Italy. How to experience Alta Badia as a real local

Alta Badia, in the heart of the Dolomites UNESCO World Heritage Site, is an authentic place, rich in culture and traditions of thousands of years, which distinguish the Ladins, the inhabitants of these lands. The new project Nos Ladins – We Ladins aim to bring tourists closer to the local traditions and way of life. No one can do it better than those who live in these places.

Alta Badia (Bolzano) – What do a gourmet chef, a traditional cook, three farmers, a cyclist, a seamstress and a mountain guide from Alta Badia have in common? Simply a deep innate passion for the land, where they grew up and still live today. They will be the undisputed protagonists of the event Nos Ladins – Noi Ladini, which gives tourists who visit Alta Badia the chance to become a real local for a few hours.


Once upon a time Alta Badia was governed by the work of the farmers: hard work, demanding, but full of satisfaction. Over the years the way of working the land has changed. Many jobs, which were done purely by hand, today are carried out with the support of modern equipment. The work of the farmers has become on the one hand simpler, but on the other hand no less fascinating. And this is also the thought of Ossi and Robert Rottonara, two young farmers of 24 and 27 years old, passionate about mountain and sport, who together with their father, run the family farm. They are the ones who will make the participants in this initiative live an unforgettable experience, discovering life on the farm. If the weather permits, they will go out to the meadows to make hay, otherwise they will be able to carry out the work in the stable, which is certainly not lacking. These are the appointments: 17th July, 12th and 21st August and 4th September. The activities will be defined according to the period and weather conditions.


Getting up in the middle of the night to reach a Dolomite peak from where to admire the sunrise is one of the activities that a true Ladin does not want to give up. Manuel Agreiter, local mountain guide and manager of a mountain hut at Vallon (2550m) will accompany the participants on an hour and a half walk to the Piz da Lech ladder. From there you can admire the beauty of the sun rising behind the Santa Croce, Lavarela and Conturines mountain ranges. Manuel knows the name of each peak and listening to his stories of men and mountains will be a real pleasure. The program includes a meeting in Corvara, from where you will drive with Manuel to the point where you will start walking to the Piz da Lech ladder. You will return, again on foot, to the Vallon, where breakfast will be served, before walking or taking the ski lifts to reach the centre of Corvara again. The excursion is of easy to medium difficulty. These are the appointments: 14th and 28th July, 18th August and 1st September.


The forest is a source of energy and a place to discover. Dive into it with Andrea Irsara, gourmet chef from Alta Badia is what makes the experience truly unique. Andrea, who has made his job out of his passion for cooking, will take participants on a journey through the woods and across the mountain meadows. He will teach them how to recognize mountain herbs, how to pick them in total respect of nature and how to use them in the kitchen. Together with him will be made dishes and drinks with a simple but authentic taste. The initiative is suitable for all those people who have a strong passion for nature, for the products it offers and for a healthy and at the same time delicious cuisine. These are the appointments: 24 July, 7 and 27 August.


Ladins are people who never stop, full of inventiveness and creativity. One of these people is called Anita Vittur, a mother and ski instructor who has transformed her home into an atelier where she designs and makes, with a passion for detail and for everything handmade, modern clothes and accessories, but at the same time linked to local tradition. Participating in the days organized with her contributes to getting to know the style of the Ladins and is also an excellent opportunity to discover Anita’s secrets. All this takes place at the foot of her beloved Dolomites, in her artisan workshop a few steps from the centre of San Cassiano. These are the appointments: 21st July, 4th and 25th August and 8th September.


The cuisine is an integral part of the culture and traditions of a place. The dishes of Ladin cuisine are simple, but genuine, prepared according to the recipe handed down from mother to daughter, from generation to generation over the years. So to aspire to be a Ladin, if not perfect, but at least of a good standard, spending an afternoon with Anna Maria Comploi in the kitchen of the family farm is a must. The cook, specialized in Ladin dishes, will reveal to the participants the secrets of the local cuisine: dumplings, turtres stuffed with spinach and ricotta cheese or sauerkraut, furtaies and other Ladin dishes will be prepared following traditional recipes and eaten in a welcoming and typical environment of the area. These are the appointments: 30th July, 20th August and 10th September.


Transhumance is the migration of animals, which at the end of summer are taken to their stables in the village, after having spent the hottest months grazing in the alpine pastures. Those who take part in this activity will have the opportunity to accompany Matteo Piccolruaz, a young local farmer, on the last kilometers of transhumance, while he brings the cattle back to the village. A unique, rich experience that takes you back in time. Matteo, who is part of the young farmers’ group, is an authentic guardian of the values linked to the farming culture that he tries to preserve and carry on with coherence and conviction. The programme includes a meeting point in Saré, at the Capanna Alpina refuge, and then continues along the stream to San Cassiano, from where you reach La Villa and finally Badia. The appointment is scheduled for Sunday, September 20th.


In 1985 one of the most famous and coveted cycling granfondo races in the world was born in Alta Badia: the Maratona dles Dolomites-Enel. Igor Tavella, a great cycling enthusiast, will tell the participants about the cycling event, between history and curiosity. The son of Eduard, one of the founders of the amateur granfondo, will accompany the cyclists on an outing on two wheels like a true “insider”. In fact, Igor will take the participants to discover the roads and streets less known to lovers of this sport. They will start from the headquarters of the Maratona dles Dolomites-Enel, stopping for a snack or for some particular pit-stop, as the locals usually do. The appointment is scheduled for Friday, July 3.

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