Castelrotto, Siusi, Fiè allo Sciliar/Völs am Schlern, Tires al Catinaccio/Tiers am Rosengarten and the Alpe di Siusi are the door to the Dolomites. These five villages are located in the unique landscape of the UNESCO World Heritage site.
Alpe di Siusi is the largest alpine pasture in Europe, a plateau between 1820 and 2100 meters altitude, with an area of 50 square kilometers where the flora and fauna are quite exceptional thanks to the proximity of the natural parks, rural barns and farms that are scattered here and there.
At its foot is the village of Castelrotto, a lovely little town that owes its name to the ruins of an ancient medieval castle.
Breathe in the unspoilt air and beauty of this lovely place as you walk through its ancient streets admiring the frescoed houses and the characteristic wrought iron shop signs.
Sciliar and its natural park are a splendor not to be missed, backdrop to the village called Fiè allo Sciliar which lies on one of the terraces between the mountain and the valley. A romantic village, it is also well known for the cultural center of Castel Presule or Castel Colonna, parts of which go back to the 18th century, with additions of towers and walls for defence, a late Gothic chapel and more recent frescoes in the interiors. The little artificial lake also bears the same name and was probably introduced by the noble family of Fiè-Colonna, who also gave their name to the village, to raise carp.
The "Cësa di Ladins", the home of the language and culture of Ortisei is also home to the "Museum de Gherdëina". Here is the place where everything to do with the culture and nature in Val Garden can be discovered. Here visitors can admire the sacred art of great artists and secular sculpture of many kinds from allegorical figures to animals and even Nativity pieces and chess pieces. There are also some very fine works of art by the great Val Gardena painter Josef Moroder-Lusenberg.
Here as well as in neighbouring valleys the ladino language lives on, a language born of the merging of the ancient Celtic language used by the local populaces and Latin which was brought to the valleys by the Roman colonialists in the first century AD.
The local traditions are of a fundamental kind, from the style of the houses and their construction, to the signs on the walls of the town and the motifs to be found in local costume. And each thing has its own place in Ortisei as an innate sense of order is not just a question of aesthetics but also a true way of life where houses, people and colours attempt to reflect the beauty and perfection of the very fine landscapes of the valley.
The Museum of Milk allows visitors to tread in the footsteps of an authentic countryman or woman.
The art show called ART 52 is to be found in the Palazzo dei Congressi at Ortisei where the Gardena Art, an association of wood scupltors, exhibits its members' works of art. It is open every day and entrance is free.
Up until the end of the '60's the road leading to Alpe di Siusi was narrow and winding, and particularly in winter very difficult to negotiate. Arriving at the Alpe was a bit of an adventure and not just for children. 60 km pf ski slopes and 60 km of cross country skiing tracks in the heart of the Alpe and much more have remained as they were fifty years ago.
The snow covered paths, the clear air, the deep blue skies and the unbeatable views. Add to all this the Parco Naturale Alpe di Siusi which boasts 52 km of alpine meadows surrounded by rocky mountains, the highest mountain pastures in Europe and also a modern ski domaine with 60 km of slopes for all tastes.
A summer paradise for walking, hiking and climbing up to where the Alpe is dressed in emerald green, but at the time when the spring flowers are out, in May and June, it is a mass of gorgeous colours. Easy walks, more difficult hiking excursions, high altitude climbing, in summer the Alpe di Siusi is a paradise for all mountain lovers.
The Kastelruther Spatzen, or the Castelrotto sparrows, are the musical phenomenon of the region and they have thousands of fans all over Northern Europe.
The great Kastelruther Spatzen Fest takes place every year with the open air festival. Thousands of fans at Siusi will applaud these little wonders who are ready to perform against a natural, magical backdrop which is quite incomparably beautiful.
Not to be missed "Swing on snow" generally in March. Snow as far as the eye can see with the sunshine sparkling glancing off it like millions of diamonds - and for a full week, the thrilling notes of swing will accompany skiers and snowboarders during the morning, on the Alpe di Siusi ski slopes and, at lunch time, in the mountain huts called "rifugi", in restaurants and après-ski haunts, in the resort below the Cabinovia Alpe di Siusi. "After-hour" concerts are planned from 9 p.m. in Castelrotto, Siusi and Fiè
“Abendgeschichten” - 17 illustrated children's stories
In 2007 the Sud Tyrol-Alto Adige publishers Provinz-Verlag together with 17 artists and writers from the evening course of “book Illustrationi” at the Istituto d’Arte “Cademia” brought out a book for children called “Abendgeschichten” (264 pages). The book is full of lierary and illustrative surprises and is without doubt one of the best books for chlidren available on the market. It has a surprising amount of variety and fine pictures to illustrate the many stories.
It is a superb present to give to children and ideal for parents who feel their children's reading matter should in some way also be educational and offer fine opportunities for reflection on important themes.
Culturonda® Dolomythos Culturonda® Dolomythos is a tourist guide in modules which aims to introduce readers to the wealth of contrasts in daily life in the shadow of the Dolomites. The book offers three particularly interesting stories for each of the 12 main themes: the geology of the Dolomiti, the phenomenon of Enrosadira - when the mountains turn flaming red, the commercial routes, the minstrel Oswald von Wolkenstein, stories and legends, the birth of tourism in the mountains, mountain climbing, the Great War in the Dolomites, water, the Ladin culture, the natural monuments and the National Parks.
Download the APPwith all its highlights Culturonda® Dolomythos direct from the APPstore or Android on Google Play.
Castelvecchio, Castel Presule, Castello di Oswald (Oswald's Castle), Rovine di Salego (Ruins at Salego) e Castel Forte. Throw yourself into a Medieval experience! The forts around the Castles on Alpe di Siusi in the Sud Tyrol-Alto Adige, churches and bell towers, votive chapels, crucifixes and other devotional marks are all witnesses to the deep religious faith of these mountains, silent witnesses of the passing of time. They are to be seen on the roadsides, or in often solitary, hidden places, as well as in more obvious corners that have abundant stories and culture to convey.
Don't miss a visit to Castelrotto where there are prehistoric remains in the Laranza woods. The village festivals are well known and are quite a tourist attraction: the procession of the Way of the Cross lead to the chapels of St Virgil and St Ann, and the Corpus Domini. On February 14th a visit to the pretty chapel of St Valentine with its onion shaped bell tower is definitely a must. A solitary form in the middle of the meadows with the thick woods and Bullaccia as a backdrop, this church is at once a point of reference and a symbol of beauty and harmony which so often art and nature offer in this area. One of the many peculiarities is the attempt by the painter to integrate the local landscape into his version of the Magi or Three Kings.
Martha's Herb Garden or the Erbario di Martha. On a steep slope leading out of Sant’Osvaldo, just below Siusi allo Sciliar, there is a little farm called azienda agricola “Pfleger”. The farmer's wife and their three children have dedicated their lives to the loving cultivation of herbs to be dried to make tisanes, or herbal infusions, fragrant cushions, salts flavoured with herbs and much more besides. A visit to the herb farm with its over 200 varieties of plants is a real experience and at the same time a paradise of perfumes, aromas and color.
Museo Contadino , the country museum in the little hamlet of St Oswald at Castelrotto
Museo della Scuola di Tagusa, the Tagusa School Museum, where there has always been a primary school from the times when school became compulsory, back in the 18th century. Initially, lessons were held either in the rectory or in the "Stube" of nearby farms, until in 1933 the first school was built. There is a fine array of furnishing objects and school documents to be admired, lovingly gathered and preserved for posterity in their places of origin.
The Parish Museum at Fiè allo Sciliar is to be found in the chapel of San Michele, or St Michael. The ancient chapel with its cemetery shows works of religious art of the late Gothic period which come from other churches and chapels in the area. The triptych altar from the church of St Peter on the Hill, or San Pietro sul Colle, is the true gem of the collection and is just not to be missed.
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