This summer, Alta Badia, in the heart of the Dolomites, will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of being declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ideal place to enjoy a wonderful mountain experience, surrounded by the majestic Dolomites.
10 years have passed since 26th June 2009, the day UNESCO declared the Dolomites to be a World Heritage Site. Le Corbusier declared these mountains to be “the world’s most beautiful work of architecture” and Alta Badia is situated right in the heart of them.
This region, already famous for its stunning authentic landscapes, is home to two of the sites that were awarded UNESCO status: the Fanes-Senes-Braies Natural Park and the Puez-Odle Natural Park.
The first is famous for its fauna and Ladin legends and covers 25,680 hectares, making it one of the largest in South Tyrol. Its western part is situated in Alta Badia. The other, home to the municipalities of Badia and Corvara, borders the Erbe Pass to the north and the Gardena Pass to the south and is well-loved among geologists, who consider it the “laboratory of the Dolomites” thanks to its formation and structure. Following tectonic movements and erosion, which is typical of these mountains, all types of rock can be found here.
The natural parks, under the strict protection of the Autonomous Province of Bolzano, include extensive areas of interest in terms of both landscape and culture. They are considered to be extremely valuable because they contribute to keeping the landscapes and surrounding nature in their original condition, giving tourists the chance to experience the area in a natural way.
INTRODUCING “LES CORDES”, A VIA FERRATA LEADING TO THE GARDENACCIA PLATEAU
For decades now, the farmers of La Villa have been taking their cows and horses to the alpine pasture of the Gardenaccia plateau, the mountain in the Puez-Odle Natural Park, that symbolises their village. The villagers once knew a direct path to get here, which was steeper and more challenging than the ones used by enthusiasts today. This path was called “les cordes” (“the ropes” in Ladin) and is precisely where the new via ferrata of the same name has been created, which will be open from June 2019.
The starting point for this via ferrata can be easily reached from the Gardenaccia chairlift, which drops hikers off just 5 minutes from the start. This via ferrata can only be used with appropriate equipment and less-expert climbers are advised to tackle it accompanied by a mountain guide.
4 PEAKS ALTA BADIA: FOUR SUMMITS, ONE CHALLENGE
Everyone who takes on the “4 Peaks Alta Badia” challenge can look forward to adventure, adrenaline and breath-taking views. The aim is to climb the four peaks Sas dla Crusc 2,907m, Sasso delle Dieci 3,026m, Lavarella 3,055m and Conturines 3,064m. These demanding tours take excursionists literally up hill and down dale. Climbers follow well-maintained trails, paths and also via ferratas up to the peaks through the awesome Dolomites. Some exposed, unsecured sections of the route add an extra sense of adventure. To take on the “4 Peaks Alta Badia” challenge, participants need first to register online at www.4peaks.it. All those who complete all four summits in two or more days bear the title “Alta Badia Finisher”. And those who succeed in climbing the four peaks within a single day will be named “Alta Badia Mountaineer” and be granted a place of honour on the online “Wall of Fame”.
WALK WITH US: THEMED EXCURSIONS INSIDE THE NATURAL PARKS
Throughout the summer, Alta Badia will be offering a wide selection of weekly guided tours as part of the “Walk with us” programme, ideal to meet the requirements of even the most demanding tourists. These also include excursions to discover the Fanes-Senes-Braies and Puez-Odle Natural Parks, with their most hidden trails. Here, visitors can learn about the unique flora and fauna that surrounds them and about the geology and morphology of the Dolomites.
To take part in the guided tours, you must register the day before your chosen excursion at the latest, at one of the valley’s tourist information offices.
DISCOVERING THE SNOW CAVE
The numerous excursions inside the Fanes-Senes-Braies Natural Park includes a trip to the “Snow cave” at the foot of Mount Santa Croce. This is a natural cave, hollowed out by the snow falling and the subsequent melting of the ice that comes down the walls of the mountains above.
The Snow cave is a 45-minute walk along the 15/B trail, starting from the church of Santa Croce which can easily be reached using the ski lift.
EVENTS DEDICATED TO THE DOLOMITES UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE
This celebration will take place on the actual day of the 10th anniversary, i.e. on Wednesday 26th June 2019, on the meadows at the foot of the Pisciadú waterfalls. At 9.15pm, there will be a concert by “Lilac for People”, a modern ensemble made up of eight musicians with a jazz background. In order to reduce the amount of noise, out of respect for the tranquillity of this place, the performance will be acoustic. The highlight of the evening will be inspiring images being projected, in time with the concert music, onto the majestic walls of the Pisciadú, with the main theme being the Dolomites and their unique features, as well as the protection of this area.
Vives, Enrosadira! – Aperidinner at sunset: The ‘enrosadira’ is the term used to describe the natural phenomenon that turns the Dolomites a shade of red. There is no better place to admire the colours of the sunset on these mountains than right in front of the Santa Croce, La Varella and Conturines mountain range. That’s why the meadows at the station at the top of the Gardenaccia ski lift have been chosen for a one-off, high-altitude “aperidinner”, organised by a number of bars and restaurants in Alta Badia. Some traditional Ladin dishes will also be served, accompanied by some of South Tyrol’s best wines. This event will be held on Tuesday 27th August. To take part in this event, you need to book a place at one of Alta Badia’s tourist information offices.
Gosté sön munt – Breakfast between the mountains: For those who want to admire the stunning Dolomite mountains early on in the day, there’s the possibility to easily reach the meadows near the Gardenaccia ski lift first thing in the morning, using the chairlift, enjoying an excellent breakfast of local products. More sporty participants can then go on a guided tour, first reaching the Gardenaccia mountain hut, 2,050m above sea level, before moving on to Col Plö Alt, a place with stunning views where you can fully enjoy the beauty of the Dolomites inside the Puez-Odle Natural Park, 2,314m above sea level. This initiative will take place on 18th July. You have to book in advance at one of Alta Badia’s tourist information offices.
Boé Slackline Show: Slacklining is a dynamic and modern sport, which tests a person’s balance and requires the right combination of concentration and coordination. This spectacular sport is even more impressive against the backdrop of a special location, such as in the heart of the Dolomites, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On Sunday 28th July, a slackline show is planned at Boé lake, 2,250m above sea level.
Some professionals of this sport will be walking along a number of water lines, fixed above the Boé lake, as well as a high line, a band suspended at considerable height between two rocks under the Vallon via ferrata. The Boé lake can be reached on foot, just a 15-minute walk from the top of the Boé cable car, along trail no. 638 that leads to the Vallon via ferrata.
New for 2019. Saus dl altonn – Flavours of autumn: Local producers and local products will be taking centre stage at this new initiative in the heart of the Dolomites, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, that will be taking place between 15th and 29th September 2019. Each one of the seven mountain huts taking part in the event has been assigned with a local product, which will be used as a basis to create a three-course menu, to be served during the last two weeks of September. Goat’s milk, ricotta, acacia honey, speck from South Tyrol, mountain herbs, beef and grey cheese are the excellent products that will be used by the chefs in the mountain lodges for their creations.
On certain days, the producers will also be appearing at the mountain huts assigned to them to present their products, which can also be bought there directly. The mountain huts can be easily reached with the ski lifts, which will remain open until the end of September. Various activities will also be on offer, such as visits to the farm or high-altitude breakfasts, allowing visitors to discover the excellent things the local area has to offer at this time of year, enjoying some relaxation surrounded by nature.
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