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Farm Holidays in Abtei: village of old customs

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Farm holidays in Abtei
On a Farm Holiday in Abtei, breathtaking landscape meets genuine Ladin cooking. Old customs and traditions are still upheld today.

Abtei, Badia in Italian, lies in Alta Badia in Gadertal valley at around 1,324 metres above sea level in the Dolomites. It is a quiet place, which has maintained its rural character until today. The inhabitants speak Ladin, only a few farms are managed as an additional source of income , yet they carefully uphold their Ladin customs and traditions. A Farm Holiday may be had in the villages of Abtei, St. Kassian and Stern, as well as in the hamlet of St. Leonhard and Pedratsches. Everywhere, the houses displays features of typical Ladin architecture.

A Farm Holiday in Abtei is a popular choice in summer and in winter
The area around Abtei at the foot of the Kreuzkofel mountain is a real hiker's heaven, being part of Fanes-Sennes-Prags and Puez-Geisler Nature Parks. Lots of hiking routes, high altitude paths and simple tours to mountain peaks for beginners and experts lead through the mountains. A holiday flat in Abtei serves as a base for hikes at all levels of altitude over the whole area around the municipalitiy. In winter, the ski pistes at Heiligkreuzkofel mountain are perfect for family days spent skiing. There are lots of rustic ski huts along the pistes where the innkeeper might still do the cooking and which are well known for traditional dishes. The ski carousel of Alta Badia, with 130 kilometres of ski pistes and direct connections with other ski areas, may be reached in a few minutes. Away from the piste, the area is ideal for snow shoe walkers or cross-country skiers. Ice-skating on frozen Sompuntsee lake in Pedratsches in front of the mighty rockfaces of the Kreuzkofel mountain is particularly pleasant. In summer, the lake makes a popular destination.

Things to discover in Abtei
It's not just sporting activities that await guests right outside their holiday flat on a Farm Holiday. Abtei also has things to see. The place of pilgrimage, Oies, is particularly popular. The birthplace of the China missionary, Pater Josel Freiademetz, who was made a saint by Pope John Paul II, may be found at the foot of the Heiligkreuzkofel. The pilgrimage church of the Holy Cross stands on the 2,045-metre-high mountain. Ladin legend has it that a knight called Brack once slayed a wicked dragon here. The parish church of St. Leonhard in Rococo style is also worth seeing. The cultural heritage of the village goes back to the Bronze Age, as proven by finds on a high rocky outcrop above Abtei. A Bronze Age settlement was discovered here near Sotciastel farm.

Farmers' marriage and 'Leonardiritt' procession
The inhabitants of Abtei used to go to church every Sunday in splendid outfits on precious sledges. In accordance with Ladin custom, the men wore trousers made of leather or wool and a variety of jackets, while the women wore woollen aprons and bright headscarves shaped like onions. The sledges were part of a family's carefully-guarded property and were passed down from generation to generation. Tradition still means a lot to Ladin people today and the start of November sees one of the most important festivals of the year – the Leonardiritt – a large procession and journey back in time to the customs of the past. Noriker and Hafling ponies are colourfully adorned and attached to carriages and carts. The farmers wear their classic dress, and the women cook 'Turtres', or ravioli filled with spinach and curd cheese, and 'Furtaies', or spiral-shaped desserts usually prepared by the mother of the bride before a wedding, to old recipes. Guests on a Farm Holiday may experience a similar wedding every second winter in February in St. Kassian in Abtei. At this 'Bauernhochzeit', you can find out why young men used to wear carnations on their hats as love tokens . Or why they came home with twelve hand-painted eggs in a glass jar. It's never boring on a holiday in Abtei.

Why take a holiday in Abtei?
  • Ideal for a relaxing and close-to-nature family holiday
  • Experience old traditions up close
  • Lots of activities in summer and winter