Farm Holidays in Leifers - holiday flats and rooms in South Tyrolto the farms ▼A Farm Holiday in Leifers. Means a holiday in in the youngest town in South Tyrol. But the range of what it offers is anything but in its infancy.
Leifers has only officially been a 'town ' since 1985. This municipality south of Bozen has its proximity to the province capital to thank for this. Over past decades, thousands of mainly Italian-speaking South Tyroleans who wanted to work in Bozen moved to Leifers, until the place grew to be the size of a small town. It is for this reason that Leifers is one of the few municipalities in South Tyrol that has an Italian-speaking majority population.
Farm Holidays in Leifers: Che schian!
The South Tyrolean dialect spoken in Leifers has felt the influence of this Italian-speaking linguistic majority. “Che schian!“, or, “How nice!“ - a mixture of Italian and South Tyrol dialect – is just one of the many expressions showing how the German and Italian languages have merged together here.
But even before Leifers grew to be as big as a town, the parish was a meeting point for different cultures, even if this clash did not always go smoothly. In 600 AD, it is said that there was a battle between the Bavarians and the Lomgbards, two Germanic tribes, when both sides claimed the land as their own. This brief intermezzo had no lasting effects on the development of the municipality, however. Leifers gained in significance after the start of the 15th century, when the timber trade flourished. Trees were felled in the surrounding woodland, their trunks made into rafts and transported south on the nearby Etsch river. Nowadays, the trees are left in peace and hikers have driven out the lumberjacks.
A tangible coat of arms
As well as the urban districts of Steinmannwald and St. Jakob, the mountain hamlet of Seit, where most of the farms are, also forms part of Leifers. After a good farm breakfast featuring farm produts, there are some lovely walks starting at Seit. One possible destination is Peterköfele Chapel, which rises above Leifers and is the main motif on the parish coat of arms. There are wonderful views of Leifers and the Etsch river valley from here. Two more popular hiking routes are the Leifers high altitude path and the stretch to Maria Weißenstein. The high path goes from the centre of Leifers across slopes overgrown with shrubs and rocky passages into the wild Brantental valley and back to Leifers. The pilgrimage walk to the best-known pilgrimage site in South Tyrol, Maria Weißenstein, likewise starts in the town centre. This also requires a lot of walking and a good level of fitness.
If your sport of choice is cycling, Leifers is the place for this, too. The Etsch river cycle path goes past orchards and vineyards down to Lake Garda. The municipality tourism board also offers guided cycling and mountain bike tours. And if you feel peckish after a long day pedalling or on Shanks's pony, the local cuisine has a lot to offer.
Planted, cooked, devoured
A holiday flat in Leifers offers the advantage that the people don't just know how to cultivate food, but also know how to cook it. The local cooking skills may not just be tasted but taken home after your holiday. In May, a baker from Leifers demonstrates how to make a proper South Tyrolean apple strudel. In sessions and seminars held by beekeepers and herb experts, you can find out how to cook with honey and various herbs and what their medicinal properties are.
The markets at Leifers are a culinary and cultural highpoint: at the end of May, the annual market of nearly a kilometre's length takes place, featuring food and drink and practically everything under the sun: from clothes to toys and pots and pans to local farm products. The Christmas market at Leifers is nearly an obligatory stop in November and December.
Why take a holiday in Leifers?
- A young town with big history
- Pilgrimage and high mountain paths
- Delicious goodies to take home