Val Gardena turns into the
“Christmas Valley of the Dolomites”

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Val Gardena has been recognized as the Christmas Valley for years and, starting from 29th November, the miles of lights of the three Christmas Markets of Ortisei, S. Cristina and Selva Val Gardena – immersed in the natural setting of the Dolomites, UNESCO World Heritage Site – will light up again.

Each of the three markets, however, has different characteristics and peculiarities…let’s go and discover them

Ortisei will become the “Christmas Village” and its market will offer gifts and surprises among Christmas melodies, homemade cakes, handmade wooden objects and a myriad of lights. Every day you can watch the choir show or listen to the sounds of the mountain horns or even participate in Ladin cooking classes. There are many products offered by the stands, all original and authentic, from sculptures and dolls to Christmas garlands, from lanterns to frames, from candles to felt products. Finally, children will be able to pack their letters in a special mailbox in Stetteneck Square.

 

 

The Christmas Market of S. Cristina, traditionally offers many typical gastronomy and local craftsmanship products. The market is located in a panoramic location at the foot of the Sassolungo and Castel Gardena and has always offered a special atmosphere and many good ideas for a Christmas gift. In addition, you can attend live performances by master sculptors from Val Gardena and listen to music and mountain melodies. Every weekend and on weekdays, the peppery bread biscuits and the delicious “Spitzbuben”, short pastry biscuits filled with apricot jam, will be baked.

Finally, Selva di Val Gardena, famous for its “Mountain Christmas. The village is located in the heart of the Dolomites, at the foot of the Sella massif… The atmosphere of the ski slopes will be ideally transferred to the pedestrian street in the centre of the village where a continuous strip of lights 350 meters long and 12 wooden reproductions of the cable car cabins will be realized. Among the stands you can taste the gingerbread, mulled wine, homemade cakes, chocolate production or buy unique items for next Christmas.

A multitude of balls and sparkling lights, together with Christmas songs, will cheer up the hearts and bring joy and wonder to the eyes of children. In addition, the traditional art of Val Gardena sculpture will be on display in a beautiful exhibition of nativity scenes.

INFO: Val Gardena

Val Gardena: a gourmet’s paradise and good, hearty mountain food

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Eating well is part and parcel of the South Tyrol experience: the local cuisine features rich, regional recipes with hearty and local ingredients such as spicy Speck, smoked sausage, tasty cheese and Schüttelbrot. The culinary experience boasts a variety of traditional restaurants, pizzerias and gourmet Michelin and Gault Millau restaurants. The offer is rounded off by the typical combination of Mediterranean lightness and grounded, alpine flavours. In Val Gardena there are two places which are considered the culinary Eldorado: the working stations of starred chefs Mario Porcelli at the Alpenroyal Grand Hotel in Selva Val Gardena and of Reimund Brunner at the Anna Stuben in the Hotel Gardena in Ortisei. Sublime dishes interpreting and combining the cuisine of the Italian and Austrian culture in outstanding ways.

 

 

Discover fine dining also up on high! Skiing in Val Gardena is a real treat thanks to the 65 traditional mountain huts peppering the edge of the slopes. Most of them have been run by the same family for generations, and each hut is proud to deliver a unique offer ranging from traditional dishes to sophisticated cuisine featuring grilled steaks and seafood. The offer is rounded off by a large selection of wines, mostly from South Tyrol.

Be inspired and book four stay on Val Gardena

In Val Gardena everything is ready for the new winter season!

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The skiing season in the Dolomites’ and Italy’s best skiing area, crowned as such on numerous occasions, starts on 5 December and ends at Easter on 14 April 2020.

 

Pleasant hills as well as steep slopes, including the ones featured during the World Cup, pepper the landscape of the skiing carousel, where skiers start whizzing down the slopes from 5 December. In the Val Gardena/Alpe di Siusi skiing area, which includes the Sellaronda, more than 500 perfectly groomed kilometres of slopes await passionate skiers.

The region in and around Val Gardena counts some famous slopes among the ones found in its network: take the worldfamous Sellaronda for example, a 40-kilometer ski excursion around the Sella massif, which leads through four Ladin valleys and three Italian regions, attracts numerous visitors. It offers unlimited skiing and snowboarding fun for all levels, always against the backdrop of stunning views over the Dolomites; moreover, it’s connected to the world‘s largest ski carousel via the Dolomiti Superski lift network.

 

The Saslong, on the other hand, is an alpine slope legend: what with its 3.4 kilometres and 839 metres of elevation gain, it turns into the venue of one of the most important downhill races in the international Ski World Cup circus shortly before Christmas every year. But the view of the Passo Sella is also a breathtaking one: nestled between the Sella massif in the south with its bizarre rock faces and the Cir peaks in the north, you can enjoy the fantastic view of the valley and the Sassolungo on the other side of the valley.

 

Whoever wants to combine winter sports with pleasant skiing sessions and physical well-being can do so in the Col Raiser/Seceda area featuring spacious and wide slopes. There are a good 16 mountain huts – out of 65 in the whole Val Gardena skiing area, which will charm skiers with their traditional character and cosy interiors – tourists can stop at to enjoy culinary delicacies and for a bit of a break out on the sunny terraces. What better complement than traditional South Tyrolean specialities such as Schlutzkrapfen, a range of different dumplings and sensationally good cheese as well as delicious desserts. You won’t find any fast food here!

You can easily plan your winter holiday in Val Gardena at www.valgardena.it – see you on the slopes!

INFO: Val Gardena

Art in Val Gardena – Idea Unika & Sculpture Fair Unika

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Two summer events to enhance the artistic heritage of Val Gardena

 

Since 1994, Unika has been a platform for promoting sculpture, painting and photography of local artists. Every year Unika artists present themselves and their works at various events, fairs and exhibitions, including the Unika Sculpture Fair and the Idea Unika – Art in the Centre.

Idea Unika – 2019, Art in the Centre (in Ortisei) will take place from 11 July to 15 September. “Ie é na idea” – I’ve got an idea! . . . these are the words of an artist from the Unika group, destined to mark, two years ago, the beginning of this cultural initiative.

A project that aims to bring art to the centre of the village of Ortisei and to stimulate passers-by to stop, observe and reflect. On this occasion, the sculptors and painters of the Unika group will present their new works: sculptures and installations created specifically for this exhibition, one of them was created by several artists together. The material and dimensions are at the discretion of the individual artist, while the themes and messages conveyed are different and thus express the variety and creativity of local artists.

 

The exhibition will be organized for the third time by the Unika group in collaboration with the Municipality and the Tourist Association of Ortisei. This year 6 artists will participate with 6 projects, consisting in sculptures and installations. The outdoor exhibition will be curated by the art critic and historian Andrea Baffoni of Perugia.

The 6 artists are: Walter Pancheri, Ivo Piazza, Roland Perathoner, Livio Comploi, Hubert Mussner and Matthias Kostner.

The Vernissage with presentation of the new catalogue is scheduled for 11. July 2019 at 6 p.m., in Stetteneck Square in Ortisei.

Since 1994, instead, the Unika Sculpture Fair has been held every year, an artistic event that is the result of an association that counts about 30 artists and craftsmen from Val Gardena. The artists who exhibit are not only wood carvers, but also barrel painters, gilders, ornamental sculptors and more. The freedom of expression of each artist allows visitors of the Fair to admire a huge variety of styles and motifs. The only thing that unites works of art and artists is their deep connection with the territory and the fact that they are all unique pieces that can be purchased. The 2019 edition will start on the 29th of August and will end on the 1st of September.

INFO: Val Gardena

 

 

Gastronomic events and Show Cooking for an unforgettable summer in Val Gardena

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During the summertime in Val Gardena, there are plenty of opportunities to spend beautiful evenings together while enjoying excellent cuisine accompanied by a good glass of wine.

We have selected some events that, although very different from each other, have a strong connection with the territory of this beautiful valley of the Dolomites. Let’s start with the invitation to a by now very famous dinner in a…cableway!

Dolomites Skydinner is back: an exciting appointment for fine palates under the stars of Val Gardena, which will take place on July 10.

Now in its 12th edition, the successful format of the event has not changed: elegant tables set in the gondolas of the Mont Sëuc / Alpe di Siusi, suitable for 6 people, in which a 6-course menu will be served, created by the chefs of the ADLER SPA RESORTS & LODGES, ACADIA ADULTS MOUNTAIN HOME, Mont Sëuc Dolomites, Mont Chalet and SUINSOM – Hotel Tyrol. Each dish will be paired with fine wines, in an event in which a form of informal elegance will ensure strong emotions. The evening will be crowned by a splendid view of the Dolomites and musical entertainment during the aperitif, in the valley, in addition to the grand finale, with the dessert served at the restaurant at the top of the cable car.

If the connection with the territory during the Dolomites Skydinner dinner is given by the panorama and the choice of dishes and wines, during the ”Sëira dl vin”; you can grasp it from the name of the event.

It is, in fact, a wine tasting – offered along a red carpet, at the pedestrian zone “Bën unì” in S. Cristina – where 20 renowned wineries of South Tyrol will present their fine bottles. The appointment is for July 12, at 07.30 pm, with exquisite wines in addition to various culinary specialties from the traditional cuisine and live music with the bands “Take Off” and “Demetz Duo”.

 

Furthermore, on July 15, from 05.00 pm, don’t miss South Tyrol is cooking – event of Show Cooking sponsored by the Tourist Association of Ortisei, in collaboration with the Restaurant Vives.

A gastronomic event on the small Piazza S. Antonio, where the Chef Simone Rondini will prepare three courses on a specific theme. Delicacies can be tasted free of charge by the public.

Last but not least: With DolomiteSushi, Japan meets the Dolomites. Where? In the old tunnel of the Val Gardena train, in S. Cristina, on the 2nd August, when unique creations inspired by the Far East will be offered. In addition to the original Japanese sushi, very special dishes based on local products will be served between 07.00 pm and 10.00 pm.

Every Friday in July and August there will be exclusive evenings in Ortisei “Aperitif Urtijëi” from 6:00 pm to 08.30 pm with music and bubbles.

INFO: Val Gardena

Sellaronda Bike Day 2019 – Thank you!

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Last Saturday, 22nd June, one of the greatest bike events in the Dolomites took place: the Sellaronda Bike Day. From 8.30 am until 3.30 pm o’clock all the Dolomites passes around the Sella Group (Sella, Gardena, Pordoi and Campolongo) were reserved to the bicyclists.

Also this edition of the Sellaronda Bike Day was a true bike-celebration. The weather forecast announced a rainy weather, which kept many cyclists from reaching the Dolomite valleys around the Sella massif. Despite the not really cooperating weather, about 12,000 cyclists, well equipped for the rain, have traveled the dolomite bike ride with refreshing temperatures between 4 ° and 16 ° C.

A 58 km long asphalted road at about 1800 meters on the legendary Dolomite passes. Strongly promoted by the tourism offices and public administrations of the four Ladin valleys, Val Gardena, Alta Badia, Fassa and Arabba/Fodom, this car-free Sunday is a welcoming change for all cycling enthusiasts.

See you all next year for the 15th edition of the Sellaronda Bike Day on the 27th of June 2020.

INFO: Val Gardena

Sellaronda Bike Day 2019: the car-free day around the four Dolomite passes.

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The car-free day around the four Dolomite passes surrounding the legendary Sella group is to take place for the fourteenth time. The Sellaronda Bike Day will take place on Saturday 22 June and will once again make the hearts of all cyclists beat faster.

You can enjoy the wonderful views, the calm and silence of nature in a fantastic setting offered by the Dolomite valleys, boasting a landscape of magnificent mountains such as the Sassolungo, the Sella, the Sassongher and of course the queen of the Dolomites, the Marmolada.

The success of the ” is down to several reasons. Unlike many cycling races, there is no limit to participation and everyone can take part as they please. Depending on your preference, you can start from Val Gardena, Val Badia, Val di Fassa or Arabba. On Saturday, June 22nd, the roads will be closed to motorised traffic for a total length of 63 km from 8.30 a.m. to 3.30 p.m. The tour includes the passes Gardena, Campolongo, Pordoi and Sella with a total height difference of 1,780 m.

In Val Gardena the road will be closed from Piazza Nives in Selva between 08:30 and 15:30. The section from Piazza Nives to Plan will be reopened at 10.00 a.m.

Travel anticlockwise. For safety reasons, it is advisable to wear a helmet and ride anticlockwise (from Val Gardena to Passo Sella), and to be very careful and keep to the right considering that you will meet cyclists of different levels and with different speeds.

The official limited edition jersey of the “Sellaronda Bike Day 2019” can be purchased in the online shop of Val Gardena Marketing shop.valgardena.it at the price of Euro 37,00 Euro. For each shirt sold Euro 1 will be donated to “B.LIVE – Being, Believing, Living”.

B.LIVE is a project created for young people suffering from serious chronic diseases who, through visits to companies, meetings with entrepreneurs and other creative initiatives, learn the craft of life and the art of doing.

For all those who have run out of steam, when the roads reopen there will be a shuttle service that will take cyclists back to their starting point. Remember that on the occasion of the “Sellaronda Bike Day” the Olympic spirit prevails: the important thing is to participate!

The Organising Committee informs that it is only thanks to the sound cooperation between the valleys, the commitment of the numerous volunteers and the support of the local and provincial public administrations is it possible to organise an event of such a high level.

Photo Credits: Freddy Planinschek

INFO: Val Gardena

 

Homage to the Sassolungo ‘Sasmujel’
Val Gardena, on the 27.07.2019

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Transart, the festival of contemporary culture celebrates the 150th anniversary of the first ascent of the Sassolungo with an interdisciplinary artistic project by the artist Hubert Kostner in collaboration with the composer Eduard Demetz and the dancer and choreographer, Anastasia Kostner.

The first conquest of the Sassolungo took place on August 13th 1869, and it was an absolutely sensational event. The Austrian mountaineer Paul Grohmann accompanied by two Val Gardena guides managed to reach the peak which up until that point was considered unconquerable due to the length of the incline and hazard of falling rocks. The 150th anniversary of this milestone in mountaineering will be celebrated at the end of July with a performance that mixes contemporary art, music and dance, an event organized by Transart, the festival that in September will put the spotlight on contemporaneity.

A stone of modest proportions which stands alone above the hiking trail is transformed by the artist Hubert Kostner, wrapping it entirely with about 8000 meters of climbing rope, covering the bare and hard surface of a second skin which is even softer, the Sasmujel. So this solitary rocky spur be transformed into a work of art, and become the only point of colour visible in the Sassolungo glacial circle throughout the winter, that will then return to its original appearance.

At the foot of this unique installation, on July 27 at 1.00 pm, the composer Eduard Demetz will place twenty wind instrumentalists who will acoustically explore the unfathomable width of the alpine landscape, while the choreographer Anastasia Kostner will add the energy of movement with the help of local climbers and performers.

The transformations and reversals of the traditional meaning of materials and objects play a fundamental role in the creative processes of the Val Gardena artist Hubert Kostner, who graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich and who resides in Castelrotto.

Eduard Demetz and Anastasia Kostner are also from Val Gardena but are active internationally, the former as a composer and conductor and the latter, residing in Amsterdam, as a dancer and performer.

In the middle of the evocative rocky amphitheatre between the Vallone and the Vicenza Refuge, at an altitude of 2500 meters above sea level, musicians, mountaineers, performers and dancers will meet for a unique event, orchestrated by Transart as a prelude to the festival. An event that will take place with the utmost respect for the territory and the fragile alpine ecosystem, abandoning any form of stage scenery, seating, current or amplification.

It is advisable to wear appropriate clothing and footwear. In case of bad weather, the event will be moved to 28.07 or 03.08.

 

SASMUJEL

EDUARD DEMETZ – music
HUBERT KOSTNER – installation
ANASTASIA KOSTNER – dance and choreography.

ENSEMBLE WINDKRAFT
KASPER DE ROO – direction.

To reach the site it is possible to take the historic chairlift from the Passo Sella parking lot to the Vallone del Sassolungo, where a 30-45 minute ascent begins on a gravel and rubble path. Or by foot walking up from the Sella car park along path 525 bis to the Vallone – which takes about an hour. Another option is to take the bus from the Alpe di Siusi (gondola station), and reach Saltria where you can reach the Williams hut with the Florian chairlift. From here walk along the path 527 towards Murmeltierhütte (Baita delle Marmotte) to the Vicenza hut, from where you can go up to the Vallone with an easy walk for about two hours.

INFO: SASMUJEL
Val Gardena

Val Gardena celebrates the 150 years
from the first ascent of Sassolungo.

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The first ascent of the Sassolungo by Paul Grohmann

The epic first ascent by pioneer Paul Grohmann to the Sassolungo’s summit on 13 August 1869 Paul Grohmann was born in Vienna on 12 June 1838 and is considered one of the most important mountaineers of the 1860s and 70s. Born into a wealthy Viennese family, he first visited the Dolomites in 1862. Previously he had been to Switzerland, northern Italy, the most important German cities, as well as Salzburg, Upper Austria, Steiermark, Tirol and Vorarlberg. Despite the fact these countries are also well known for their mountains, he only became interested in the rocky formations in 1853 upon visiting Carinthia. From 1856 onwards, he regularly visited mountains and ascended countless summits.

He turned to the Dolomites in 1862. He took it upon himself to record the massifs’ altitudes and, truth be told, most of his records aren’t too far off from our modern figures. Over 200 altitudes were measured between 1863 and 1869, with Grohmann always carrying a barometer on his person for this purpose. And so, on 13 August 1869, he headed from Ortisei (he lodged at the “Hotel Posta”) with two mountain guides, Franz Innerkofler and Peter Salcher, towards Selva Val Gardena.

The Sassolungo was considered impregnable at the time due to the dangerous rock slides and the lengthy time required for the ascent. This didn’t stop Grohmann: the risky expedition was a success and, together with Innerkofler and Salcher, he made it to the top of the summit against all odds. A sensational and trailblazing conquest if there ever was one: Paul Grohmann had made a valuable contribution to mountaineering history. Unfortunately, he didn’t have a camera with him on the historic day, so he made up for it by thrusting a flag into the top of the summit: the flag has been swaying in the wind ever since to remind everyone of the important first ascent.

In 1875, Grohmann published a detailed map of the Dolomites (Karte der Dolomitalpen), followed two years later by “Wanderung in den Dolomiten”, a travel book. The latter today is considered the first important Dolomite guide and at the same time his life’s work, which among others also include reports on his first ascents in the Dolomites. Together with the best mountain guides of the time, he carried out other first ascents: Tofana di Mezzo (1,863), Piz Boè in the Sella Group, Marmolata di Penia (both 1,864), Tofana di Fuori, Monte Cristallo (both 1,865), Punta dei Tre Scarperi and Tre Cime di Lavaredo (all 1,869). But the Dolomites weren’t his only playing ground when it came to first ascents. Grohmann, besides being an excellent mountaineer and author, was also an outstanding planner. And thus, together with contemporaries Edmund von Mojsisovics and Guido von Sommaruga, he founded the Austrian Alpine Association in Vienna in 1862.

Grohmann was honoured while still alive. The Sasso di Levante (3,126), part of the Sassolungo Group and a summit which still hadn’t been ascended yet, was renamed in 1875 to ‘Grohmann Summit’. This was done in recognition of the first ascent of the Sassolungo carried out by the mountaineer. Moreover, Paul Grohmann was still around when, on 8 September 1898, Vienna Academic Unit from the German and Austrian Alpine Association unveiled a commemorative boulder in his honour in Ortisei, which can be viewed to this very day. On 29 July 1908, Paul Grohmann died in Vienna. His name and his conquest still live on today, and are an important part of the mountaineering history in the Alpine region.

Source: Hans-Günter Richardi – Die Erschließung der Dolomiten, Publisher: Athesia 2008.

INFO: Val Gardena

Gardenissima 2019 with an impressive Line-Up

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The 23rd Südtirol Gardenissima, which unfolds on Saturday, March 30 next, looks set to be even more spectacular and exciting than ever. The renowned season-closing classic has attracted a particularly impressive line-up this year. Representing the Italian Blues will be leading national skiers Christof Innerhofer and Federica Brignone.

Saturday, March 30, marks a truly stylish return for the annual Südtirol Gardenissima, the world’s longest slalom as Val Gardena’s pistes play host to one of the classic closing event of the 2018/19 skiing calendar. The giant slalom course stretches over 6 kilometres from the top of Monte Seceda at 2,518 metres to the finish-line at Col Raiser via no less than 110 gates!

AN EXCEPTIONAL LINE-OUT. A total of 680 skiers will line out at the start, with 15 nations represented. There is huge excitement around the entry of Christof Innerhofer. The powerful Alto Adige athlete was crowned Super G world champion at Garmisch in 2011 and was twice on the podium at Sochi in 2014. This time out, he’ll be going head to head with skiers from all over Europe, including Daniel Danklmaier, Raphael Haaser, Alexander Prast, Hannes Zingerle, Giuglio Bosca, Cristian Javier Simari Birkner, Simon Maurberger und Alex Hofer, as well as the junior hopeful of Val Gardena, Alex Vinatzer .

In the women’s line-up all eyes will be Federica Brignone and the sisters Nicol and Nadia Delago.
But not only the big names of the ski circus arouse curiosity, but also other participants like Andreas Goldberger, the successful ski jumper of the 1990s, will also take part in the giant slalom in Val Gardena.

SKI LEGENDS. Today’s top skiers and up-and-coming talents will be flanked by a group of famous former skiing stars.  Giorgio Rocca, bronze medallist of three World Cups, will be tackling the run and doing battle with Oskar Delago, Isolde Kostner, Daniela Zini, Paola Magoni and Thea Gamper. Jürgen Egle from Vorarlberg is the first forerunner. He is paraplegic after an accident and has won 11 medals on his monoski at Paraolympics and World Championships.

For the well-being of the participants and spectators the local hotelier and restaurant association as well as the farmers’ wives take care of the finish area.

The award ceremony will take place at 3.30 pm in the Iman Center in S. Cristina.

Afterwards the day can end at the “After Race Party Sëlva ” in the centre of Selva Gardena with the group “Ugle Cute & Volxrock“.

MAKE WAY FOR THE YOUNGSTERS. The main event doesn’t mark the end of the action, by any means. The adults’ race will be followed the next day, Sunday, March 31st, by the Südtirol Gardenissima Kids for very young skiers born between 8 and 13 years. The distance is shorter but follows the same format as the grown-up race: competitors start in pairs and do the first section of the giant slalom on parallel runs which then merge into a single one in the last section. Entries are open until March 29 for a promotional event that delivers a mix of fun and competition to attract more families and youngsters to the winter sports world.

New is the free Ski Test Gardenissima KIDS on Saturday, March 30 from 10:00 to 15:00 and on Sunday from 10:00 to 14:00. Two time trial tracks will be set up for the ski test on the Curona slope on Seceda, near the Gardenissima track.

Head, Rossignol, Dynastar, Blizzard, Nordica and Elan will be at the test to present the latest racing skis for the 2019/20 season.

INFO: Südtirol Gardenissima

Val Gardena