughout the summer, or completely alone on the Picco di Vallandro/Dürrenstein mountain, which is two to three hours’ hike from the Prato Piazza/Plätzwiese mountain pasture. For Alfred Stoll at the Rifugio Corno di Fana/Bonnerhütte mountain refuge opposite the Dolomiti di Sesto, sunrises and sunsets are all part of a day’s work. And yet they are special, something which almost certainly has to do with the unique location of the refuge. Built as early as 1897, it enthrones a meadow ridge high over the Val Pusteria/Pustertal valley. A beautiful, semi-circular larchwood terrace surrounds the stone building, and the rugged peaks of the Dolomites form the backdrop. All the famous peaks are to be seen from the Corno di Fana refuge. And if that is not enough for you, you can hike up to the Corno di Fana/Toblacher Pfannhorn mountain (2663 m) to watch the sunrise. A manageable peak that stands out from the crowd in every sense. All the mountains round about are lower, so that here you can enjoy

an unobstructed 360° view. The Dolomites, the Grossglockner, Grossvenediger and Coll’Alto/Hochgall mountains, the Zillertaler Alps, or the Ortles/Ortler mountain – the view is simply boundless. And that is the case whether you go down the Alta Via di Dobbiaco to the Silvester Alm mountain pasture, or enjoy the magnificent views from the ridge as you walk along it as far as the Thurntaler mountain. Or if, after climbing to Monte Elmo, you simply continue along the westernmost section of the Traversata Carnica to the nearby Sillian refuge to have breakfast with a view of the Tre Cime and Punta dei Tre Scarperi/ Dreischusterspitze mountains – as you think back to the magic moments of the sunrise. Stefan Herbke


» Admire. Inhabit. Protect. « “I have taken part in more than 100 expeditions worldwide, and the more often I return home, the more impressed I am by the Dolomites.” These are the words of a man who should know – a man who has stood on top of all the eight thousanders on this planet, and yet who has returned again and again with great enthusiasm to the place where he learnt to climb mountains. These are the words of none other than Reinhold Messner. And he is immediately in his element when talking about the Dolomites, glowing as he speaks, and citing intellectuals such as the Swiss architect Le Corbusier. The latter apparently once said: “The Dolomites are the most beautiful constructions in the world.” This does of course assume that they have a creator. “But if that is the case”, says Messner, “then it cannot be possible to build anything more beautiful. Because on a purely aesthetic level, you don’t get this tension between flat, green mountain forests and these vertical, greyish yellow rock walls above them anywhere

else in the world. The Himalayas may be higher”, Messner adds, “but they are not as beautiful as the Dolomites.” You will soon see that asking Reinhold Messner about the Dolomites is like drawing water from a bottomless well. And that is because almost no one knows these mountains better than he does. Messner grew up here, and it was here that he first tried his hand at climbing in the Val di Funes/Villnösser Tal valley. If you look up from the valley today to the Odle di Funes/Geislerspitzen crags, it is easy to understand how these spectacular rocky towers and steep rockfaces were able to waken the ambition and passion of the young Reinhold Messner. You could write a very long list here of what it all led to and what Messner has achieved in the Dolomites, but you can also put it this way: without this mountain range, Reinhold Messner’s biography would surely have been very different. In the Dolomites, Reinhold Messner is omnipresent. He owns castles, runs museums, writes books, and discusses things with his

21


About Reinhold Messner Reinhold Messner was born in South Tyrol in 1944. As a rock climber, mountaineer, explorer, and someone who has crossed both Poles and deserts, he has shattered one taboo after another. For more than four decades, he gained a wealth of experience in many of the remotest corners of the Earth - experience that has allowed him today to create a whole series of museums on the subject of mountains - the Messner Mountain Museums. Messner himself describes this project, complete now that the fifth museum has opened in Castello di Brunico/Schloss Bruneck castle, as his “15th eight thousander”. Each of the five museums is dedicated to a specific subject and set in a special historical and geographical context.

ever the highest priority here. “We have to use this landscape, but we must not sacrifice it”, Messner says, and draws a comparison: “For we South Tyroleans, the pale mountains are what oil is to the Arabs. Except that we will have the mountains a little bit longer than the Arabs have oil.” Today Reinhold Messner is 66 years old and can look back on an eventful and unique mountaineering career. The Dolomites “monument” runs like a continuous thread through his biography. Messner still describes the mountains of his home country with great conviction as “the most beautiful mountains in the world”. Südtirol Marketing

BRUNECK BRUNICO

Ripa

compatriots. Messner has also dedicated years of his life to having the Dolomites declared a UNESCO World Natural Heritage site. And so, when the World Heritage committee finally made their announcement on 26th June 2009, Messner felt like he had conquered another summit. But Reinhold Messner would not be Reinhold Messner if he were content with this success. “Thanks to the UNESCO decision, we have all sorts of new possibilities”, he says, and is thinking of agriculture in particular. “Now we must get the agricultural areas and mountain farms included in the World Heritage List.” Because this has not yet happened, and for him, it is a very important point. Because ultimately it is the mountain farms, together with tourism, that guarantee the future of the mountains. “And then the Dolomites would also be a World Cultural Heritage site, because everything that people bring into the mountains is culture.” Protection is how-

22

Ortles

Juval NATURNS NATURNO

MERAN MERANO

BRIXEN BRESSANONE

BOZEN BOLZANO

Firmian

CORTINA D‘AMPEZZO

Dolomites

MMM Ripa After completion of the renovation work on the Castello di Brunico castle in Val Pusteria, the fifth Messner Mountain Museum opened in summer 2011. Its theme is „mountain peoples”. In this museum Reinhold Messner deals with the final aspect of the meeting of man and mountain – the mountain cultures of peoples that have inhabited the mountains since time immemorial; the cultural heritage of the mountains. The Messner Mountain Museums are included in the Culturonda© Dolomythos.


Tourist Info Alta Pusteria/H. Rier

» Over hill and dale with the whole family « Hikes for families in the Alta Pusteria valley There’s an impish smile at the corner of Sofia’s mouth as she tells me about their hike on the circular tour for families on the Prati di Croda Rossa/Rotwandwiesen mountain pastures near Sesto. The eight-year-old is used to hiking with her parents and younger sister, and loves it. “It was brilliant”, Sofia says, and continues: “We went up to the Rifugio Rudi Hütte refuge by cable car, then followed the signs for the circular tour for families. After a while, it suddenly began to rain. Within minutes we were soaking wet, but luckily, there’s a “poacher’s hide” on the circular tour – a really cosy little hut hidden behind a big rock. We waited there until the storm had passed, then walked on. My friend Nadja and her parents were

with us, too! When we got back to the Rudi-Hütte, there was coffee for the adults and ice cream for us, so we had a really good day!” Sofia is also enthusiastic when she tells me about all the little discoveries she makes left and right of the trail on their walks. Butterflies, animal tracks, flowers and berries. Proudly she shows me a brown feather with blue, and black and white stripes. Then she slips quickly from her chair and disappears for a moment into the next room, to re-appear a minute later carrying a book for identifying animals. We quickly find the jay in it – the bird that lost the feather. Not every child is lucky enough, like Sofia, to have a forester for a father. He knows flora and fauna like the back of his hand and is thus able to show his

23


24

Tourist Info Alta Pusteria/S. Amhof

Tourist Info Alta Pusteria/H. Rier

children all sorts of interesting things. And that is exactly what children need: lots of interesting details and discoveries along the way. Youngsters do not tend to derive satisfaction merely from having conquered a summit, reached a goal, or from finally having left a stretch of the route behind them. Those are aspects of hiking that we only really experience as adults. For children, how they walk or where they are heading is not really very important. What is important is that there is an exciting playground at the final destination, perhaps a few animals, or a wooden castle – things that are not to be found in the valley. During the hike there are also all sorts of things to discover: animals leave tracks, and flowers and berries await identification. It is possible to hold the broad green blades of grass between your thumbs, cup your hands behind them, and blow into them – with a little practice, this grass instrument makes a wonderful whistle! Each tree species has a different bark, or different needles. The bladder campion (Silene vulgaris) gives an unexpected pop if you crush it in your hand. Every flower has its own special scent, and almost every grass along the wayside, no matter how inconspicuous, is a medicinal herb. Thus there are countless impressions and details that will take children’s minds off the length and difficulty of the hike, so that they reach their destination without having had to make a big effort and without being bored. And there is another decisive factor: children will walk far longer in the company of their peers than on their own. Please don‘t worry, though, as parents: no one has to be a forester to be able to organise “child-friendly” walks! Meanwhile there are so many nature guides for children available in bookshops, that parents are spoilt for choice. Having a guide in your rucksack that can be consulted at the right moment can help deal with many a crisis on your ascent. And for those who prefer not to take books with them when hiking, the Alta Pusteria valley is criss-crossed by signposted theme paths with informa-

tion boards offering pictures, texts and “hands-on” things to do along the way. Around the Lago di Dobbiaco/Toblacher See lake there is a relatively new “Nature Trail”, with 11 different stations offering information on the conservation area. One station is for example a long-jump box, where children can compare how far they can jump with how far mice, hares, or other animals can jump. In Sesto there is a circular walking trail with a larger-thanlife-size wooden mushroom, or a “milk-mile”, where children and parents can learn all about milk-processing. The many tales and legends surrounding the Dolomite peaks and valleys and people below them also offer ample scope for making walking routes more exciting. Why not use a rainy holiday afternoon to snuggle up in the reading corner of one of the Alta Pusteria village libraries to read the story of the Giant Baranci/Haunold, or the “Innerfeldmandl”? On your next hike after that, even trees will take on the form of mythological figures…what a lively imagination children have...No!...There really are faces looking out from the roots of the trees! Actually, that happens to anyone taking the Fable Path from Sesto to the Monte Elmo mountain. The first part of the path is designed as a biblical “contemplation” or “Peace Path”. It begins in the centre of the village and takes you along a small stream, up to the Monte di Mezzo/Mitterberg mountain, past various farms and through the forest to the forest chapel - a small, hidden wooden chapel, built as an emergency church by the people of Sesto when the village and its church were bombarded and destroyed in the First World War. Wooden statues and contemplative quotations from the bible line the path on the way there. If you continue along the path beyond the forest chapel towards the Monte Elmo/Jägerhütte mountain refuge, you will find yourself among a sea of trolls and pixies and all sorts of funny or even frightening figures from the world of fables and fairytales. The choice of route is crucial for the success of any family hike:


Tourist Info Alta Pusteria/H. Rier

it is essential not to over-estimate, nor under-estimate your children. The worst thing of all is boredom. In the villages and mountains of Alta Pusteria, there are routes to meet all requirements: for very “young” families, there are broad, flat paths that are even suitable for pushchairs. There is for example a relatively easy hike (with or without a push-chair) on the sunny Costa dei Nosellari/Haselsberg mountain slope that stretches from Dobbiaco to San Candido. Here, the lonely mountain roads are wonderful places to go walking, and there is even a viewing point along the way from which you can see the three peaks of the Tre Cime di Lavaredo. There is a very family-friendly hike around the Lago di Braies lake in the Fanes-Senes-Braies Natural Park. At more than 30 metres deep, the lake is one of the deepest in the region and never fails to impress both young and youngat-heart with its deep green hue and surrounding walls of rock, which contribute to a panorama more beautiful than any picture postcard. The adventurous can explore the lake by taking a boat-trip. Its varied banks offer everything a child could want, from a pebbled beach to rocky cliffs. If the walk around the lake has not tired everyone out, the Untergasse Discovery Trail is not far from here, with its theme “discovering the farming life”. A walk along the Via Romana/Römerweg path towards Villabassa on the sunny side of the Monte Rota/Ratsberg mountain will also give you a wonderful view of the Dolomite peaks opposite. Anyone preferring to stay down below in the valley will find all sorts to do here, too. The spa gardens of the village of Villabassa, elected the “child-friendliest village in South Tyrol” in 2004, are a wonderful place to relax and have fun with the whole family. This extensive park around a small lake offers everything a child could wish for in terms of slides, sandpits, swings, etc; meanwhile the “Adventureland”, with a tree-house, giant lianas, gorilla slide, balancing tree and various other climbing structures awaits older children (from age 12). And of course, it would not

be complete without a hammock for relaxing and chilling. A water play area with dams and sluices leads to the adjacent Kneipp water course, where children and parents alike can splash in the refreshing water, relax and, if interested, find out more about the various Kneipp therapies under the guidance of experts. The age group probably most demanding in terms of the skill and tact required to motivate them on hiking tours is probably that of teenagers. Flowers and animal tracks are no longer enough to keep them interested, but a “cool” summer toboggan run like the one on Monte Baranci in San Candido will soon make them forget the exertion required to get there! The roller skating/roller-ski track, climbing garden, indoor climbing centre and boulder zone in Dobbiaco can also be combined with a hike, as can a visit to the sports complex in Sesto (indoor climbing centre, boulder zone, tennis courts, minigolf and open-air swimming pool) or an „After-hiking-family-minigolf tournament“ on one of the mini-golf courses in the valley - parents just have to use their imaginations!! A ride to the Prato Piazza – a mountain pasture on a plateau at 2000 m above sea level in the Valle di Braies – combined with a hike to the Monte Specie/Strudelkopf mountain at 2300 m a.s.l., which offers an unimpeded view of the Cadini di Misurina crags, the Tre Cime (“three peaks”), and the Monte Cristallo and Croda Rossa d‘Ampezzo/Hohe Gaisl mountains – should be enough to raise the pulse even of teenage hikers. On the descent above the Picco di Vallandro/ Dürrenstein-Hütte refuge you will come across walls, trenches, sentinel towers and tunnels left over from times of war. At least as interesting in a different way is the far, far older, incredible history of how the Dolomites were formed, and here you have a 360° view of them, wherever you look. From the same starting point, the Prato Piazza car park, experienced mountaineers can reach the Picco di Vallandro (2840 m). After a 3-4 hour ascent and a test of courage just before the cross on the summit, proficient mountaineering families will gaze in wonder at the unforgettable panorama from one of the highest “storeys” in the region. This is in fact something that does appeal to teenagers: challenging hikes, with fairly easy via ferrata fixed-cable climbing sections, as offered by all the Alpine mountaineering schools in the Alta Pusteria valley. Just as you can engage a professional mountaineer to assist you when you first try climbing on fixed cable climbing paths as a family, it is also possible to find trained hiking guides to accompany you on easier hikes in the Alta Pusteria valley. They will help inexperienced families develop an enthusiasm for hiking and nature and remove all doubts from your minds. They may well also have a few insider tips to impart. Experience shows that many children who are taken hiking and to the tops of mountains by their parents, grow up to see walking in the mountains as an enjoyable, relaxing and healthy leisure activity in their adult lives. Martina Pfeifhofer

25


Südtirol Festspiele/H. Osterauer

» For love of music « As of last summer, Dobbiaco boasts a further cultural highlight. With the Alto Adige Festival/Festspiele Südtirol, the classical scene has finally “arrived” in the Alta Pusteria valley. The man pulling the strings is Maestro Gustav Kuhn. Rebel and eccentric on the conductor’s podium; nature-lover, lateral thinker and hedonist, whose love of music overrides everyone and everything. Gustav Kuhn lives his music. No one who has experienced the Maestro live can fail to see this. Born in Salzburg, for decades he has been known as a rebel on the classical music scene. In the last few years, he has created a small empire for himself, one in which his views and values are unimpeachable law, to be lived with him. For him, love of music is the measure of all things. Artistic quality without compromise; no excuse when the dignity of the music is at stake; and an unassailable idealism – in

26

a nutshell, the Kuhnian “obdurate culture concept”. Primarily, this means hard work. It is not only the musicians with whom he works whom the Maestro drives to the limit – or often even beyond. Now 65, he drives himself fairly hard, too. “Everything you do in life, you should do out of love. This is the conviction with which you must step on to the conductor‘s podium, and this is the conviction with which you must get into a sailing boat“: the maxim of this passionate competitive sailor and motorcyclist. Gustav Kuhn loves a challenge, loves the extremes in life. And this trait is demonstrated in his many projects, and in his tireless artistic creativity. As the founder and director of the Tyrolean Festival in Erl, with its residential orchestra and choir, the Accademia di Montegral near Lucca, and the Haydn Orchestra of Bolzano and Trento, he has been able to implement his idea of training and promoting artists holistically on a human, cultural and professional level. Concert series such as “Delirium


Südtirol Festspiele

Salzburg” and “Beethoven Energy” in Bolzano also bear the unmistakeable mark of the Maestro: they are spirited, merciless and fascinating. His own little musical universe.

The charm of the Three Peaks on Facebook:

Share your favourite holidays snaps with us on Flicker!

www.facebook.com/ConsorzioAltaPusteria

www.flickr.com/photos/altapusteria

» Alta Pusteria/Hochpustertal online « www.three-peaks.info

Video on Alta Pusteria on Youtube:

www.youtube.com/altapusteria Mobile website Alta Pusteria is always with you thanks to the mobile website www.three-peaks.info.

Express your opinion on your favourite hotel in Alta Pusteria on Holidaycheck or Tripadvisor! News in brief from Alta Pusteria on Twitter:

www.twitter.com/AltaPusteria

2

www.tripadvisor.com

The latest fruit of his inexhaustible love of music is the Alto Adige Festival, which had its debut last September in Dobbiaco. It is to continue to complement the traditional Gustav-Mahler Music Weeks in coming years as a second music festival in the spirit of Mahler. “I see the Alto Adige Festival primarily as an event that complements the Gustav Mahler Music Weeks, which have already achieved great things, especially in terms of musicology and teaching, and which will continue to do so in future“, says the Maestro. “The basic principle of the festival is however to get the best out of a composition, to go into it in depth, to work on it, to feel your way into it and allow yourself to be inspired, especially here in this magical place.” That is also why the Haydn Orchestra of Bolzano and Trento and all participating musicians and singers arrive in Dobbiaco for a daily marathon of rehearsals a whole week before the festival begins. The intensive preparation is important for Gustav Kuhn, so that he can file away at the works until a flame ignites, breathing life into them, and so that ultimately the performances get under your skin, become unforgettable. This fervour in interpretation is no accident. It is the basis and guiding principle of the Alto Adige Festival’s artistic programme. The focus is on the Dobbiaco works of Gustav Mahler. The song cycle “Das Lied von der Erde”, and his 9th symphony, which Mahler composed during summer stays in Dobbiaco in 1908 and 1909, are considered to this day to be his most personal and moving compositions. Another important consideration is that these works were first performed after Gustav Mahler’s death – so they do not contain any revisions made by the composer. They thus have an element of eternal mystery – one that supplies musicologists with endless material for debate, but which is not uncontroversial from an artistic point of view, either. The result is a great openness for instrumentation and interpretation. It is this sheer wealth of possibilities that defines the festival. This concept has nothing to do with any narcissistic bent of the Maestro, but is based on a statement by Gustav Mahler himself, who, it is said, once called upon the young Otto Klemperer to “undertake corrections”, should he “see the musical need to do so”. He is said not only to have given him the unreserved right to intervene, but to have indicated that it was his urgent duty to do so. Gustav Kuhn can therefore draw on unlimited resources in all good conscience. Because although the festival has only just been inaugurated, it already has an established tradition: the concert series will open each year with “Das Lied von der Erde”, and will culminate triumphantly with Mahler’s 9th Symphony. Between these two

Südtirol Festspiele

Alto Adige Festival in Dobbiaco

Dobbiaco’s music festival in the spirit of Mahler:

The Gustav Mahler Music Weeks www.gustav-mahler.it

Alto Adige Festival www.festspiele-suedtirol.it

cornerstones there is plenty of scope for musical contrasts – for contemporary composers, for example, or for the world of “bel canto”. A recipe for success? Who knows? Despite the media, who watched the proceedings like hawks, the first Alto Adige Festival in September 2010 was widely acclaimed by the concertgoers. This year too, the concert series will run on the basis of the motto “Mahler – contrast – bel canto”. From 16th to 25th September, it will offer its public a varied programme of operas, orchestral works and contemporary interpreters. And Maestro Gustav Kuhn and his boundless love of music will be fixtures of every evening. Veronika Pfeifhofer

27 2


english

english

» Almanac Alta Pusteria/Hochpustertal valley

Your holiday region in South Tyrol

«

Issue no. 1, 2011/2012

Issue no. 1, 2011/2012

Your holiday region in South Tyrol

» Almanac Alta Pusteria/Hochpustertal valley

«

» bewitching

» bewitching

» moving

» moving

» curious

» curious

» informative

Tourist Info Alta Pusteria/Photogrüner

Tourist Info Alta Pusteria/Photogrüner

» informative

www.three-peaks.info

Available free of charge from the Tourist Associations and partner companies in the Alta Pusteria valley All information is supplied without liability.

www.three-peaks.info

Available free of charge from the Tourist Associations and partner companies in the Alta Pusteria valley All information is supplied without liability.

Almanach - Alta Pusteria Hochpustertal holiday area (english)  

Almanach - Alta Pusteria Hochpustertal holiday area (english) - 2011/12