A weekend in Vigo di Fassa, in the heart of the Dolomites
Two days in Val di Fassa, one of the most beautiful villages in Italy
- 2 days
- March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October
Close your eyes for a moment and picture a little village in the Dolomites with large wooden haylofts and a little church whose slender bell tower has a pointed top, with green meadows and towering mountains all around. Located at the foot of the Rosengarten (Catinaccio) group and Latemar, Vigo di Fassa is like something out of a fairy tale.
It is said that this is the realm of Laurin (Laurino), king of the dwarves. In order to win the heart of the Princess Similde, he covered the rocky peaks of the Rosengarten (Catinaccio) group with a beautiful layer of red roses. They can still be seen every evening at sunset, when the alpenglow makes the mountains turn red. Vigo di Fassa is an ancient village where people still speak the age-old Ladin language of the Dolomites.
Make a fairy tale come true and spend a weekend in Trentino’s Vigo di Fassa, which has been named one of the most beautiful villages in Italy by the Borghi Più Belli d’Italia association.
Explore Vigo di Fassa on foot
Once you have parked your car, take a look around, let your eyes wander across the scenery of the Dolomites and take a deep breath to fill your lungs with the clean mountain air: your weekend in Trentino has just begun!
Now you are ready to explore Vigo di Fassa and get lost among its little streets. Among the features that you will notice are the crucifixes and newspaper kiosks at crossroads, the stone fountains and the large wooden haylofts, which are called tobié in Ladin. They bear witness to the proud, vibrant Ladin traditions, which you will learn about in the afternoon when you visit the Museo Ladin de Fascia.
Stop at the Panificio Boninsegna for a snack before the walk that we have planned for the second part of your weekend.
A walk from Ciampedìe
From June to September, a handy cable car can take you from Vigo di Fassa to sunny Ciampedìe, at 1998 metres above sea level. From there, you can follow numerous routes around the Fassa Dolomites.
We recommend two walks in particular. The first is very easy and it takes approximately one hour. It leads from Ciampedìe to the Rifugio Gardeccia, where you can stop for lunch and admire the views of the Rosengarten (Catinaccio) group. It is best to check the opening times and book in advance. The walk is suitable for everyone, including children.
If you are in good shape, the other option is a walk to the Rifugio Roda de Vael. Once again, you can take the cable car up to Ciampedìe. From there, it should take you around three and a half hours to get to the mountain hut and back again. It is definitely worth it because the Rifugio Roda de Vael, nestled among the Rosengarten (Catinaccio) group, boasts some of the most iconic views in Trentino.
Before you pick one of these trips, remember to ensure that the cable cars are actually running (which is normally the case from June to September/October). If they are not, you can go on one of the many walks through the villages. For example, there is a route that leads to Tamion, where there are stunning views of the Val di Fassa.
Discovering Ladin traditions in Vigo di Fassa
After a walk through the village and a hike in the Dolomites, it is time to find out more about Ladin culture. Make sure you visit the Museo Ladin de Fascia, a modern, innovative museum where you can see the ethnographical collections that the Istituto Culturale Ladino (Ladin Cultural Institute) has built up over 20 years of research into various aspects of Ladin society. Multimedia materials, information points and illustrations by comic book artist Milo Manara will introduce you to the fascinating culture of the local people.
Just a short distance from the museum is the beautiful Pieve di San Giovanni (or Church of San Giovanni), which has a bell tower standing no fewer than 67 metres tall and is one of the main landmarks in Vigo di Fassa. Surrounded by the greenery of the fields all around the village, it is the ideal place to take a photo with the Dolomites in the background.
The spellbinding alpenglow
Before you savour one of the most breathtaking natural wonders in Trentino, stop for a drink at the Bar Stube Minigolf Panorama near the museum, the Bar Pè de Bosch or the Picol Bar in Piaz de Vich.
Then it will be time for the show. As the sun slowly sets, closely watch the rocks of the Rosengarten (Catinaccio) group as they become swathed in a bright red hue as if they were covered with vast fields of roses. This phenomenon is known as alpenglow, locally called enrosadira. Legend has it that Laurin (Laurino), king of the dwarves, scattered roses all over the mountains and then spitefully cursed them by saying that “neither by day nor by night would any human eye ever see the roses”. Consequently, they can only be spotted at sunrise and sunset.
A Ladin dinner
One of the most delectable ways to discover local traditions is around the table, sampling classic dishes. Examples here in Vigo di Fassa include the famous cajoncie da fighes (ravioli filled with figs) and Cher de Fascia (a traditional type of cheese). Then there are Knödel (canederli), speck and Puzzone di Moena cheese, which are typical products of the Val di Fassa as a whole.
If you want to take home some pleasures of the palate as a reminder of your stay, stop off at the Azienda Agricola Fiores organic shop in Vigo di Fassa, buy cured meats from the Macelleria Bolgi (also in Vigo di Fassa) or pick up some local cheeses from L Malghèr in Pozza di Fassa.
For dinner, we can recommend two different places. First there is the El Tobia restaurant, where you can enjoy the quintessential cuisine of the Val di Fassa. The other option is the L Chimpl Michelin-starred restaurant, where they make the culinary traditions of the Val di Fassa into works of art.
After dinner, stop for a drink at Sot e Sora Wine & Food, where they have an outstanding selection of local beers and wines.
A walk through the villages or unwinding at the spa? How about both?
After some tasty breakfast and a nice big glass of apple juice, all you have to do is choose what to do. We have two extremely tempting suggestions.
The first is a walk through the different parts of the village, admiring and taking pictures of the breathtaking sights and gazing at the views of the Dolomites. For example, you can walk to the little Church of Santa Giuliana and then to the Austro-Hungarian cemetery, passing through a cool larch wood on the way. Alternatively, cross fields and streams on the way to Tamion, where you can bask in the marvellous views of the Val di Fassa.
The second option is less adventurous but much more relaxing. It is just a short distance from Vigo di Fassa to QC Terme Dolomiti, which is one of the most renowned wellness centres in Trentino. With saunas, whirlpool tubs and pools looking out over the Dolomites, it is a wonderful way to end your weekend in Trentino.