Taste Trails | Val di Fassa

Val di Fassa for real gourmands

Description

Location: Moena, Soraga, Vigo di Fassa, Pozza, Pera and return to Moena

Duration: 2 days

Total length: 27 km 
Recommended period: spring and autumn

A trip into the heart of Ladin culture for a new and enlightening perspective on local tradition with its distinctive “tabià” or characteristic wooden haysheds, charming hamlets, the suggestive masks on display at the Ladin Museum of Fassa and ancient flavours brought back to life by able hands. All of this accompanied by an unparalleled view across the majestic Dolomites of the Val di Fassa, from the Catinaccio-Rosengarten group to the Sella massif. 

First Leg: Moena - Soraga - Vigo Di Fassa

10 km

We start in the morning in the characteristic square of Piaz de Ramon in Moena, a town famous for its Puzzone cheese and known as the “Fairy of the Dolomites” for its wealth of local folklore. From here we make our way at a leisurely pace to the upper part of the town and the Agritur El Mas farmhouse, making sure we make a few stops along the way to soak up the sights. 

Here we can sit down to a healthy traditional breakfast based on the products available on the farm:  freshly baked bread with butter and homemade jams, a good glass of milk or maybe a yoghurt, all with a distinctive Alpine flavour. Furthermore, every Friday, and subject to advance booking, it’s possible to take part in the riveting “Maso Tour”, a complete cheese experience where you can discover the secrets and virtues of the famed Puzzone di Moena DOP and the other local cheeses, listed as Slow Food presidia, produced exclusively with the milk of the “Grigia Alpina” (Alpine Grey), a cow breed typical of this area and the surrounding valleys. Once we've replenished your energy, we can get back on the trail.

An easy pedestrian road takes us to the village of Soraga, passing some fantastic views of the beautiful turquoise lake of the same name and the spires of the Dolomites as we move along. The name Soraga means “above water” in the local Ladin language owing to the Avisio torrent that flows steadily alongside the village. If, on the other hand, you fancy a break on the shores of the lake, the Bistrò Al Lago restaurant is the place for you, with its refined dishes and the great attention it pays to the quality of the ingredients. Before moving on, it’s worth taking some time to visit the village itself with its characteristic wood and stone buildings and barns. Just beyond Soraga we find the Agritur Ciasa Do Parè farmhouse where Aurora and Alessandro, together with their lovely family, wait to welcome us and introduce us to all their farm has to offer: raw milk cheeses seasoned in mountain hay, but also honey produced in their apiaries during the summer, the wildflower version of which is a Slow Food presidium. Until the end of September, we can decide to spend half a day like real mountain farmers, discovering the ins and outs of farming in these rugged lands and maybe enjoying the milk, organic cheeses and honey we help produce. It’s also possible, subject to booking, to organise a visit to the cowshed and experience the milking process.

Once we’ve become “experts” in local farming we take off again towards Tamion along path no. 556. Don’t be put off by the steep climb, the views from the top are simply sublime and our efforts will be handsomely repaid. In a few short minutes we reach Tamion where the entire Val di Fassa opens up before us: looking south we can make out Soraga and Moena, whereas the view northward is dominated by rolling meadows and the Larsec cliffs. From here the path leads gently downhill to the day’s last stop: Vigo di Fassa, voted one of Italy’s most beautiful hamlets. Here we can’t help but stop for a moment to take in the marvel of the surrounding panorama: a view that sweeps from the peaks of the Catinaccio-Rosengarten to the imposing bastions of the Marmolada, Queen of the Dolomites. An excellent photo opportunity can be had from the church of Pieve di San Giovanni, symbol of the surrounding Sèn Jan area and before dusk we might even capture the magic of the “enrosadira” or Alpenglow phenomenon, when the pale walls of the Dolomites turn a pinkish hue creating an unparalleled natural spectacle. 

We’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing a place to stay for the night. The Agritur EcoGreen Fiores farmhouse is always ready to welcome guests to its marvellous wood-panelled rooms which offer some truly spectacular views across the Dolomites, but it’s also possible to book a night in its exclusive tree-house suite! A stay here is indeed an all-round immersion in nature and local tradition, with the scent of forest and the organic herbs and fragrant mountain flowers that the owner Nadia cultivates. 

If, on the other hand, we’d like to pamper ourselves after a long day’s walk, the Olympic SPA Hotel would be the place to go! Pioneers of “Sleep Wellness”, it’s possible to choose from a menu of pillows, treatments and soothing herbal teas for a good night's rest, after of course indulging in a quiet moment of relaxation at the Ta Jaga wellness centre. 

For those trekking with the family, then the Family & Wellness Hotel Andes is the place to go: here the manager Guglielmo provides a range of treats for young and old alike.

Second Leg: Vigo Di Fassa, Pozza Di Fassa, Pera Di Fassa and return to Moena

15 km

We’re up bright and early and after a delicious breakfast of local products we’re ready to set off again! Before leaving the town of Vigo di Fassa we stop at the Ladin Museum of Fassa, a symbol of local identity, very much alive and felt by the inhabitants of these valleys. Here we can’t miss the section dedicated to the carnival with the characteristic and colourful masks of Bufòn and Marascons, enhanced by multimedia displays capable of grabbing the attention of both young and old. Not far from the museum we find the miniature golf course, and it’s precisely from here that our path starts towards our next destination: the town of Pera di Fassa. We take this comfortable and scenic trail that runs along the slopes of Ciampedie, through woods and the meadows of Sorapoza and with unmatched views of the Costabella and the Valacia Group. Once we’ve reached the hamlet of Pera, a stop at the Melga de Fascia community dairy is almost mandatory: indeed,’ here is where the exquisite Cher de Fascia is produced, the local cheese of the Val di Fassa. Its intense aroma and strong taste are sure to win you over!

For lunch we make our way back to Pozza di Fassa along the cycle path which in a few minutes leads us to the centre of the village. Along the way we come across the “L Molin de Pèzol”, an old water mill where the old tools once used for the processing of flour are now on display. Right next to the office of the Val di Fassa Tourist Board in Pozza we find a small road leading to the Gothic-inspired church of “Santa Maria Ausialiatrice”. From here a dirt road leads us up to Masc Aloch, the right place to enjoy, amongst other dishes, a locally-sourced cheeseburger with all ingredients from the adjoining farm. If, on the other hand, we want to stay in the town centre, then we could try the Le Giare Restaurant where local cuisine comes first and foremost, but is also known for its creative and tasty pizzas which, with the various toppings, reflect the culinary and natural wealth of the local area. 

Finally, a stop for some gourmet delights at the local delicatessen “L Malgher” is a must. Located in the square of the same name, here we can try the zelten, the “buchteln” (sweet leavened pastries) and the “cajoncie”, fig-filled ravioli. 

With our bellies full we take the cycle path up to Soraga Alta and then onto Someda, one of the characteristic hamlets surrounding Moena. Here a visit to the church of Saints Rocco, Sebastian and Fabiano, which dates back to the 16th century, is definitely worth it.  We also find a museum dedicated to the Dolomite Front, an area of great conflict during the First World War. 

The rest of our return trip is now rather short and easy: we descend towards Moena again and maybe stop quickly in the Turchia district with its age-old barns and intricate history just waiting to be discovered.

Before leaving:

- We recommend you book all your meals and overnight stays before departure. 

SAFETY ADVICE

THE 10 RULES FOR A DAY IN THE MOUNTAINS

1. Be prepared. Plan and double-check your itinerary before setting out.
2. Know your limits. Choose a route that is suitable to your physical and technical abilities.
3. Bring suitable clothing and equipment.
4. Check the weather forecast before leaving.
5. Taking off alone is risky, make sure you bring a mobile phone with you.
6. Find a place to leave information regarding your itinerary and estimated time of return.
7. If you’re not sure about your excursion, do not hesitate to contact a professional.
8. Pay great attention to the signposts and other indications you pass along the way.
9. If you’re feeling tired or unable to go on for whatever reason, don’t think twice about turning back.
10. In case of an accident contact the emergency number 112. 

As you can imagine, the accessibility of mountain itineraries depends on a number of conditions, such as the weather and the time of year, not to mention any number of abrupt environmental changes and natural phenomena. For this reason, the information presented here may have changed since writing so it’s extremely important to gather information concerning the current conditions of the route before setting off by contacting a local mountain hut, the mountain guides, the visitor centres of the natural parks or the local tourist office. 

Equipment

Trekking is fun but also challenging. We recommend you only take the bare necessities with you but don’t forget to bring proper hiking footwear and trekking poles. Ideally, your backpack should weigh about 6kg. 

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