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Val Aurina: where nature still reigns supreme

Val Aurina

Montagna
Europe
Italy
Val Aurina

Also known as the  "Valley of the Three Thousand" due to the incredible number of peaks that stand out over 3000 meters above sea level, the Valle Aurina is located in the northern part of Touth Tyrol or Alto Adige

Also known as the  "Valley of the Three Thousand" due to the incredible number of peaks that stand out over 3000 meters above sea level, the Valle Aurina is located in the northern part of Touth Tyrol or Alto Adige, close to the Austrian border, far from the mass tourism which has involved a great many of the surrounding areas and a perfect example of a culture that is most attentive to sustainable development for the environment. For these reasons, the Valle Aurina still maintains its ancient Alpine spirit intact. These are places where nature still reigns supreme and is able to treat its visitors to entirely unspoilt natural beauty all year round.  

The four seasons

Clothed in bright white for much of the year, the Valle Aurina is a real Paradise  for all kinds and levels of skiers and in particular a superb destination for lovers of cross country skiing. An integral part of the Dolomites Nordic Ski which with 1000 km of slopes and connections forms the largest cross country skiing circuit in Europe and offers marvellous excursions through the Vedrette di Ries  Aurina park and connections to move between the various areas on skis. 

Alpine skiing on the other hand has a point of reference: Skiarena Klausberg, a domain with up to date ski lifts to reach the slopes that are at an altitude of over 2500 meters. In summer there are great hikes and mountain bike rides to be had but the rafting is just not to be missed here. Over the rapids of the Aurin river alone or with the expert guidance of professionals. And also canyoning is popular there, exciting moments on impressive cascades of water, rocks and gulleys galore. This will be something to remember for everyone, even the smallest members of the family. Unforgettable adventure for all.  

What to see

In Valle Aurina nature is king and so here we have the Parco Naturale Vedrette di Ries-Aurina which if considered together with the neighbouring Parco Naturale alti Tauri in Austria, forms the largest protected area in Europe.The high peaks, the woods, the green meadows with streams running through are a joy for all who behold them and boast varied fauna typical to the Alps among which is a very particular kind of orchid which is sadly becoming extinct

 

At the beginning of the valley, at Campo Tures, is the towering Tures Castle, an imposing ancient Medivel castle which has been partly restored and rebuilt following the second world war by a Benedictine monk, Hieronymus Gassner after a long period of decadence. It is a magical place to visit today, full of charm and history, much used as a cinama and TV set and often the place wherefine  shows and exhibitions are held. The thick outer walls and tall square and round towers are home to some important Roman art remains such as the crucifix, as well as some Gothic ones, such as the frescoes of the Michael Pacher school in the chapel.  

Among the many and splendid rooms with rich, finely preeserved furnishings, is the so called Room of Specters which gives it an air of mystery and fires visitors' imagination. It is said that the lamentful sobbing of the young  Margherita di Taufers can still be heard, deprived of her husband the day after their wedding by an arrow that pierced his heart. After 7 years of grief which she was unable to  overcome, the poor  girl took her own life. 

The copper mining is also another feature of the life of the Valle Aurina. The ancient mine at Rio Rosso di Predoi had given copper since 1400 but today is museum which can be visited by taking a little train which runs through the long tunnels and caves that were carved out of the rock by large numbers of men with the help of gunpowder, among the first places this was used in Europe.   

Shopping

Among the many local products, food and non food, it is possible to buy lace that is really special and most characteristic of this area, created with the special tombolo. This skill is handed down from generation to generation but was born of the economic crisis that took over after the closure of the Predoi copper mine in 1893, where many of the valley's men had previously found regular work. So the women dedicated themselves to producing splendid lace which was much sought after by noble families for the rich decoration of clothes, furniture and drapes.  

Since 1994  Predoi has had its Associazione Scuola di Pizzi al Tombolo or Tombolo lace school and presentation and sale of this local art can be found in the “Haus Prettau”.

Dove Dormire

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