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A Farm Holiday in Stilfs: tradition at the foot of the Ortler mountain

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A Farm Holiday in Stilfs
In the mountain village built on a steep slope in the largest nature reserve in Italy, lots of rural traditions have been preserved up to the present day. On a Farm Holiday in Stilfs, you'll see them come to life.

Stone houses lined up closely next to each other, clinging to the sunny slope, and narrow, winding alleyways are a striking features of Stilfs. Locals claim that “even the hens wears crampons“ in this steep mountain village. This Romanesque scattered village was built by miners digging for iron ore in the 15th century. There are a total of eight wells in Stilfs. It was here that the inhabitants used to fetch their drinking water, do their washing and take their livestock to drink. The wells made of wood, marble from Laas and stone have remained intact until today, but their function has now changed: they provide Stilfs residents with water mainly for watering their gardens.

A Farm Holiday in Stilfs: views of South Tyrol's three-thousand-metre-high mountains
The mountain world dominates the landscape of the municipality of Stilfs, which also includes the districts of Gomagoi, Trafoi and Sulden. Sulden alone is surrounded by over a dozen mountains of three thousand metres in height. The mightiest of them all is King Ortler, which has Stilfs lying at its foot. Nestling in the Ortler-Cevedale group, it is the highest peak in South Tyrol, standing at 3,905 metres high. It rises up in the middle of Stilfserjoch National Park, the largest nature reserve in Europe. The most important traffic route within the National Park is the road over the Stilfser Joch pass, which, at 2,758 metres in altitude, is the highest mountain pass in Italy. The legendary panoramic road links Bormio in Lombardy with Prad in South Tyrol and its 48 hairpin bends climb an altitude of a total of 1,869 metres. It frequently forms a leg of the famous Giro d'Italia cycling race and on its annual Bike Day, the road is exclusively reserved for cyclists.

Skiing, abominable snowmen and yak specialists
The area covered by the municipality of Stilfs comprises, along with Trafoier Tal and Suldental valley, two side valleys of the Vinschgau and two high Alpine ski resorts. Sulden and Trafoi, the birthplace of the legendary skier Gustav Thöni, are regular training locations for national ski teams and are one of the last remaining summer ski resorts in the Alps. A trip to Messner Mountain Museum, designed by extreme mountaineer Reinhold Messner, is well worth it. The premises, built nearly completely underground, feature lots of exhibits displaying nearly everything to do with the theme of 'Glaciers and Ice' - from skiing to the abominable snow man. In Yak&Yeti restaurant, visitors on holiday in Stilfs can try out dishes containing yak meat as well as South Tyrolean specialities. In 1985, Messner first brought Tibetan yaks over to Sulden. Since then, he leads the animals every year at the end of June from the cable car in Sulden to their grazing land in the high mountains. He is accompanied in driving them uphill by locals and guests.

Experiencing rural traditions in a Holiday Flat in Stilfs
In the mountain village of Stilfs, a range of traditions have been preserved. Of these, 'Klosn' and 'Pfluagziachn' are the most spectacular. 'Klosn' involves a procession of mythical creatures through the village on December 6th, the day of St. Nicholas, along with Saint Nicholas himself. They wear scary masks, colourful clothing made of rags and animal fur and carry heavy bells. In the evening, the whole community gathers in front of the church to party together at the 'Klosnfest'. When winter slowly comes to a close, the inhabitants of Stilfs welcome the spring in traditional fashion with a noisy ritual held every two years. 'Pfuagziachn' is a carnival tradition involving a plough being drawn through the village. During the spectacle, characters in colourful masks perform a comic mock dispute between groups in the village. The spectacle features conflicts between young and old, farmers and servants as well as men and women. In this fashion, the people of Stilfs drive out the winter and welcome the spring.

Why take a holiday in Stilfs?
  • Home to the yaks brought over by Reinhold Messner
  • Cycling up to the mountain pass on car-free roads on Stilfser Joch Bike Day
  • Discovering rural traditions

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