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You’ll begin your adventure by taking the Chiusa exit off the Brenner highway between Bolzano and Bressanone. It’s an unusual exit where the earth has formed an inlet and from there, it looks as if the world could end. Take the road towards Val Gardena, go uphill and you’ll be surrounded by a beautiful natural landscape.
photo copyright: Chiara Gualdi
The cozy and harmonious Val Gardena will welcome you with its pastures, houses, and mountains. Here, all the natural elements seem to peacefully agree with one another in covering their own space. Think of Val Gardena as being an appetizer, or something that helps you get acquainted with the landscapes that are about to come. A place where you can admire the natural scenery that leads to the Gardena Pass first and then to Alta Badia, skirting the Sella Group that rises in all its majesty, strength and beauty and reaches 3,152 m with the Piz Boè peak.
A serpentine road descends rapidly towards the first village, Colfosco. It’s almost as if it can’t stand to make people wait to experience the beauty that awaits down below. The curves of this road probably won’t distract you too much because there is so much to see! Val Setùs is the first of the valleys of the Sella Group that overlooks Alta Badia before reaching Colfosco. It is narrow and silent and you can stop to admire it from a large parking area and lookout point. Here is where the trail to the Pisciadù Refuge begins.
There’s no hurry so if you decide to stop for a few minutes and fantasize that you are in the film The Lord of the Rings it will be time well spent.
The village of Colfosco welcomes you with all its tranquility, its pastures close to the mighty rocks, and its harmonious mountain huts. It is an exceptional crossroads and a starting point for trails in the Sella Group, for relaxing walks in the valley, or for going to the Puez-Odle Nature Park.
Suspended in a delicate atmosphere, it seems to be raised and protected by the hand of an underground giant, a wise man who knows the value of this place. It is valuable for the water which flows from its mountains, that you can drink from the fountain located in the village where two rocks, specially arranged, bring forth pure water for everyone.
Sitting on the wall enjoying the fresh water, the mountain reminds you that she is the reigning queen of this place, a sovereign who opens her arms to welcome everybody. Another of its valleys will be revealed, Val de Mesdì, in all of its mysterious charm silently asking for respect.
This is a journey inside ourselves, in which we are urged to listen, in which Mother Nature, with her stones and rocky walls, is ready to offer us strength, courage, and a deep feeling of peace. Some elves hidden in the woods whisper that these huge mountains hide ancient crystals, this is perhaps why these places invite peace and tranquility, an indirect wellness profuse from the depths. While continuing to sip our fresh water, in the distance, you can still glimpse the beautiful, carefree, and open Corvara, the village below Colfosco that, like an older sister, watches over him.
Undisturbed cows, donkeys, and wild marmots graze in the pasture along with goats, who are phenomenal and patient climbers in search of food. Just along the slope that leads to the Puez Refuge, nature gives you a surprise: the solitary Lake Ciampei waits for the passer-by in its surreal dimension where time and space seem to be nullified. Only the sound of the small waterfall keeps you anchored to the real world. Here too, amidst this raw beauty, you can take another fantasy flight through the gates that lead to an internal dimension of the earth.
This is an open-air stage that opens up across the Forcella Ciampei and where you can admire a full view of Puez-Odle, the Sella Group, Gardenaccia, and Vallunga.
Have you already chosen this destination?
Alta Badia, starting from the small village of Colfosco and throughout Val Badia, is a concentration of beauty in an apparently small space that step by step is ready to reveal itself to the most sensitive people. And when the warm season comes to an end, a breath of fresh air resounds to announce the arrival of the snow, a white mantle ready to cover these places as if to preserve and nourish.
May the eyes guide the body and together be led by the impulse of the heart in these spaces where Mother Nature has given birth to such great beauty.
Article by Chiara Gualdi
Continue reading about other amazing destinations in the Bolzano province