Day 3. Ladin Culture and the Val Badia

15 Apr


Heading out of our digs in Colfosco we spend Day 3 traversing the Val Badia or Gadertal (German), home to the Ladin population who continue to embrace their Ladin language and culture. We take trams high up into the peaks above the valley into the Parco Naturale Puez Odle/Puez-Geisler. Our hike then takes us from Heiligkreuz (S. Croce) along a trail that varies from elegant fir trees housing a wide variety of bird life to a haunting rocky terrain of high elevation.

Church and Rifugio (Inn) Heiligkreuz (Santa Croce).


Overview of Puez group


Puez group photo


In the valley we will pass farms and villages that are at the heart of Ladin culture. It is an ancient culture that deserves an in depth look. The Ladin culture has its roots in the Raeti tribes which were conquered by the Romans in 15 B.C. Their language which resembled Etruscan melded with the Latin vulgar to become the Ladin language. Since they live in a relatively isolated geographic location, they have been able to hang on to their language and customs, in spite of the territory changing political allegiances over the years. Ladin is taught in their schools and they remain true to their legends and customs.  Ladinia has its own unofficial flag of three horizontal stripes of blue, white, and green. Ladin wood carvings are famous and decorate the homes and farms in the area. The Ladin Viles are groups of homesteads made up of houses, haylofts with sheds underneath and their own land. The wealth of Alta Badia springs from the strong tie of the folk to their homesteads with the subsequent maintenance of nature. There are more than 200 active farmers who work very hard often with little return, keeping the natural habitat intact and thriving.


Later we hike upward again on a panoramic trail which gives spectacular views of the Marmolada Glacier with a jewel like blue lake at its base. Here is a link that takes you to phenomenal photos of the Marmolada from the trail.


Days end will find us in the colorful and quaint town of Ortisei (Italian) or St. Ulrich (German) in Val Gardena. More double and triple place names.


st_ulrich-square-big.jpg st_ulrich-town-1-big.jpg

Time for a good rest!


7 Responses to “Day 3. Ladin Culture and the Val Badia”

  1. Reggie April 15, 2013 at 6:04 am #

    Oh my word, Rosemarie, these are breathtaking vistas. I am curious: at what altitudes are you hiking (in metres)? And are you carrying all your gear with you?

    • Rosemarie April 15, 2013 at 11:57 am #

      I am going with a hiking company called Andiamo Adventours. They arrange everything and transport our luggage from one inn to another. All we need carry is water, snacks, CAMERA, and poles if necessary, and rain gear. I specifically chose them because they say they can arrange their tours to the expertise (or lack of) of the group. They have had people 80 years old on their tours (fit 80) and I’m not quite there yet. The Seiser Alm is at 2160 meters. I haven’t figured that out in feet yet. Yes, it is breathtaking. When I saw it from the train 40 years ago, I determined I would have to come back.

      • Reggie April 15, 2013 at 2:03 pm #

        I am relieved to hear that you won’t have to carry everything with you – I think it would be quite challenging enough to cover such rugged terrain. I had to laugh when you put ‘CAMERA’ in capitals – that’s how I’d feel too! Definitely the most important item in my rucksack! 🙂

  2. ostranderbellepoint April 16, 2013 at 2:17 am #

    I love these pictures!

    • Rosemarie April 16, 2013 at 2:20 am #

      Aren’t they beautiful. I can’t wait to see it in person.

  3. hitandrun1964 April 19, 2013 at 2:41 am #

    Truly beautiful!

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