san candido
04 July 2018   •   Carolina Attanasio

Instaborghi: San Candido, Italy, your gateway to the Dolomites

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“On the slopes of the breathtaking landscape of the Dolomites, San Candido, welcomes you with memorable ski runs, excursions and thermal baths. Let’s immediately discover it with Instaborghi »

San Candido, Italy (tourist site), means Tre Cime di Lavaredo, probably the most famous glimpse of the Dolomites, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Mecca of every self-respecting mountain lover. With its 3000 inhabitants, suspended at more than 1000 meters above sea level, San Candido is located in areas of Italy that saw the first Celtic settlements. The Romans, of course, also arrived here, building the Via Claudia Augusta and also the first station, called Littamun. San Candido is also a religious center of Alta Pusteria, in fact the development of the area is largely due to the presence of the monastery of the Benedictine monks. Over time, as in all border areas, dynasties, people and different cultures alternate: Slavs, Bavarians, King Habsburgs, Counts of Gorizia, Counts of Tyrol. With time the town began to live more and more out of tourism, until the outbreak of the First World War, which transformed the village into a border hospital, being in the immediate vicinity of the front. The period between the wars saw the first wave of elite tourism arrive, which will be repeated only after the early 2000s, when San Candido stood out as a tourist and cultural center of the Val Pusteria.

What to see in San Candido, Italy

As is the case for 99% of places in Italy, the center of these small villages is the church, that of San Michele. Dedicated to San Michele, it’s in Romanesque style and was restructured in 1735 in Baroque style: destroyed and rebuilt several times, only the bell tower remains from the original building. Built in 1043 on the ashes of the ancient Benedictine convent, The Collegiata di San Candido complex is considered the most important Romanesque monument in the whole South Tyrol: inside there are numerous works of art, such as the frescoes by Michael Pacher and the imposing wooden crucifix of the high altar. In San Candido there is also the Dolomythos Museum, naturally dedicated to the Dolomites and a UNESCO heritage site: if you want to know more about the genesis of the pale mountains and the area, you should visit it.

What to do in San Candido, Italy

As even the most distracted readers of you will have understood, this episode of Instaborghi has an eye for mountain resorts and, consequently, to the most popular winter activities: San Candido is no exception, it is one of the villages from which you can venture towards the most evocative landscapes of the Italian Alpine panorama, the famous Tre Cime di Lavaredo, a mecca for mountaineers and a symbol of the front during the World Wars. Do we have ski slopes? Naturally. The Baranci ski area offers a track that practically reaches the town center, suitable for families with children; also very close is Monte Elmo, Croda Rossa, Orto del Toro and Val Comelico, for a total of 90 km of slopes, all accessible with only one skipass. The Pusteria express train also allows you to reach Perca-Plan de Corones, covering 200 km of slopes, practically a skiing paradise. The village life, in San Candido, Italy, takes place around the pedestrian area of ​​the town, buzzing with shops selling typical products and mountain equipment, basically all you need. Those in search of relaxation must also explore the Wildbad Baths, sulphurous springs that spring from quartz rock at the foot of the Rocca dei Baranci, which have been frequented since the 16th century.

What to eat in San Candido, Italy

Traditions typical of the border can also be found here in San Candido, where the typical Italian taste meets the flavours of the Alps. I mention two strong dishes: the Luganighe, sausages of the Ticino tradition, which you can eat everywhere, but the advice is to try them withthe sauce. The Tirtlan are kind of giant ravioli, stuffed with ricotta and spinach in general, or potatoes and sauerkraut, or in their sweet version filled with poppy. These are all light and indescribably good things to savour at the end of a day climbing the Dolomites or tumbling on the ski slopes.

A little curiosity

San Candido is the last point to the west of diffusion of the harpfe, an ancient grain dryer formed by two vertical poles joined by a horizontal pole. Typical of the place is the story of the giants Huno and Hauno, the latter at the head of a horde that devastated the area, to whose rescue Huno arrived, who fought against the enemy, beating him. After defeating him, he settled under the Rocca dei Baranci, building the monastery of San Candido, but was killed by the inhabitants he had saved, tired of satisfying his exorbitant requests for food. You don’t need any more reasons to pack your bags: San Candido, Italy, is waiting for you!

Carolina Attanasio

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