Winter in Val Pusteria
A shopping spree in Alto Adiges' Christmas Markets, accompanied by a glass of mulled wine.
Situated in South Tyrol, in the Italian region of Alto Adige, the town of Brunico is often referred to as "the pearl" of Upper Val Pusteria, the valley where the Aurine Alps and the Dolomites meet.
Cakes, mulled wine and cross country skiing
From late November to the epiphany, the streets of Brunico's medieval historic center are filled with stalls brimming with beautiful Christmas tree decorations, hand crafted figurines, and every type of seasonal confectionary imaginable.
A mug or two of mulled wine keeps the shoppers and tourists warm as they stop to watch the brass bands, which regularly parade through the streets.
The snow-covered slopes of the Plan de Corones add yet further to the appeal of this part of Alto Adige. Here, many winter sports can be practiced, including cross-country skiing along some 180 kilometers of tracks.
Nordic ski, skating and castles
Just ten kilometers or so from Brunico, Val Anterselva hosts an annual biathlon, of Nordic ski and shooting.
Both professional sportsmen and amateurs compete in the 60km long race using either classic Nordik Ski or skating technique.
The town of Monguelfo, at the mouth of the Casies valley, is dominated by the imposing Welsperg Castle. The castle is open to the general public for guided tours
Dobbiaco, devils and Dolomites
Recently awarded UNESCO world heritage status, the pretty town of Dobbiaco stands at the gateway to the Italian Dolomites.
The Dobbiaco Christmas Market opens towards the end of November with a procession of 300 Devils or Krampus, frightening creatures which accompany St Nicklaus and a carriage full of sweets through the streets of the town.
The three peaks
The scenery between Sesto and San Candido, Dobbiaco, and Villabassa is some of the most spectacular in the area and the Tre Cime di Lavaredo feature high on the list of the world's best known natural wonders. This is the heart of Italy's skiing district.
During the First World War the Tre Cime were the theater of fierce combat. Trenches, tunnels and barricades dating back to the war are still scattered over the slopes of the Tre Cime and the nearby Monte Paterno
Sesto Dolomites Nature Park
San Candido, situated within the Sesto Dolomites Nature Park, has a beautiful historic center, made all the more enchanting by the backdrop of surrounding mountains.
From here visitors are able to access the ski resort of the Upper Pusteria Valley, with its 50 kilometers of ski slopes and 33 ski lifts.
This itinerary concludes in Sesto, close to the Austrian border. Sesto is a peaceful town, situated 1300 meters above sea level at the foot of the Tre Cime di Lavaredo, and offers excellent facilities for both downhill and cross-country skiing.
Hotels in the area
From € 95,00
Niederdorf / Villabassa
San Lorenzo di Sebato