Discovering La Valle del Vanoi with its Dolomites, history and traditions.
The Dolomites are part of the Alps in North of Italy.
I was used to spending my summer holidays in this region called Trentino Alto Adige because one of my grandmothers was born there and I had a family home.
I still remember the stories of my grandmother on how hard was the life for the families living on the Dolomites at the beginning of the 20th century. They had to cope with the cold, the snow, terrible floods of nearby torrents, the lack of medicines and the poverty in families full of kids during the long and dark winter. But in Summer everything changed and those kids living a hard life in winter could finally enjoy the grass of the mountain and all the adventures connected to the place.
My grandmother had the house in a location called Revedea situated on the border between Austria and Italy and she always told me that during the first world war the local council obliged her family to leave, in order to find an accommodation as political refugees in the far Sicily. My grandmother was just a kid when this happened and could not remember the adventure. But I had the fortune to know for a few years her mother, a small but strong woman of the mountains, talking about the difficulties of those times travelling from the north to the south of the peninsula and the painful dead of some of her 10 kids because of it. Other times she talked about whole families destroyed by the terrible epidemic flu in 1929 or men, disappeared in the middle of a storm of snow and found dead after weeks or months of researches.
The life on the mountains was not easy in the past and nowadays many tourists do not think at how many people have died for it. They do not know, for example, how many workers died to build the streets and the dangerous galleries going through the mountains to connect the valleys.
I consider myself lucky to have enjoyed adventures and stories in that place so full of traditions and nature.
I still remember the beautiful evergreen trees, landscapes, the deers, eagles, foxes, my lonely walks through the forests looking for mushrooms and blackberries without thinking at any risk even if I was a little girl … but in those days the Dolomites were considered safe also for kids.
In Summer the whole families went to the fields to collect manually the hay and the herbs to use as food for the animals in the cold winter.
I am sure if I am a sort of Indiana Jones today looking still for adventures is because of these holidays on the Dolomites!
Revedea is the place where I went situated in the Valle of Vanoi.
Still, now this location is not as famous as the nearby San Martino di Carrozza or Fiera di Primiero or Cortina.
This is happening because the council of Canal San Bovo situated in this valley has tried to maintain part of the old traditions.
This valley is also a natural park and you can have a walk-in its woods discovering protected plants like ‘La Stella Alpina’ or animals like the powerful eagles or deers.
The local food is very good and one of the most famous recipes is called
Polenta and luganega with funghi porcini .
It is a dish based on a yellow flour made from maize shared with sausages cooked in a delicious tomato sauce and local mushrooms.
Lots of mushrooms grow in the area and in Summer you can get permission from the council if you like to look and pick up them. But do not cook any mushroom if they are not checked in the local pharmacy because unfortunately every year some tourist dies for a poisoned one in his dish.
Cakes are very delicious and the strudel is one of the most famous. the large variety of cheese and the famous speak must be tried if you have a holiday there.
Furthermore, if you are passionate of history, this place is perfect for you, because in Revedea still know you can see the rest of the old trenches where the soldiers lived, fought their battles and died during the first world war.
From this Valley, you can enjoy beautiful landscapes and mountains like the famous Pale di San Martino
In Summer, you can climb them, hicking or take a modern Cableway or chair-lifts that take you up to the Rifugio Della Rosetta.
In Winter lots of people go skying in San Martino di Castrozza and enjoying the Christmas Markets and Choirs.
There are many solutions to have a holiday in the area from expensive hotels to cheap flats but I advise at least 2 weeks to discover the area and enjoy the influence of the mountains on you
In the end, you will feel surely regenerated and happier.
Thanks for reading