When Sport and history meet
When you reach Selva Gardena in the winter, you get the impression of being hugged by the Dolomites, this impressive crown of rocks and snow. In spite of first impressions, though, the mountains embrace isn’t cold, but warm, thanks to the scattering of trees and wooden houses here and there, mainly hotels and comfortable homes.
Those who choose a mountain holiday in these parts are usually well up for pitting the human body against the challenge of the low temperatures skiing and snowboarding. This is the best-known area in the Sud Tirol for these sports. The ski lifts can be accessed directly and easily and the Selva Val Gardena is the ideal spot for the sport, whether alone, with friends or as a family.
But if you love the untouched natural beauty, and are fascinated by the call of the peaks, by local history and traditions, after a morning on the pistes, this welcoming picture-postcard village is also the ideal place to try a whole new way of combining sport and a love of history. You can have our experts guides take you along wonderful virgin trails where it seems that there’s nothing in the way except the sky: thanks to our excursions, also by moonligh with snowshoes and torches, visitors can discover all the mountain’s secrets with its the flora and fauna, as well as its human activities. Think how many voices have echoed around these rocks, what stories the wind has brought, what men have shaped the hard stone. Waiting to be discovered, there is a witness that speaks to the tourist direct from the Middle Ages: it’s Castel Wolkenstein, a medieval ruin wedged like a precious jewel 1600 metres up in the Stevia rockface. It takes its name from the Wolkenstein family that has owned it for centuries. The building, that dates back to the XIII century, is now only a pale shadow of what it used to be, but it is testimony to the power it exerted over the Valley in times gone by and to the skilled hands of the Sud Tirol’s craftsmen able to build such a mountain fortress. The wind that crosses the cracks in the castle walls where there were once windows and doors, still speaks to us of the life, warmth and beauty that even at freezing point seem still as strong as ever. Perhaps the wind is the voice of the Middle Ages’ minstrel Osvald von Wolkenstein, still singing to the mountains about his adventures.
These fascinating and exciting excursions are also a great way of getting exercise and putting yourself to the test. So if you are a lover of both sport and history, Selva Val Gardena is the perfect place for your holiday.