Italy’s elemental mountain world of scenic contrast and natural cool, South Tyrol’s Valle Aurina, or the Ahrntal Valley as it is also known, is a land where hobbits lie - where the green glow of dense emerald forests and fragrant alpine pastures mingle with ice-fresh Reinbach waterfalls, the creak of glaciers and the majesty of the Zillertal Alps. Watch out, New Zealand, there’s a new kid on the block, and their air fare ain’t as much.
Filled with striking panoramas of historic Italian magnificence, Valle Aurina is an untouched world where nature sets the tone. Medieval castle strongholds like Castel Taufers nestle below gently snow-capped peaks and cacophonies of little wooden mountain huts welcome hikers with a taste of the landscape. World-famous ski spots Speikboden and Klausberg offer a different taste of the slopes, while Kronplatz and Zaha Hadid’s architectural masterpiece, the Messner Mountain Museum, are only a stone’s throw away.
A valley of tenacity, where copper mining gave way to delicate lace making, Valle Aurina is a testament to simple South Tyrolean living, where life flows with the seasons, dictated by local folk festivals and shepherds bringing their cattle down from the hills.
The South Tyrol/Alto Adige is all about a marriage of culture, language, tradition and nature, for this small pocket of Northern Italy shares more than just a border with Austria, this is an Alpinista lifestyle that flirts with Dolce Vita, where extreme sports junkies fuse with foodie aficionados and mother nature cradles the spectacular of the Dolomites.read more