One of the must-visit places on our trip was the Val di Funes valley in the municipality of Funes, with the village of Santa Maddalena and the famous church, Chiesetta di San Giovanni.
This small church, built in 1394, seems to have been seen by many, and it’s incredibly photogenic for a reason.
One of the must-visit places on our trip was the Val di Funes valley in the municipality of Funes, with the village of Santa Maddalena and the famous church, Chiesetta di San Giovanni, which was built in 1394. This small church seems to have been seen by many, and it’s incredibly photogenic for a reason.
When we arrived, the weather could have been better: light rain and cloud-covered mountain peaks. It was mid-May, and the mountains were still partially covered with snow, and in some places, the roads were too. However, the valleys and villages at the foot of the mountains were already in full bloom and vibrant green.
The Gruppo delle Odle (Geislergruppe) mountain range is one of the most famous mountain ranges in South Tyrol. The highest peak in the chain is Sass Rigais, with an elevation of 3,025 meters, and Furchetta is also at the same height. It’s incredibly beautiful, and the best part is that there was not a single person for kilometers around. It’s an amazing connection with nature.
We managed to climb about 400 meters (plus the 1,000-meter elevation of the valley), but due to the lack of proper warm sports clothing, we had to descend. 400 meters may not sound like much, but it’s actually quite a lot, especially on a non-steep road (we walked about 4 km one way). In the mountains, the air is thin and oxygen-rich, so being well-prepared is essential to ascend. You need good lungs (fortunately, I swim) and a lot of strength.
And don’t forget that the temperature drops with every kilometer you ascend. We reached an altitude where it was almost 7 degrees Celsius.
We were lucky that day as we experienced both rainy and sunny weather. On sunny days, this place is paradise. Green grass, blue skies, and snow-capped mountain peaks. Birds sing, and there’s no one around. It’s impossible not to fall in love with this incredibly picturesque meadow with a view of the Dolomites.
After our “ascent,” we decided to take a walk to the village and admire the mountains from afar. This is a place where you want to stay and live. Perfect hills and perfect houses.
Winter here is just as beautiful as in the summer. It’s no wonder it’s one of the most expensive resorts in South Tyrol. In winter, it’s bustling with life, but now there’s no one around. However, by the end of May, the summer tourist season begins, along with annual bicycle marathons. We arrived during the shoulder season, and it was perfect.
You’ll want to take photos continuously. However, we had to leave because the buses here only run until 8:00 PM, and the bus to Castelrotto (the town where we were staying) stops around 7:00 PM. We almost missed it but managed to catch another bus on the highway. Don’t make the same mistake!