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Winter 2014/15

ALPE Alpe di Siusi Magazine

CASTELROTTO · SIUSI ALLO SCILIAR · FIÈ ALLO SCILIAR · ALPE DI SIUSI · TIRES AL CATINACCIO

Skiing The intensity of gratification

Tradition Friedl’s old Stuben

Ezio Zermiani A citizen of the world


South Tyrol ... Italy with a twist

South Tyrol is Italy at its best – with an added dash of Alpine influence. Discerning skiers enjoy guaranteed snow coverage on 90% of slopes, cosy huts very close by and an awe-inspiring backdrop of the Dolomites. Add to that, 300 days of sunshine a year, delicious food fusing Italian and alpine flavours and quality regional wines and it’s clear to see why South Tyrol really is Italy with a twist. www.suedtirol.info


photo: Helmuth Rier

Editorial & Contents

Dear guests! W

inter time and Christmas magic, culture and culinary delights: skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing and cross country skiing, paragliding over the Dolomites and ice-skating at the Lake Laghetto di Fiè, huts charm and alpine wellness – the Alpe di Siusi holiday area is the place of unlimited incantation. Whatever you decide to do, you will forget the everyday life in any case for the duration of your holiday. Perhaps some of the following articles may stimulate you to try out something out of the ordinary that will really excite you. This edition once more offers entertaining articles for pleasure seekers, sports enthusiasts and all those who wish to learn more about the traditions surrounding the Alpe di Siusi holiday area. The focus is on the joys of skiing on the Alpe di Siusi, where you can also witness the magnificent scenery of the Dolomites and the welcoming atmosphere of the mountain huts. Winter sports fans can go snowshoeing in Tires al Catinaccio, leaving their tracks in the fresh snow. After a day on the slopes and trails you can return to a cosy Stube or wood-panelled room, the particular passion of Friedl, who expertly restores them and has discovered many local peculiarities of these old constructions. Local customs also include the folk music known as Tanzlmusig or

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Cross-country skiing Page 6

Where skiing is a true pleasure Page 11

dance music: waltzes, polka, and folk tunes mark the rhythm of the dances up on the Alpe di Siusi. This issue also relates two eventful lives: that of Ezio Zermiani from Bolzano, journalist and globetrotter, who spent 35 years on the world’s Formula 1 racetracks, and Dora Baumgartner, known to all as “Lore”, who has devoted her life to Fiè allo Sciliar and her hotel there. ALPE wishes to be your daily guide through your Alpe di Siusi holidays. Apart from important information regarding public services and interesting events, it gives much advice regarding the best restaurants, inns and clubs as well as many attractive shopping possibilities in the villages of the plateau and its surrounding areas. This magazine also contains the highlights in our events calendar. Should you decide to participate, your holiday album will be full of unforgettable happy moments.

The myth of the Dolomites Page 12

The dance rhythms of polka & waltz: Tanzlmusig Page 16

Snowshoeing in Tires Page 20

Restoring the Stuben with Friedl Page 24

From the Pamir to the Dolomites: Count Bobrinskoj Page 26

Dora Baumgartner: Lore’s story Page 30

Recipe: Buchteln Page 31

Ezio and his heroes Page 36

The top 10 winter activities Page 38

Winter preview ‘14/15 Page 40

We wish you a happy and relaxing holiday of wellness und unforgettable moments.

Summer preview ‘15 Page 42

Around & about

Eduard Tröbinger Scherlin President for Alpe di Siusi Marketing and the Tourist Offices of Castelrotto, Siusi allo Sciliar, Fiè allo Sciliar, Alpe di Siusi and Tires al Catinaccio.

Sommer Winter | ALPE 3


Cross-country skiing Our ancestors, even the famous “Ötzi”, the Man from the Ice, got around in winter on wooden boards. But only in the 19th century were the first races held in the Scandinavian countries: in 1892 cross-country skiing (in addition to ski jumping, Nordic combined and biathlon) was part of the first Holmenkollen Ski Festival, which has been held every year since. In those days, just like today’s skiers, if the snow was hard and icy

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the skating style was used, i.e. the feet were moved like those of an ice-skater: otherwise the classic style was used, i.e. with the feet next to each other on a cross-country ski trail. In 1986 the FIS, the World Ski Federation, finally opened the door to the skating style in competitions. The Alpe di Siusi has 80 kilometres of trails for both classic and freestyle (i.e. skating). The first cross-country ski com-

petitions were held there in the 1930s, but only in the 1960s did the trails begin to be groomed regularly by various hoteliers. The boom came with the training camps for the West and East German teams as part of the World Cup races in Castelrotto. Since then the Alpe di Siusi has become a much sought-after training camp for many national teams in both winter and summer, surrounded as it is by the world’s most beautiful mountains.


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Skiing on the Alpe di Siusi

The intensity of My rucksack is packed, my ski tuta (= ski suit in South Tyrolean) is on and the bus ride to the bottom of the lift takes just a few minutes. Off we get and into the lift that will take us up to the Alpe di Siusi. The doors close, a slight bump as the cabin starts, then we are on our way.

A Text: André Bechtold photo: Helmuth Rier

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nd so the day’s enjoyment begins: to the west you can see the Renon massif with the Corno del Renon and the Alpe di Villandro. Away to the left is the Mendola Pass, with the snow-capped Ortles massif on the horizon. To the northwest are the Alpi Venoste, where in 1991 was found the world-famous Iceman, subsequently nicknamed Ötzi by Austrian journalist Nicolaus Glattauer. What must it have been like over 5,000 years ago, without the lift, without modern breathable clothing? Did Ötzi go skiing?

I don’t have my skis, ski boots or helmet with me: they are in a locker at the top station. The locker has heated ski boot holders, always a pleasure: you arrive, put on your nice warm ski boots and set off – and in the evening you can leave everything there again and head off home wearing nice warm winter footwear. But we haven’t got that far yet. The lift has reached the snowline. The Sciliar massif gleams in the morning sun: the Spitzbühl piste appears, then the Alpe di Siusi snowpark. In the east arises a white panorama, with the ma-


f gratification

jestic sedimentary coral peaks of the Sassolungo and Sassopiatto. The sight takes your breath away and makes your pulse race in anticipation of the pleasures to come. You fall in love all over again with this unique winter world of the Dolomites under a clear blue sky. The lift doors open and it’s down the stairs to the ski lockers. Open up, shoes off, ski boots on, get your skis, poles and helmet, lock up, key in the right-hand sleeve pocket and then back up again. You could take more time, but the desire to be ski-

ing drives you on. Going up the stairs acts as a little warm-up. Then, drop your skis onto the snow, snap your bindings on, on with your helmet, loop the ski poles round your wrists, slide your goggles down over your eyes and you’re ready for off. But not quite – your body is not yet ready, your muscles are still cold: before the fun starts you have to do A winter wonderland: stretching exercises to warm up. Some skiers scoff sport and leisure activities on Europe’s largest high pasture at this, but safety is a major issue on the Alpe di Siusi and it includes preparation before skiing as well as having all the right equipment. You can’t enjoy skiing with cold muscles and tendons. »

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The Alpe di Siusi is blessed by the sun, offering winter sports enthusiasts excellent conditions.

And then at last we’re off. From the top of the Alpe di Siusi Aerial Cableway you ski down to the Spitzbühl lift. Riding this lift is a special pleasure as the morning sun makes the Sciliar massif and its Euringer and Santner spires incredibly three-dimensional, seemingly close enough to touch. I ski right down to the bottom of the Spitzbühl piste, then take the lift up again and the second time cross over to the bottom of the Laurin lift. Approaching it you get a close-up of the three big jumps in the snow park. Made completely from snow they are a triumph of the shaper’s art. I can only manage the upper part of the snow park for beginners: further down is for experts and the big jumps especially are for professionals only. Some of them are already out there and you can only marvel at their tricks. There is one special vantage point where you can watch the freestylers as they seemingly leap across the blue sky between the spires of the Sciliar massif. From the top of the Laurin lift we ski through the underpass to the top of the Panorama lift, a short, fairly flat stretch, good exercise for the arms and torso as you need to use your poles too. Cross-country skiers traverse the piste: from their technique, speed and red suits you can see right away that these are members of the Norwegian national team, training here so they can add to their haul of gold medals. But I continue my journey to the Paradiso lift: from the top there is a long run down to Saltria. From there I am faced with several choices, so I opt for the ascent to the Williams hut. If you look up to the Sassopiatto from the Florian lift you can see the ski tourers, climbing the face of the mountain with their special skis before making the descent – also deci­ dedly one for the experts. From the top you head for the Zallinger hut. The Zallinger hut was until the mid-19th century called the Sassegg, which in turn derives from an ancient Latin name for the location, “saxus siccus”, meaning dry, arid stone - the Sassopiatto mountain. In 1854 Karl von Zallinger of Bolzano bought the land and three years later built a small limestone chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary. From the Zallinger a beautiful trail runs down through the woods to Saltria to bring you once

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more to the bottom of the Florian lift. As you ride up you see the Lieger Schwaige hut, from where in autumn the cattle are driven down from the forest to the Saltner Schwaige hut, my next stop. There is also the Saltner Tschapit hut on the Alpe di Siusi: both belong to the municipality of Castelrotto and are leased to the “Cowboy”. In winter there used to be little to do here: nowadays there is a busy hut with magnificent views of the Sassopiatto. I order Kaiserschmarrn (sweet pancakes, cut into pieces). I don’t know if this dish was named after Kaiser Franz Josef and his wife Elisabeth (Sissi) or just from Kaser (= dairy) and Schmarrn (= scramble): it doesn’t matter. Just enjoy it, don’t think about it. Skis back on for the short stretch to the Floralpina lift, linked to Theodor Christomannos, the son of Greek merchants who died in 1911 in Merano. Christomannos was an influential politician and regarded his life’s mission as the economic deve­ lopment of South Tyrol, in particular the expansion of the transport network and the promotion of tourism. Thus between 1935 and 1940 today’s Sporthotel Floralpina was called the “Christomannos House”, with the Floralpina lift and Floralpina piste located in its immediate vicinity. The next stop is the highest point on the Alpe di Siusi, the Goldknopf. The name however has nothing to do with gold, but was formerly known as the Galtkopf, a high peak where young livestock would graze. The view is magnificent, although up here the wind can be fierce even when the sun is shining. On the left is the high-speed piste, a steep downhill with a timer. The current official record dates from 2007 and was set by none other than speed skier Simone Origone, who managed 122.86 km/h. This is however not on the menu for my fun day out, and in any case my own top speed is nowhere near so fast. We quickly descend the upper part of the Goldknopf piste, then it’s knees bend and onto the wide Paradiso slope, perfect for beautiful long curves through the snow, a pleasure like no other. Now the northern part of the Alpe di Siusi lies ahead. The short Bamby lift lets you cross over to this area, first to the Mezdì piste and then on to Monte Piz. »


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This is the sunny side of the Alpe di Siusi. From here we take the “Sonne” lift to the top of the Ortisei / Alpe di Siusi cable car, which connects to the Val Gardena ski area. But not today: I have to turn back. From the Mezdì lift I can see the Hotel Sonne on the right, while on the left is the new Adler Mountain Lodge. From the top there is the wide crossover leading to the Sanon Hut; from there it is up and down again past the “Icaro” hotel. The day is slowly drawing to a close, but I want to do the Panorama piste once more, because this is where one of the pioneers of the Alpe di Siusi created his life’s work. This includes the slittovia, the great-granddaddy of all cable cars: a sledge lift built in 1938 by Walter Griesser that led up to the pass and past the legendary Tschon Stoan rock. This is the very route taken by the new 6-seater chairlift, representing the fourth generation of the slittovia: the original can be seen at the top station. With almost the last run of the day I get to the Telemix, a chairlift and cabin lift up to the Bullaccia hill. There is a platform that lifts children under a certain height safely into the chairs. At the top you are greeted by an extraordinary work of art: an angel atop a pole, the Engelrast. There is time for a quick round of the Bullaccia and the double slalom at the Hexe skilift, then it’s back down to Compaccio.

The wide pistes of the Alpe di Siusi are perfect for skiers out for the day.

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What a wonderful day out skiing on the Alpe di Siusi! My thoughts on the way down to Siusi turned to the categorical imperative of Immanuel Kant, which states that we should only act according to maxims that we think can become a universal law. And, as regards pleasure, Kant wrote: “Enjoyment is the word used to denote intensity of gra­ tification.” It is unlikely that the great philosopher went skiing, but his words apply perfectly to skiing on the Alpe di Siusi. And when you do, you wish that the whole world could share and experience this feeling. Perhaps there should be a universal law to let us all enjoy skiing on the Alpe di Siusi. «


photo: SAM/Luigi Alesi

The fascinating mountain scenery of the Dolomites: bizarre rock formations and unique colours.

The Myth of the Dolomites In South Tyrolean extreme mountaineer Reinhold Messner‘s words, they are “the most beautiful mountains in the world“. The incomparable beauty of the Dolomites is widely renowned and for many they are synonymous with excellence in winter holidays.

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he mountains of the Dolomites can be thought of as a fossilised coral reef arching up into the sky in spectacular fashion. Thanks to their monumental beauty as well as their geological and geomorphologic significance, the so-called Pale Mountains were awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 2009. Divided into nine areas among which the Sciliar-Catinaccio Nature Park, the Dolomites are considered one of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the world.

40 years of Sciliar-Catinaccio Nature Park: South Tyrol’s oldest natural reserve, a 7,291-hectare park, is situated in the western Dolomites and was founded in 1974. The Sciliar is an impressive mountain range whose emblematic outline, that includes the Santner and Euringer peaks, stands out as one of the signature landmarks of South Tyrol. The Catinaccio massif, with its numerous peaks, is also known far beyond the country’s borders. The most striking part of the massif is the Catinaccio D’Antermoia peak, which stands at a height of 3,002 metres. The natural park also includes the mountain forests around Siusi, Fiè and Tires, and the Ciamin valley. «

Bruneck Brunico

Südtirol

Dolomites UNESCO World Heritage 1

5 St. Ulrich

Bozen Bolzano

3 Pale San Martino, San Lucano Dolomiti Bellunesi, Vette Feltrine

Auronzo Corvara

Cortina d’Ampezzo

7

Canazei

2

8

Alleghe

Pieve di Cadore

1

Agordo

3

Longarone

Cimolais

Pordenone Fiera di Primiero

9 Trento

Belluno

Udine

Belluno Feltre

Trentino

Ampezzo

4

Zoldo

Madonna di Campiglio

7 Sciliar Catinaccio, Latemar 9 Brenta Dolomites

Tiers/Tires

Cavalese

4 Friulian and d’Oltre Piave Dolomites

8 Bletterbach

6

Fiè allo Sciliar

2 Marmolada

6 Puez-Odle

St. Vigil S. Vigilio

Kastelruth Ortisei Castelrotto Seis am Schlern Seiser Alm Siusi allo Sciliar Alpe di Siusi Völs am Schlern

Pelmo, Croda da Lago

5 Northern Dolomites

Brixen Bressanone

Meran Merano

Lienz Toblach Dobbiaco

Pordenone

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Dance to the music The local folk dances up on the Alpe di Siusi are living traditions that follow waltz, polka and folk tunes rhythms. Often the tone is set by “Die 6 Kraxn�, five lads and a girl from Castelrotto who love playing folk music in its truest form.

E

Text: Rosa Maria Erlacher photo: Helmuth Rier

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ach village has its band, with flag-bearer, bandmaster and several sutlers. With their music they accompany solemn and ceremonial occasions, stage concerts and play a highlevel repertoire. The members are all committed musicians: some are so enthusiastic about mu-

sic-making that they form groups of various sizes to play at smaller or larger festivals and celebrations. Smaller groups, consisting of between four and at most eight musicians, call themselves Tanzlmusig


Pure joy and fun: six young people from Castelrotto and their Tanzlmusig.

(dance music) and naturally play at dances. They have no great musical ambitions; they “just want to have fun”. The larger groups are called Böhmische (Bohemians): small brass bands that appear wearing the simple traditional garb of Castelrotto and turn out whenever the full band is not needed. The Tanzlmusig and Böhmische both have a long tradition in the villages and hamlets below the Schlern massif. In former times the Tanzlmusig played for example after the haymaking on the meadows, at Törggelen (new wine tasting) on the winegrowing farms at the lower edge of the plateau, at church festivals and at weddings: in short, at sociable gatherings for people to enjoy. Many Tanzlmusig groups have disappeared in recent decades owing to age or illness, or because people have no longer had the time.

“Die 6 Kraxn”. It is all the more gratifying then to see young people keeping up the authentic traditions. Having fun playing music together, harking back to the old customs and a cheerful mood were all key factors for six friends to found “Die 6 Kraxn” eight years ago. “Kraxn in the Castelrotto dialect means the wooden frames that were used in the past for carrying heavy loads, but it is also an ironic way of descri­bing skinny guys”, explains Manuel, spokesman for the Kraxn. The name thus contains more than a touch of self-irony and of course a great sense of humour and witty banter. “Yes, of course it’s important that all six musicians can not just play in harmony together but can also enjoy socialising together. It also means finding enough time, otherwise the group wouldn’t work”, he confirms. »

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There have nevertheless been several changes in the line-up since the founding of the group. There were various reasons, says Manuel, but certainly not because they didn’t get on well. The members have stayed the same for the last five years. With the exception of Manuel, who is still studying trumpet at the Music Academy in Linz, all of them are working. “Playing in a Tanzlmusig is like a hobby. If you enjoy it, you can somehow find the time for it”, says Manuel.

Good mood guaranteed with “Die 6 Kraxn”.

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again from sheet music” says Manuel, undersco­ ring their versatility. With the five lads wearing lederhosen and plaid shirts and Patrizia in her dirndl, “Die 6 Kraxn” play at village festivals, dances up on the mountain pastures, balls, opening ceremonies, birthday parties and weddings too. “Provided all six of us have the time”, says Manuel. Last year they managed to make almost twenty appearances.

Line-up. In the group Manuel and Urban play flugelhorn; David, who is also the bandleader as well as

They particularly enjoy playing at Tanzlmusig festivals. They have already appeared at several such events in South Tyrol, Upper Austria and on Lake Constance. “If other likeminded musicians listen

teaching at a South Tyrol music school, is a virtuoso on the Styrian accordion. Patrizia plays clarinet, Markus plays tuba and Josef plays trombone. This is the classic line-up of a Tanzlmusig, just as the repertoire sticks to traditional standards. Off the cuff, then, “Die 6 Kraxn” can play numerous Luschtige, upbeat polkas, Ländler and Boarische dances, popular marches such as the “Bolzano Mountai­neer March” or the “Tyrolean Heart March”. “We can play about 30 pieces by heart, and as many

and the audience are with us, that inspires us in our music”, Manuel says. Now they intend to bring out a CD of their Tanzlmusig. Manuel stresses however that the aim is less one of commercial success and rather to preserve the music, which is simply handed down rather than written down. The pieces that they know by heart will thus be saved in acoustic form. This too is good, because traditions should not just be protected, but authentically lived and experienced. «


sh Fre ts duc o r p r

KOMMA Graphik · Foto: Helmuth Rier

ou from al loc rs e farm

The new supermarket Coop in the heart of Castelrotto offers you a wide range of first quality products. In the specialities‘ corner you will find unique culinary delights from local farmers, from biological origin and from fair trade. At the selling desk there is the famous butcher Heinz of the renowned Butcher Shop Silbernagl offering you typical Speck from Castelrotto and Helga, the soul of the Bakery and Confectionery Shop Burgauner, who will contribute with the “Schüttelbrot”. Why don‘t you come around? Food - Butcher - Bakery - Confectionery - Hardware - Gardening - Agriculture articles

Burgauner BAKERY · CONFECTIONERY

butcher’s silbernagl

MARKT

Famiglia Cooperativa di Castelrotto Via Panider, 24 · Tel. 0471 706 330 · www.konsummarkt.com Opening hours: From Monday to Saturday from 7.30 to 12.30 a.m. and from 3.00 to 7.00 p.m.

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Text: Katja Sanin photo: Helmuth Rier

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The white splendour of the Catinaccio massif in snow captivates snowshoers.

Tiers in heaven

Snowshoeing in Tires …

Striding over fresh snow down into the valley, below the Bergler Hut at the foot of the Catinaccio massif, you want to savour this moment forever.

S

nowshoeing in Tires under the Catinaccio range is the perfect combination of rela­ xation and exercise. I am accompanied by Heidi, a sprightly lady in her late 60s, a trained walking guide who knows the Sciliar-Catinaccio area like the back of her hand. “You don’t always find such ideal conditions”, she says to me on my first snowshoe excursion, as we take a short rest after the climb and then put our snowshoes back on again, leaving our tracks in the powder on the snow-covered slope. It is simply heavenly to compress this soft, white snow with snowshoes. The winter landscape under the Catinaccio, with its paths, meadows and forests all surrounded by gleaming white snow, gives a sensation of tranquillity and warmth even when it’s cold. And Heidi was right: not one of my subsequent snowshoeing expeditions was as beautiful as that over the Haniger Schwaige to the Bergler Hut and via Plafötsch and the Traunwiesen meadows back to San Cipriano. Irrespective of snow and weather conditions, snowshoeing always has a certain charm. For me it means peacefulness, relaxation and being close to nature, whether on the pleasant circular walk

at the entrance to the Ciamin Valley or the slightly longer tour from San Cipriano over the Nigra Pass to the Messner Joch pass. There are plenty of options, with places offering refreshments en route should you feel the need. The village of Tires is ideal for all those who love unspoilt nature, peace and relaxation. The sensation of calm as you cross a snow-covered winter forest is simply wonderful. Away from the hustle and bustle of the towns, in harmony with snow-covered nature – it has to be experienced to be believed! A snowshoe excursion in the Tires Valley is truly a magnificent way to recharge your batteries. You feel as if time has stopped or you have been transported back into the past. There are several starting points for a snowshoe excursion in the Ciamin Valley. You can for instance start at the Hotel Cyprianerhof, from where you climb up via the Traunwiesen meadows, then to the left along the forest trail and through the valley. This tour allows you to go as far as you are able or wish to. The forest trail leads to the Doss­wiesen meadows, with great views of the entire Tires »

Text: Katja Sanin photo: Helmuth Rier

On the trail of the poachers Poaching was widespread after the Second World War, and not just in Tires. It was an open secret there that even the pastors Peter and Josef Corazza would go. There were certainly enough poachers. A wellbeaten track ran through the Jungbrunnen­

tal Valley in winter, lined on both sides with blood: the poachers would drag the dead animals on sleds down through the Ciamin Valley to the Steger sawmill, the current location of the Sciliar-Catinaccio visitor centre. Now renovated and

restored to operation, the Steger sawmill is a rare example of a Venetian water-powered sawmill. The saw and the living quarters of the master sawyer have been preserved as witnesses of traditional Alpine craftsmanship and culture.

»

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The perfect idyll: Tires under the Catinaccio massif

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Valley, then continues via a forested ridge back into the Ciamin Valley. You reach a barrier then, shortly before the second barrier, a steep path on the left leads down to the Tschamin mountain hut,

carved wayside cross and a bench on which to rest. If you’re lucky, someone like Heidi will have cleared the snow off the bench and the sun will have dried the wood. The Rechter Leger is one of the most

from where you can go back to the Traun­wiesen meadows or on to Lavina Bianca. If you continue along the path, however, you soon cross the Ciamin stream. The trail becomes steeper and you reach a small clearing at the Schaferleger. You then cross the stream for the second time over a small bridge and reach the Rechter Leger with its small Alpine hut. On the pasture in front of the hut is a

idyllic places in Tires: it is simply heavenly to rest there with views of the peaks and spires of the Catinaccio, especially the Cime del Principe (2672 m) and the Valbonkogel (2824 m). Depending on your fitness and the snow conditions, you might feel a certain fatigue in your legs while the winter sun warms your skin – in moments such as these the world seems to come to a standstill. «


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Tradition and creativity: Friedl Trocker has plenty to do restoring his old Stuben.

Friedl’s old Stuben Skilled carpenter Friedl Trocker specialises in restoring old Stuben, South Tyrol’s traditional wood-panelled rooms. Hardly anyone knows more about the subject than he does.

I

n the space above Friedl’s workshop are stacked well over one hundred old wooden doors, many weathered with peeling paint and finely carved decoration. The previous owner wanted to get rid of these unsightly things when she was rebuilding her house. Friedl was happy to take them off her hands, as his skill lies in restoring the former dignity and beauty of these old objects. He acquired the tools of his trade at a tender age from a local cabinet-maker. His love for old, natural wood, for traditional working methods and authentic originality developed gradually over the years. Finally, he decided to set up a workshop in the family home, the Färberhof farm above Siusi, and himself to become a master with the focus on restoring old wooden fittings and Stuben. “I’ve restored as many as fourteen Stuben a year”, he says. Today, following a serious accident at work, his output has declined somewhat, but his passion for the Stuben remains. It is abundantly clear from his stories: he knows all about their local characteristics, their history over the centuries, their construction methods.

Text: Rosa Maria Erlacher photo: Helmuth Rier

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Warm living quarters. “Even in very old farmhouses the Stube was the cosiest room in the house, the meeting place for the very often large families and their servants, where they ate and prayed together, with grandparents, parents and children alternating by the warm stove, the women

spinning and sewing, the men weaving baskets or mending farming equipment in winter”, he says. The Stube was the only room that was heated in winter, with a whitewashed round oven made of firebrick or natural stone, lit from beneath and giving off a constant heat. “That was why a door always led directly from the Stube into the parents’ bedroom”, Friedl explains. It was left open in winter so that the nights were not too cold for the infants and young children. Each farmhouse stove also had to have an “oven bridge” and a round bench. The so-called bridge was a wooden, four-legged construction above or around the oven, with a square flat surface area “made of the thinnest possible wooden boards to improve comfort”, with a head-rest and struts around the stove that served for climbing up as well as for a makeshift laundry stand. To further protect the living quarters against the cold outside, the interior was completely panelled with wooden boards on all four walls as well as on the ceiling. “Yet there is a high mountain valley here in South Tyrol where none of the Stube have pa­nelling on the ceilings. There’s no shortage of wood up there, so that was not the reason; it might have been because the local carpenters simply lacked the necessary skills”, Friedl muses. But where the Stuben makers enjoy a long tradition, the ceilings are especially fine, either as panelled ceilings or as carved wood-beamed ceilings. These peasant joiners were quite advanced in »


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their techniques, as Friedl has discovered when removing old Stuben. Before 1870 the wooden panels were nailed in place, he says: since then only the tongue and groove method is in use. Restoring a Stube. While in the past ma­ king a Stube was a lengthy process, requiring a full winter’s work, today there are numerous time and energy-saving tools available to modern joiners. “Before I dismantle a Stube, I number each part and photograph the structure”, he says. He then steam-cleans the boards, planes them flat, brushes them, strips gilded wood panelling with a carefully prepared solution, then dries it all with a hairdryer. “It was for a time the fashion just to paint over the panelling with oil paint, perhaps for hygienic reasons in particular, because it made the Stube easier to clean”, explains Friedl. And after all that... “After all that comes the creative part”. It is a challenge to fit an old Stube in between new walls. This is because Stuben were practically never built at right angles, while ceiling heights were generally lower, floorboards became thin with wear on both sides and often mouldy from the skirting board up. And, because people in those days were shorter than today, tables, chairs and benches had shorter legs too. But for Friedl this is absolutely no problem: his art is to make every old Stube appear as if it has been newly fitted in place. You have to look carefully to notice his “new” additions with the naked eye. Just exactly how he manages to do this remains his little secret. The means to this end, however, are patently obvious when you look around his workshop. There is a plethora of old boards and pegs, mostly of spruce and Swiss pine, a few made of larch, which he uses as needs be. He finds a rich source of material on old farms, where the urge to modernise means that the owners are only too glad to be rid of the old. Friedl regards this as a shame and strives to preserve such objects: quite right too! «

The old Stuben, fully restored, give off an aura of tranquillity.

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P R E S E N TAT I O N O F T H E B O O K

Count Bobrinskoj The long walk from the Pamir to the Dolomites Edition Raetia, Bolzano 2012 The Russian scholar, Count Aleksej A. Bobrinskoj (1862-1938), was one of the first researchers to have crossed the Pamir Massif in Central Asia. During the Revolution in 1917, he was forced to leave Russia and spent the last years of his life at Siusi allo Sciliar, until his death in 1938.

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I

n the early part of the twentieth century, the village of Siusi allo Sciliar became po­ pular among the elite and was a place where, during the summer holidays, the high nobi­ lity of Europe mingled with industrial magnates and personalities of the international art scene. After the turmoil of the October Revolution, a number of Russian noble families, who had lost all possessions in their home country, came to settle in Siusi. Brin­ ging with them their varied cultures, religions and traditions they conferred the mountain village of

of the Pamir, who correlates the Count‘s family tree in relation to his expeditions to the Pamir.

Siusi a certain air of sophistication. Among these, was Count Aleksej Bobrinskoj, whose villa at the edge of the woods in Laranza became a place where Russian expatriate nobles and other titled indivi­ duals, used to congregate.

time, staying at the Hotel Salegg with his wife Elisa, who was suffering from tuberculosis, in the hope that the fresh mountain air could heal her.

On the twentieth anniversary of its founding, the Rus Cultural Association in Merano decided to publish a biography that would celebrate the life and work of this historic ethnographer, art critic and writer, who had disappeared from public memory. The idea was not only to document the life of a great researcher and his love for the Dolomites, but to also take a closer look at Russian history and the living conditions of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The Rus Association was founded in 1991 with the goal of promoting the links between Russian culture and that of South Tyrol and Italy. “Count Bobrinskoj: The long walk from the Pamir to the Dolomites” is co-authored by Bianca Marabini Zoeggeler, President of the Rus Association, who is partly of Russian origin on her maternal side (she studied literature in Venice and is a resident of South Tyrol since 1971), Michail Talalay, representative of the Institute of Russian History at the Russian Academy of Sciences in Italy since 2004, and the well-known political and historical Tajik filmmaker, Davlat Khudonazarov, born in the mountains

At the beginning of the last century, Count Aleksej Bobrinskoj, whose lineage goes back to Catherine the Great and her lover Gregorij Orlov, undertook three arduous expeditions to the unexplored territories of the Pamir, in addition to other research ventures in northern Russia, where he collected ethnographic material that was documented in numerous tomes. In 1907, Bobrinskoj visited Siusi for the first

The following year, he acquired an old structure near the Laranza Forest, which he fully restored to a stately villa. In 1914, when Russia and Austria entered into conflict, the couple decided to retire in Russia at their Bobriki residence, where Elisa died soon after. After the Revolution, Bobrinskoj turned his back definitively on Russia and spent the last 20 years, far from home in Siusi with his second wife, Anna. While his wife lived somewhat reclusively, the Count maintained a fairly intense social lifestyle, mixing with the locals and with the numerous international visitors. Among his favorite activities were: hiking in the Dolomites, tennis (he was an avid tennis player), he dabbled in hunting, took care of his rose garden and drafted a number of scientific treatises. When, in 1921, he encountered economic difficulties, he turned his villa into a boarding house and lived there until 1936, before he was forced to sell it. He then moved to a small house in the village with his wife and her companion, where he died of pulmonary edema two years later. However, in his will, he left the house to the Municipality of Castelrotto so that, after his wife‘s death (in 1957), it would be turned into a nursery school. «

Count Aleksej Alekseevicˇ Bobrinskoj and his stately villa “Aichstaud” around 1910 in Siusi allo Sciliar.

Text: Rosa Maria Erlacher

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Lore’s story I

t’s a sunny afternoon in late summer. In the corner of the cosy snug of the “Rose Wenzer” hotel and restaurant, four women are sitting at a table. They’re playing Watten, a traditional card game. Things are getting lively since, according to one of the women, the “shot” wasn’t played properly. Her friend just shakes her head, while their opponents are happy to win the points. The cards are reshuffled. Suddenly, a group of Italian hikers enters the hotel. An elderly gentlemen from the group spots the women in the corner and proudly announces in his Roman accent that his party has just come down from the Sciliar, a mountain he first ascended 50 years before. One of the women glances up from her cards, says “Buona sera” (“Good afternoon”) and then continues in Italian, “The first time I was up there was 74 years ago!” She then plays her card, gets up and goes to look after the guests. The woman is Dora Baumgartner, the owner of the “Rose Wenzer”. To all the locals, though, she’s simply “Lore”. That time, 74 years ago, was the period of the infamous Option policy in South Tyrol. On 22 May 1939, the two dictators Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini signed the so-called “Pact of Steel”, under which they agreed that no changes would be made to the border between Italy and Germany (including the recently annexed Austria). In addition, plans were made for the South Tyrolean people to be resettled in Germany. On 21 October of the same year, the Option agreement was therefore ratified: it specified that South Tyrol’s German-speaking population, as well as the Cimbrians (speakers of a German dialect living elsewhere in northern Italy), could emigrate to the Reich. The effects of this policy led to a division among South Tyrol’s German-speakers that is still felt today: those who decided to remain were condemned as traitors to their people, while those who opted to emigrate were vilified as Nazis.

Text: André Bechtold photo: Helmuth Rier

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Lore’s father, responsible for his wife Emma Atz and their children, was among those faced with this choice and was initially minded to emigrate. First, though, he was determined to take the ten yearold Lore with him on a trip up the Sciliar mountain. Eduard Baumgartner wanted to ensure that his daughter – should they really take up the Option

The consummate hostess: Dora Baumgartner

of emigrating – had at least once ascended the Sciliar, the mountain that towers over their village of Fiè and a national symbol for the South Tyrolean people. So, with a picnic lunch of roast chicken packed in their rucksack by Lore’s mother Emma, they set off bright and early. Their route took them via the lake Laghetto di Fiè, the Prügelweg (Route of the Trunks) and the Teufelsschlucht (Devil’s Gorge) all the way to Monte Pez (2563m), the highest point of the Sciliar mountain. Lore and her father spent the night in the Rifugio Bolzano mountain hut (known as the Schlernhaus in German). Previously it had been run by the village blacksmith Otto Egger and the landlords of three local inns: the Heubad, Kreuzwirt and the Rose Wenzer. On 24 January 1924, however, the refuge was handed over to the Club Alpino Italiano and in 1940 was taken over by the Micheluzzi family from the Val di Fassa in the Trentino, as native South Tyroleans were barred from working in mountain refuges. It was with tears in his eyes, then, that Eduard Baumgartner led his daughter up the Sciliar massif. His real objective was not simply to climb the mountain, though: his main wish was for him and Lore to sleep in room number 6 at the refuge. Even now, Lore’s eyes gleam as she thinks back to that time. Her father had woken her in the small hours of the morning, before dawn. The window of their room faced eastwards. And so, as they looked out, Lore saw the sun rising. When asked about it, Lore still replies that it was one of the most beautiful moments of her life. Back in the hotel bar, the ladies continue their card game without Lore. The game known as Watten was invented in South Tyrol during the Napoleonic wars. Bavarian and French soldiers, at that time allies, would play cards together in their quarters. When the trump card was played, the French soldiers would shout “va tout”, a phrase that gave rise to the word Watten. When the dealer is asked for Schianere – “finer” cards in the local dialect – the cards are set aside and new ones dealt to the players. On the wall above the card game hangs a painting that shows the head and shoulders of a pretty young woman dressed in traditional costume, her hair plaited. She’s also wearing the traditional ear- »


Winter | ALPE 27


rings of the Sciliar region. The picture has a mount and a simple frame. It’s not really a painting, rather a drawing made with brightly coloured pastels to give a painted effect – a halfway house, perhaps, between a painting and a drawing. To the right of the woman’s neck rests a curl of hair that’s mirrored by a single lock of hair on the left-hand side of her brow. The bright red shawl she’s wearing is slightly open at the back, giving the viewer a glimpse of the nape of her neck. It’s clear that the artist could barely contain his delight at depicting such a lovely subject. The eyes of the Schöne Gitsch (Pretty Lass), as the subject of the picture is called, shine with inquisitiveness as they look out past the viewer. With her honest smile, even teeth and full lips, the woman’s face seems to shine with a living light. This half-drawing, half-pain­ ting is actually the work of the respected South Tyrolean artist Oskar Wiedenhofer (1889-1987). And its subject? Lore herself, just 19 years old, back in 1949.

The landlady of the Hotel Rose Wenzer, known to all as “Lore”, has plenty to relate, from her climbing adventures to tales of the film stars who came to the Sciliar region.

28 ALPE | Winter

In the end, Lore’s father Eduard decided not to exercise the Option and to stay instead. He felt that he belonged to South Tyrol and couldn’t understand why his people were expected to leave their land. Those were troubled times, indeed. After the war, there were very few men left. The roof of the Rose Wenzer was falling apart. Lore remembers carrying the tiles up herself and passing them to the roofer. From 1949 she became the manager of the Restaurant Laghetto di Fiè, an inn on the shores of the nearby lake. The famous mountaineer Luis Brunner was a regular there and in the summer

of 1950 he invited Lore to accompany him on an ascent of the Sciliar massif’s Santner peak. From the lake, the route first took them to the Piani di Sciliar, the plateau area, where they slept in a cabin. Then at 4am they began the ascent of the Santner, Luis leading with a rope, the only safety equipment the pair had. The best part of the trip, as Lore remembers it, was when they abseiled down! Then they followed the path back to the lake, where Lore, of course, had to get back to work. Lore’s lakeside inn was visited by many tourists, by the great and good of South Tyrol, and by others too, including Henrik Ibsen’s descendants, who owned a villa in Siusi allo Sciliar. Another regular visitor was a man named “Migg”, who had returned from the war and spent the summers in a cave by the Rio Sciliar stream. Migg would come and ask for bones and scraps from the kitchen that he would give to the ducks and the cats on the lake shore. Later in the 1950s, a film crew came to visit. It’s said that Mel Ferrer, the well-known Hollywood actor, was one of those taking part, while a very talented young man sang and danced, and the English director of the film wanted to make a star of his pretty blonde lady friend, who was staying with a small child and her governess in the inn. But what became of the film? So far, intensive research has failed to produce any­ thing more substantial than local people’s memories. One thing that does remain is the name of the talented young actor: a certain “Peter Alexander”. Lore’s eyes sparkle as she remembers him.


Shortly before this article was copleted, Lore happened to be chatting about the film with Maria Kompatscher, her neighbour from the village of Fiè. Maria, who used to help at the inn up to 1955, also remembered the film being made and says that a few years ago she actually saw it, or at least its closing scenes, in which a group of singers from the Siusi male-voice choir rowed across the lake in a boat. And, she explains, the actor was not the famous Austrian entertainer, Peter Ale­xander, but instead a certain Pero Alexander. This other actor, Pero – born Hans Eduard Pfingstler on 6 April 1921 – first used the stage name Peter Alexander before changing it to Pero Alexander. He had roles in many famous German-language films, acting alongside stars of the day including Gert Fröbe, Heinz Rühmann, Heinz Erhardt, Willy Millowitsch, Karl Heinz Böhm, Paul Dahlke, Heinz Drache, Harald Dietl, Gerlinde Locker and Erika Remberg. He was sometimes nicknamed the Cary Grant of the German film industry. And what’s more, on some photos, he bears a strong resemblance to the nowadays much better-known entertainer Peter Ale­xander. Even so, Maria Kompatscher is absolutely certain that it was Pero Alexander who played in the film made at the Laghetto di Fiè. She says that the locals all went up, out of curiosity, to watch the filming and were told to remain as quiet as church mice. She remembers that even her mother went to watch and that a man from the village of Siusi was given a small part but was very sad – almost inconsolable, in fact – as in the film he was taken away by two carabinieri. Hearing Maria Kompatscher talk about the film, Lore also remembered that she constantly had to go and feed the ducks. But even with these details, research into the film has proved fruitless. There is virtually no record of Pero Alexander from the late 1960s onwards, and even specialist film websites give no further details about him. If anyone has any further information on the film shot at the Laghetto di Fiè, we would love to hear from them.

The next 20 years flew by for Lore, so busy was she with her work. In 1967 her mother, Emma, passed away and shortly after that, between September 1968 and July 1969, the Hotel Rose Wenzer was completely refurbished. It became one of the first establishments in the Siusi area to offer rooms with en-suite sho­wers. Soon after, Lore left the Restaurant Laghetto di Fiè and took over management of the Rose Wenzer. In 1970 she also lost her father Eduard. Since then, a lot has happened and she has many more tales to tell.

The Restaurant at the lake Laghetto di Fiè was once run by Dora Baumgartner (third from right)

The cards are dealt again. In a game of Watten the players are not allowed to “point”: in other words, they can give each other no indication of the cards they hold. In South Tyrol, that’s forbidden, though of course who knows whether the rule is always obeyed. More walkers, tired from their exertions, come into the inn and proudly announce that they’ve scaled the Sciliar for the first time. Lore busies herself with the many fresh flowers that decorate her hotel and, as ever, greets her customers warmly. She has devoted her life to looking after her guests, with plenty of hard work and exciting adventures, and we hope that Lore herself has many more happy years to come. “Va tout,” as the French would say! Postscript: the Name “Lore” has a special meaning. Lore’s parents originally wanted to have her baptised “Dolores”, but the local priest refused, saying it was not a saint’s name. Without further ado she was therefore christened “Dorothea”, which translates as “gift of God” and which, in German, is often shortened to “Dora”. For the people of Fiè allo Sciliar, however, Dora Baumgartner will always be known as “Lore”. To finish, here’s one last interesting fact. The first hit by the more famous Peter Alexander – the Austrian actor, singer and entertainer – was a 1951 song whose title loosely translates as “Only Dolores has legs like that.” «

Winter | ALPE 29


Buchteln Recipe for 4-6 persons. Buchteln are a typical sweet dish from South Tyrol. These rounded shapes, made of yeast dough, are baked in a dish. Filled with apricot jam, Buchteln are often served as a main dish in South Tyrol. Ingrediences · 500 g flour · 1 pinch of salt · 30 g yeast · 1/8 litre lukewarm milk · 70 g butter · 50 g sugar · grated peel of ½ an untreated lemon · 1 tsp rum · 1 sachet vanilla sugar · 2 eggs · butter and breadcrumbs for the baking dish · 100 g apricot jam for the filling · icing sugar to decorate

Preparation Put the flour in a bowl, add salt and make a hollow in the middle. Crumble the yeast into the hollow. Add the lukewarm milk, stir and mix everything together. Sprinkle some sugar and flour over the mixture, cover with a cloth and let the dough rise in a warm place for about 20 minutes. Melt the butter in a pan, mix with the sugar, lemon peel, rum, vanilla sugar and eggs and add to the dough. Beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until it easily detaches from the bowl. Cover once more and leave for 30 minutes. Grease a baking dish with butter and sprinkle it with bread crumbs. Roll out the dough on a floured work surface to a thickness of 2 centimetres and cut into 5 cm squares. Fill each one with a teaspoon of jam and seal. Put the Buchteln side-by-side in the baking dish with the flat side upwards and the sealed side underneath. Allow to stand covered with a cloth for another 20 minutes or so until the Buchteln have doubled in size. Preheat the oven to 180°C, dab melted butter onto the Buchteln and bake for 45 minutes until golden brown.

Foto: Helmuth Rier

(Source: Echt Südtirol! 85 Rezepte aus der Bergbauernküche, Christian Verlag)

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Ezio and his heroes

A passion for life: Ezio Zermiani enjoys the evening sun in Fiè.

Ezio Zermiani has devoted his life to Formula One. The Bolzano-born journalist is a living legend, a pioneer in Italian sports reporting and a mine of information on racing.

A

1970 Tag Heuer wristwatch in Ferrari red, a salmon-pink 1973 Porsche Targa, trendy reflective sunglasses and a thick moustache: these are Zermiani’s trademarks. But if you think the journalist, with his exuberant character, might be a throwback to another age, you’d be wrong. It was the now retired head of Ferrari, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, aware that Zermiani had been awarded the title of “Citizen of the Year” by his home town of Bolzano, who gave perhaps the best description of the man. In a card he sent from Ferrari’s HQ at Maranello he wrote: “Dear Ezio, you’re a scoundrel, but I like you.” And indeed, you

can’t help but like the roguish Zermiani, who for decades has been agile and persistent in his pursuit of race teams around the world, microphone in hand. After studying engineering, Ezio Zermiani began his media career in the 1960s in the newsroom at the Bolzano studios of the Italian state broadcaster, RAI. As a court reporter, he covered sensational murder cases and important trials. Zermiani talks about the trials he reported as if they’d happened yesterday, including the infamous Steinkasserer case, in which a priest was accused of murdering his housekeeper, the gruesome »

Text: Elisabeth Augustin photo: Helmuth Rier

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In a career spanning over 30 years, Ezio Zermiani missed just one Formula One race.

deeds of Bergamo, a serial killer, and the trial of Scicchitani, a hotel porter, who was alleged to have killed a young woman but whose innocence was proven thanks to work done by Zermiani himself, working with the man’s lawyer. Through hard work, talent and a certain flair, Zermiani succeeded in landing a job at RAI’s Milan studios. At the time of the Red Brigades, he had plenty of stories to cover; he feels sad that nowadays journalists tend only to work from their desk. “We were investigative reporters in the classic sense and we had to get out and about,” says Zermiani, who would, in fact, be ideally suited to play the role of a cantankerous police chief on TV. Even at that time, Ezio Zermiani’s passion was motor sports, and he soon began to produce reports for the popular Sunday sports magazine programme “Domenica Sportiva”. The job was full of excitement, not all of it good, since in those days there were many more fatalities at the various motor races. At a time when film could only be transferred by physical means, Zermiani took advantage of his friendship with the hotelier Leo Gurschler, who would fly him, together with the film recordings, from the racetrack at Salzburg to the RAI studio in Bolzano. As the film was deve­ loped and the report produced there, this meant that Zermiani became Italy’s fastest reporter – in the truest sense of the phrase. From motorbike racing Zermiani switched to covering rally driving events and from those to Formula One. In 35 years, the journalist missed only one Formula 1 race, a Grand Prix event at Monza, due to his mother’s death. This meant that Zermiani was not just intimately involved with every Grand Prix but also with the training laps that took place during the preceding week, in those days on the actual course itself. Whether the races were in South Africa, Australia, Spain or elsewhere, the workaholic Zermiani was at the heart of the action. “Nowadays the drivers have simulators to help them get used to testing the cars on the track,” he says with some regret. For the last six years of his active career, Zermiani was the lead reporter for RAI’s 30-strong motor sports team in Milan. Zermiani undoubtedly changed the way in which Formula One events were reported. Consider, for example, the many times he put his microphone right up to the drivers’ helmets right by the start line, in order to get just one more soundbite. It was

with Nelson Piquet that he had the most fun, since the Brazilian driver didn’t just take full advantage of the publicity that these occasions gave him but was always ready, during that tricky moment before the start of the race, to let off steam with a few pointed words. Zermiani, in fact, was so closely involved with the drivers that they would simply give him a small nod to tell him when they were available for a quick interview. Although his career has made him a citizen of the world, Zermiani has maintained strong roots in South Tyrol. While his main residence is in the regional capital Bolzano, he spends all of his spare time in the village of Fiè allo Sciliar, where his apartment gives him a lovely view over the little Romanesque church of Peterbühel. Zermiani’s home there is chock-full of souvenirs of his career: model cars, especially Ferraris that commemorate Michael Schumacher’s many victories, Ferrari medals, a dedication from the otherwise severe Enzo Ferrari in 1987, photographs of him with Gianni Agnelli, Ayrton Senna, Riccardo Patrese, Alessandro Nannini, Michele Alboreto and other giants of motorsport– and even one of Zermiani in an audience with the Pope. One picture speaks a thousand words: it shows Zermiani, microphone in hand, running alongside Andrea De Cesaris on the track, while the driver is pushing his own race car. Apparently, De Cesaris reacted by saying, “Instead of standing there asking questions, you can help me push.” As Zermiani explains, “The picture clearly shows how innocent the Formula One scene was back then. With today’s safety regulations, a situation like that would be unimaginable.” As a famous reporter, Zermiani frequently ma­ naged to bring famous sportsmen to South Tyrol. Thanks to their friendship with him, countless sporting heroes – including the legendary rallydriver Walter Röhrl, the unbeatable ski champion Alberto Tomba and Formula One drivers Gerhard Berger from Austria, Clay Regazzoni from Switzerland and, as already mentioned, the Italian drivers Patrese, Nannini and Alboreto – got to know and love the many attractions of South Tyrol as a holiday region, especially the ski runs of the Dolomites. As a journalist, Zermiani spent a total of 35 years travelling the world – without his wife Rosy, who has never liked the noise of the motor racing track. “Whenever you stop, you feel like going home, and »

Winter | ALPE 33


Ferrari & more: his private archives and many souvenirs bear witness to Zermiani’s extraordinary career.

whenever you’re home, you want to set off again,” he says. After spending three days in the same place, Zermiani says he gets nervous. He describes himself as being “like a nomad” in that way. And even though he’s now 73 and retired, things haven’t changed. “I’m working more than ever,” he says. Since retiring in 2006, Zermiani has been earning money from his historical knowledge. On 15 CDs and DVDs he’s recorded the history of Formula One from 1951 to the present day and has now also recorded the story of rally car racing on 15 more discs. The Ferrari group gave Zermiani free rein in

busy. He describes himself as a man under stress, always on edge and suffering from high blood pressure. He’s a perfectionist, he says, never quite satisfied with what he does. “I’m actually always disappointed and prefer to avoid watching my own reports, as I always think in hindsight I’d have done it differently. If you’re a perfectionist, you’re never really content,” Zermiani says.

its archives, which allowed him to access historical material from the 1920s to the 1960s. Even so, despite the many tales he has to tell, we’re unlikely to find a biography of Ezio Zermiani on the shelves any time soon. He modestly insists, “My whole life is already captured on the CDs in the most important interviews and the finest moments.”

the Formula One scene are not the cars and engines, but the people. “I’ve always tried to understand the mentality of these men who risk their lives every day.” He adds that what they achieve is superhuman and that risk is what really fascinates him. According to Zermiani, Formula One is both a very exclusive and a difficult environment, one in which the various people involved have extreme interests and in which things are kept very private.

In any case, Zermiani has absolutely no plans to stop doing any of the various things that keep him

34 ALPE | Winter

For Zermiani – a person who has spent his whole life being pursued while pursuing others – the most interesting aspects of rally-car racing and


There were two occasions in Ezio Zermiani’s career as a journalist when he considered quitting his job. The first was when Ayrton Senna was killed at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix on the track at Imola. The second was when Michele Alboreto died during the test drives for the Le Mans 24 in 2001. Zermiani says, “It’s extremely rare for a journalist to become good friends with a driver and if one of them dies...” Recalling these horrific accidents still gives Zermiani a lump in his throat. The drivers he has felt closest to, apart from Senna and Alboreto, have included Nelson Piquet and Jean Alesi. To mark the 20th anniversary of his friend Ayrton Senna’s death, on 1 May 2014 Zermiani organised a “Senna Tribute”. Held at Imola, it was attended by 54,000 people, while 31 TV stations carried reports on the event, Zermiani explains without boasting. “All our old friends were there, and a benefit game was held to raise funds for the Senna Foundation, which is very important for Brazil.” Zermiani has already thrown himself into planning a similar event to honour Gilles Villeneuve, who died after a 1982 training accident in Belgium. Ezio Zermiani has plenty of friends outside motor sport, however. Among them, he describes South Tyrol’s famous extreme mountaineer, Reinhold Messner, as “molto amico”. Each time Messner completed the ascent of one of the “eight-thousanders” (the world’s highest mountain peaks), he would send Zermiani his latest pictures for the journalist’s reports on Italy’s TG2 channel. Zermiani has for many years been keeping an interview he recorded with Reinhold Messner locked away for the future. Messner has instructed him only to release it after his death, and so every time he comes back safely from one of his expeditions he jokes that Zermiani’s out of luck again and will have to wait a little longer. Zermiani’s worst professional experience, however, was not on a racetrack but in August 1979, on the Marmolada peak in the Italian Alps. It was only a few months after Karol Wojtyla’s election to the papacy that, as John Paul II, the new Pope celebrated mass on the summit of the Marmolada. At the top station of the cable car, a bizarre situation arose: Zermiani found himself, microphone in hand, standing with the new Pope – who was holding white skis given to him by the Marmolada ski instructors – and the security team. Zermiani simply spoke to the Pope as he would do

to any normal person, something unimaginable in those days, and so the technician asked the production team in Rome to switch on a live link for an impromptu interview. “If Zermiani’s chatting with the Pope, then I’m sitting here with Napoleon,” the colleague in Rome answered and, as an inevi­table result, Zermiani’s interview with the Pope never reached the airwaves and was, in fact, never recorded. Looking back, Zermiani is especially sad that no one heard his final question: “What would you do, Your Holiness, if the cable car stopped running?” To which Pope John Paul II mischievously replied, “I’d put my skis on and ski down to the valley with the instructors. And I wouldn’t be the last to arrive.” An example, perhaps, of the drive that the Pope, Senna and Zermiani shared all their lives. «

With his courage and skill, Ezio Zermiani scaled new heights as a motor-racing journalist.

Winter | ALPE 35


The top 10 winter activities in the Alpe di Siusi holiday area Taking a hay bath Whether in traditional or modern surroundings, a hay bath will do you good, providing energy and revitalising the body. The hay bath has evolved from the old peasant custom of lying in the hay to become a highly popular Alpine wellness offer. The body heat of the “bather” releases the many different active substances and essential oils in the hay, which also contains numerous medicinal herbs such as thyme, arnica, cinquefoil and gentian, to produce beneficial effects for the skin and the breathing.

Ice skating on the lake Laghetto di Fiè Swap your skis or snowboard for ice skates for a few hours and try out a few pirouettes: young and old alike can glide over the ice on the frozen Laghetto di Fiè in winter, either as a first attempt or to show off their skills. Ice-skating means fun for all, whether beginner or expert, especially against the spectacular backdrop of the Sciliar massif!

Paragliding over Siusi Paragliding over the Dolomite summits is possible in winter as well as summer. Visibility is particularly good in winter and a padded suit will protect you against the cold. The tandem flights start from Spitzbühl: from here pilot and passenger glide down to San Valentino and view the village of Siusi from above.

The Witches’ Round Seven stations, seven legends around the Alpe di Siusi, with lots of fun to be had on skis: the Witches’ Round is a ski tour that takes adults and children on a journey of discovery around the Alpe di Siusi. You ski the pistes via the Panorama, Goldknopf and Bullaccia hills through the realm of the witches who used to haunt the Sciliar massif. The circuit is suitable even for little ones, who will discover that skiing is a magical adventure.

Hill climb and the historic centre of Castelrotto The Kofel or hill known as the “Calvary of Castelrotto” is a popular destination for leisurely winter hikes, affording views of the Santner spire, the Sciliar massif, the Bullaccia hill and of course the village centre of Castelrotto with its Baroque bell tower, neo-classical parish church and painted houses. Take your time, pause awhile and enjoy the peace and quiet!

36 ALPE | Winter


Cross-country skiing Cross-country skiers all agree that the Alpe di Siusi ranks among the top cross-country skiing areas. That’s why it attracts teams from Norway, Canada, Italy and the USA each year for training on Europe’s largest high pasture. You can emulate Petter Northug, Marit Bjørgen and the rest on the 80 kilometres of trails on the Alpe di Siusi. Cross-country skiing also allows you to appreciate the landscape with a sensation of well-being.

Tobogganing by moonlight on the Alpe di Siusi Moonlight on the toboggan runs on the Alpe di Siusi is the perfect time to go tobogganing with friends, family or just together as a couple. The starting point for the fun is at one of the many huts offering hearty traditional South Tyrolean fare before you venture out into the night.

Horse-drawn sleigh rides on Europe’s largest high plateau Wrapped in warm blankets, lovers can enjoy a horse-drawn sleigh ride through the white winter landscape with its views of the Dolomites. The leisurely rhythm of the hooves on the freshly fallen snow is the perfect accompaniment to the magnificent natural panorama.

Snowshoeing in the Ciamin Valley San Cipriano is the starting point for snowshoe excursions through the wild, romantic and snow-covered Ciamin Valley: over the Dosswiesen meadows to the Schwarzn Lettn, then follow the river course to the Rechter Leger, a magnificent vantage point with views of the Cime del Principe and the Ciamin peaks.

Winter walks on the Bullaccia hill With its 360° panorama, the Engelrast (an angel atop a pole) up on the Bullaccia hill is one of the best viewpoints on the Alpe di Siusi, with a panorama stretching from the Dolomites to the Ortles region. The Bullaccia tour not only offers unique views but also magical places to visit: from the Engelrast the trail continues via the Filln Cross, the “Witches’ Seats” and the Goller Cross back to the starting point in Compaccio.

Winter | ALPE 37


Winter Preview 14/15

> December 2014

> 6 - 7 December 2014

> 11 January 2015

> 23 February - 5 March 2015

Christmas in Castelrotto

Children’s Winter Festival with Nix the Witch

Traditional country wedding of Castelrotto

Winter Survival Camp on the Alpe di Siusi

For the 9th time, the inhabitants of Castelrotto will unveil the secrets of their Christmas traditions and allow others to participate in them. Beside the little Christmas market, local farmers’ wives will offer their coo­ kies, Christmas logs, pastries, and other authentic goodies for sale. On 5 and 6 December, the well-known “Kastelruther Spatzen” folks music group will present songs and tunes in keeping with the “Feast of Love”.

This year, for the first time, the opening of the skiing season on the Alpe di Siusi will be celebrated with an exciting festival for children together with Nix the Witch. It will be two entire days of entertainment, games and winter fun, where children can also ski or learn to ski in a playful manner.

The Country Wedding in Castelrotto has already become a tradition. It‘s the authentic reproduction of a historical farmer‘s wedding like those celebrated since time immemorial at the foot of the Alpe di Siusi. The throngs of participants wear their traditional garments with great pride – one of the reasons why the event has developed into one of South Tyrol‘s most spectacular pageants.

How do you build an igloo? How do animals survive in the snow? And what should we do if an avalanche threatens? Survivalists old and young can investigate such matters at the Survival Camp. Together we will discover the winter woods and find out which animals roam across the Alpe di Siusi in winter. Using a beeper and with specially trained avalanche dogs we look for something buried deep under the snow. By learning the tricks we need to survive in an emergency in harsh surroundings, we will be well equipped for the winter.

Dates 5 to 8 December 2014 12 to 14 December 2014 19 to 21 December 2014 26 to 28 December 2014

38 ALPE | Winter


Foto: photo: SAM / Helmuth Rier

> 1 February 2015

> 4 February 2015

> 6 March 2015

> 21 - 29 March 2015

Alpe di Siusi Winter Golf Tournament

South Tyrol Moonlight Classic Alpe di Siusi

Liquid Dolomites

10 years Swing on Snow

Play golf on snow and enjoy a wonderful winter landscape: for the 7th time in a row, the winter golf tournament is held on the Alpe di Siusi. It is played over 9 holes, from 61 to 1150 m long. On skis, snowboard or on sledge the participants move from hole to hole. The fairways are white instead of green, the greens whites and the golf balls stand out thanks to their bright colours. Food and music along the golf course will be provided.

The moon will be astounded when it peeks over the Dolomites. Because that’s when the starting pistol will fire for a cross-country marathon of a most unusual kind. At 8 p.m., namely, several hundred cross-country skiers will shove off from Compaccio and glide on their narrow skis in the light of their forehead-mounted lamps through the luminescent night-time winter landscape. They’ll follow the route for 15 or 30 kilometers, finally returning to their starting point. But the “South Tyrol Moonlight Classic Alpe di Siusi” is a fantastic experience not only for the participants, but for the spectators, too!

Liquid Dolomites wants to shake up the bar experience and culture in the Dolomites, aiming to promote a positive exchange of experiences and expertise amongst specialists. The project wants to develop the cocktail universe in the province and discover new products and creations. New techniques and recipes are showcased at the start, closely followed by exceptional drinks, such as ‚Molecular Cocktails‘, ‚Infusions for Cocktails‘, ‚Best Classic Cocktails‘ up until ‚Cuisine Style Cocktails‘. All experts and cocktail enthusiasts are invited. Tickets on sale at the Alpe di Siusi Tourism Association.

Eight days of music on the Alpe di Siusi, the huts and in the villages at the foot of the Sciliar mountain, sweet melodies and dynamic rhythms, groups from the entire Alpine region, and above all a great atmosphere: this is Swing on Snow 2014. For the 10th year in a row the Alpe di Siusi WinterMusicFestival offers a mix of traditional folk music with jazz, soul, pop and classical music.

www.golfstvigilseis.it

www.swingonsnow.com

www.moonlightclassic.info

Winter | ALPE 39


Summer Highlights 2015

> 29 to 31 May 2015

> July 2015

>July 2015

> Summer 2015

33 Oswald von Wolkenstein Riding Tournament

Running Month July and Alpe di Siusi Half Marathon

Schlern International Music Festival

Hikes for Flower Lovers

Galloping into the Middle Ages: in mid-June, the villages surrounding the Alpe di Siusi are dedicated to the biggest horseback riding festival in South Tyrol. A total of 36 teams face the challenging competition games of the Oswald von Wolkenstein Riding Tournament.

With the 3rd Alpe di Siusi Half Marathon on 5 July, the training camp of the world’s best marathon runners and the Running Shoe Experience, July on the Alpe di Siusi is all about running. The Alpe di Siusi Half Marathon on Europe’s largest mountain pasture is a fascinating running event for its breathtaking scenery and a particular challenge due to its 601 m of elevation gain.

The 13th edition of the Schlern International Music Festival – like the previous ones – provides a unique opportunity to experience concerts by many well-known and famous musicians in the Alpe di Siusi holiday area.

Approximately 790 flowering plants and ferns of highly varied appearance and origin can be seen around Sciliar mountain over the course of the year. Typical Alpine flowers but also botanical rarities flourish on the alp mats, in meadows and wheelbarrows. The nature reserve authorities organize about 30 guided hikes every year in cooperation with the tourism associations of the nature reserve communities with experienced nature reserve hiking guide Riccardo Insam.

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The traditional riding spectacle starts with celebrations in Fiè allo Sciliar. On Sunday, the audience draws on foot or by shuttle buses together with the riders from race to race. At the close of the tournament, there will be an awards ceremony at Castle Prösels, with a subsequent festive celebration quite in keeping with medieval traditions. www.ovwritt.com

On 26 and 27 July, the Alpe di Siusi holiday area will be the host of the Alpe di Siusi Running Expo. All participants will have the opportunity to test the new 2016 running shoe collection of the main brands. From 28 June to 12 July 2015, some of the world’s best marathon runners will be coming once more to the Alpe di Siusi to prepare for the autumn races. On 5 July, the marathon stars from Kenya will run side by side with the participants of the Alpe di Siusi Half Marathon. running.seiseralm.it

40 ALPE | Winter

On the festival program, besides the international competitions, master classes and workshops, there are about 35 afternoon and evening concerts with renowned music professors and young artists from North and South America, Asia and Europe participating. All concerts, master classes and workshops are open free of charge for guests and locals. Admission fees apply only for the star concerts. www.schlernmusicfestival.eu

www.alpedisiusi.info


photo: Helmuth Rier

> 13 July - 17 August 2015

> 16 July 2015

> 1 - 31 October 2015

> 9 to 11 October 2015

Summer Classics in Siusi allo Sciliar

Berglertafel of Tires al Catinaccio

The Kuchlkastl Culinary Festival in Fiè

“Kastelruther Spatzen” Music Festival

For lovers of classical music, Siusi offers an extraordinary series of concerts. Artists will perform the works of great composers. The “Summer Classics” of Siusi represent a high level of musical talent and have long since become an integral component of our summer cultural program. Both locals and visitors will be enchanted.

A gourmet menu with a panoramic view! The Berglertafel mountaineers’ dinner is a five-course menu of typical dishes from Tires served in a stunning setting. The venue is Proa, a mountain pasture with a view of the Catinaccio. There is arguably no other vantage point in Tires al Catinaccio from where you can see the famous alpenglow of King Laurin’s famous kingdom ... and all this while enjoying a fabulous gourmet menu. The table is more than a 100 metre long and can seat 160 gourmets who – in the form of a row – can enjoy a fabulous meal and, at the same time, this unique view of the Catinaccio.

The Kuchlkastl Culinary Festival in Fiè allo Sciliar is a well-kept secret among gourmets and friends of “down home” cooking, alike. Since 1978, the innkeepers and restaurant owners in Fiè have been inviting visitors to partake in the “Gastronomical October”. At the close of the season, the best chef cooks of Fiè will do their utmost to astonish and enchant you with new variations of traditional dishes – dishes prepared with passion and enjoyed with fine appreciation. If you are in search of original dishes (based on timehonoured recipes, but with a modern accent), you ought not to miss this month-long culinary festival in Fiè allo Sciliar.

Celebrating, spending pleasant evenings together, experiencing the “Kastelruther Spatzen” live: the Spatzen-Festival in Castelrotto is a must for every fan. Surrounded by the unique scenery of the Dolomites the seven “Spatzen“ enchant all friends of traditional music.

www.voelserkuchlkastl.com

Winter | ALPE 41


photo: Helmuth Rier

Around & About

A monument to the “Kastelruther Spatzen”. In occasion of 30 years of “Kastelruther Spatzen” Music Festival, Castelrotto expressed its thanks to its most famous sons by dedicating a monument to the seven “Spatzen” at the entrance to the town. Lead singer Norbert Rier and the other band members were of course present at the ceremonial unveiling of the monument, which takes the form of silhouettes.

Outstanding “Dogo correva. Correva, perché correre è la sua passione, il suo destino (Dogo ran. He ran because running is his passion, his destiny).” The story of Kenyan marathon runner Dogo and his emotions during his high-altitude training on the Alpe di Siusi left a lasting impression on the jury of the Dolomiti Super Summer Storytelling Project. At the Trentino Film Festival this short story, the work of young author Tobias Kompatscher from Fiè, was awarded third place in the “Racconto” category.

South Tyrol, Trentino and the Austrian federal state of Tyrol are together buil­ ding a European region intended as a symbol of cultural and linguistic pluralism. At a European conference organised in July by the Province of South Tyrol, Governor Arno Kompatscher (on the right) welcomed Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi (second from right) at Prösels Castle. Discussion focussed on “Regions in Europe - Europe of the regions”, with valuable contributions also from State Governor Günther Platter (Tyrol, Austria), Governor Ugo Rossi (Trentino), Italian Minister for the Regions Maria Carmela Lanzetta and State Secretary Graziano Delrio, as well as from essayist Robert Menasse and scientist Sergio Fabbrini.

IMPRINT. ALPE: Reg. Court Bolzano / Bolzano, n. 9/2002 R.St. Published by: Alpe di Siusi Marketing, 39050 Fiè allo Sciliar, Via del Paese, 15, Tel. +39 0471 709 600, Fax +39 0471 704 199, info@alpedisiusi.info, www.alpedisiusi.info. Responsible Editor: Alex Andreis. Editorial Team: Elisabeth Augustin, Rosa Maria Erlacher, Barbara Pichler Rier, Katja Sanin, Michaela Baur, André Bechtold, Daniela Kremer. Translations: Studio Bonetti & Peroni. Advertising: Sabine Demetz, Christoph Trocker. Graphicdesign: Komma Graphik. Printing: Litopat.

42 ALPE | Winter

photo: Smart

Foto: Seiser Alm Marketing

In the European spirit


KOMMAGraphik | Foto: Helmuth Rier

without auto-mobile

Affordably and conveniently through the winter wonderland With the Combi Card or the Nordic Pass

. Card not

Senior - 37, 00 Euro Carta Nume ro: 003770 18.12.2014 - 9:06 Uhr

Combi Card 3 in 7*

37,00 Euro

Combi Card 7*

49,00 Euro

trasferable.

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Made-to-measure mobility offers for cross-country skiers, toboganists, hikers and snow shoe hikers.

72,00 Euro

In the course of 7 days (after first use)

Valid for 7 days (after first use)

Valid for 14 days (after first use)

> 3 times to the Alpe di Siusi and back, with the Aerial Cableway or the Alpe di Siusi Express (route 10) > unrestricted use of the Shuttle Bus Service (Bus Routes 1, 2, 3, 3A, 4, 5 and 9) around the Alpe di Siusi, the Almbus (route 11) and the Nightliner in the Alpe di Siusi holiday area from Passo Pinei to Fiè.

> unrestricted use of Alpe di Siusi Aerial Cableway or the Alpe di Siusi Express (route 10) > unrestricted use of the Shuttle Bus Service (Bus Routes 1, 2, 3, 3A, 4, 5 and 9) around the Alpe di Siusi, the Almbus (route 11) and the Nightliner in the Alpe di Siusi holiday area from Passo Pinei to Fiè.

> unrestricted use of Alpe di Siusi Aerial Cableway or the Alpe di Siusi Express (route 10) > unrestricted use of the Shuttle Bus Service (Bus Routes 1, 2, 3, 3A, 4, 5 and 9) around the Alpe di Siusi, the Almbus (route 11) and the Nightliner in the Alpe di Siusi holiday area from Passo Pinei to Fiè.

Nordic Pass 3 in 7*

Nordic Pass 7*

Nordic Pass 14*

44,00 Euro

61,00 Euro

94,00 Euro

Valid for 7 days (after first use)

Valid for 7 days (after first use)

Valid for 14 days (after first use)

> on 3 days unrestricted use of using the Cross-Country Ski Courses Alpe di Siusi/Val Gardena, of the Alpe di Siusi Aerial Cableway, the Alpe di Siusi Express (Bus Route 10) and the Almbus (Bus Route 11) > unrestricted use of the Shuttle Bus Service (Bus Routes 1, 2, 3, 3A, 4, 5 and 9) around the Alpe di Siusi and the Nightliner in the Alpe di Siusi holiday area from Passo Pinei to Fiè allo Sciliar

> unrestricted use of using the Cross-Country Ski Courses Alpe di Siusi/Val Gardena, of the Alpe di Siusi Aerial Cableway, the Alpe di Siusi Express (Bus Route 10) and the Almbus (Bus Route 11) > unrestricted use of the Shuttle Bus Service (Bus Routes 1, 2, 3, 3A, 4, 5 and 9) around the Alpe di Siusi and the Nightliner in the Alpe di Siusi holiday area from Passo Pinei to Fiè allo Sciliar

> unrestricted use of using the Cross-Country Ski Courses Alpe di Siusi/Val Gardena, of the Alpe di Siusi Aerial Cableway, the Alpe di Siusi Express (Bus Route 10) and the Almbus (Bus Route 11) > unrestricted use of the Shuttle Bus Service (Bus Routes 1, 2, 3, 3A, 4, 5 and 9) around the Alpe di Siusi and the Nightliner in the Alpe di Siusi holiday area from Passo Pinei to Fiè allo Sciliar

Children (0-7 years) and persons on wheelchairs ride free of charge. Juniors pay the half price: Combi Card (8-15 years), Nordic Pass (13-15 years). The Combi Card and the Nordic Pass are not transferable and are available at all cash desk of the Alpe di Siusi Aerial Cableway, by Tourist Information offices Fiè and Siusi allo Sciliar, by Alpincenter at Castelrotto and at your accommodation. *The Holiday area Alpe di Siusi Live Card, which is not available for purchase and is issued free of charge to the guests by selected accommodation, includes a price reduction for the Combi Card and for the Nordic Pass.

Alpe di Siusi Aerial Cableway 39040 Siusi allo Sciliar · Via Sciliar, 39 Tel. 0471 704 270 · Fax 0471 704 269 www.seiseralmbahn.it · info@seiseralmbahn.it


Werbemitteilung / Messaggio pubblicitario

Ich vertraue dem, der Tradition bewahren hilft. Posso fidarmi di chi contribuisce a preservare le tradizioni. www.raiffeisen.it

Meine Bank La mia banca


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