South Tyrol – first impressions

13.01.2014
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Kategorie: Cuisine, Italian, Italy, Trips | Tagi: Giro delle Cime, Kronplatz, Południowy Tyrol, San Candido, skiing, South Tyrol, speck

South Tyrol is very seductive. It tempts you with the gorgeous views, many skiing opportunities, its cuisine influenced by Italy and Alps. I must admit that every time I went skiing to Austria with my friends, I had dreamt of skiing in Italy because of the cuisine. And then I suspended these dreams because life had forced me to put away my skis for 5 years!

In the past I had skied quite regularly, although only once a season, or even once every two seasons. I associate skiing with pure pleasure because it constantly reminds me of my first time on a slope with my friend, somewhere near the town of Nowy Targ, of the camp in a Tatra village Białka Tatrzańska, of my Dad’s struggles on a slope and of a friendship initiated somewhere between a schuss and ride in a chairlift in Austria… It reminds me of conversations and taking breaks for fried cheese (in Czech Republic), huge sweet potato dumplings with vanilla sauce, poppy seed and cinnamon (in Austria), or salted smoked cheese (oscypek) with cranberry sauce (in the town of Zakopane)… It reminds me of the most beautiful views, snowy pine trees and of sore muscles after spending an entire day on a slope… It reminds me of blue skies, sunny days and loads of snow…

These are all good memories, however, I’ve abandoned skiing for quite a while because we fell in love with exotic journeys in the winter, because Łukasz doesn’t ski (well, he hadn’t skied until last Friday! :)), because I was pregnant, because we had a baby and because there’s a child on board…

And finally came 2014 and we found out that we have two skiing trips ahead of us! So, after a 5-year-long break, I put on my boots, put on my skis, grab my poles and leave for the slope! 🙂 The spot: South Tyrol.

Południowy Tyrol, narty, Giro delle CIme, South Tyrol, skiing

we start our day with a 30-kilometer-long piste Giro delle Cime

South Tyrol, or Südtirol is the northernmost Italian province. This location is responsible for the extraordinary character of the area that combines the Austrian and the Italian influences. You might even forget where you are, as you can constantly hear both Italian and German. I.e. the mother language of approximately 85% of the residents of San Candido, where we are located is German, and only 15% of the residents speak Italian! I get confused in shops and restaurants, I don’t know which language to speak, so I finally settle for English with bits of Italian. Well, I don’t speak German anyway.

The little towns of Südtirol bring Austria to mind, but the cuisine of the region looks like and smells of Italian food (and that’s great news!). Everywhere we go for lunch or dinner there’s tagliatelle, ravioli, tortelloni or gnocchi on the menu! It’s every gourmand’s dream come true, although this variant of Italian cuisine significantly varies from the variant offered in the south. Moreover, one of the key products of the region – speck – is a combination of Alpine and Italian influences – I’ll tell you more about speck and other regional delicacies in a separate post.

speck, Południowy Tyrol, kuchnia włoska, South Tyrol, Italian cuisine

speck and gherkins – the basic starter

tortelloni z serem i papryką na carpaccio z kaczki - takie cuda w knajpie na stoku! / cheese and pepper tortelloni over duck carpaccio - what a treat in a mountain restaurant!

cheese and pepper tortelloni over duck carpaccio – what a treat in a mountain restaurant!

tiramisu, desery, Południowy Tyrol, desert, South Tyrol

desert? it has to be tiramisu!

I wanted to conclude this post with a section on food, but of course I couldn’t help myself and it came out differently 🙂 The area itself is gorgeous – the views are breathtaking, the pistes are overwhelming: the organization, the modern solutions, and there are charming little towns, such as San Candido/Innichen where we are based.

San Candido, Południowy Tyrol, South Tyrol

San Candido in the evening

San Candido isn’t too far away from Kronplatz – one of the most famous ski resorts in Italy, and it’s quite close to Versciaco where we set off for the 30-kilometer-long Ciro delle Cime. I’ll soon tell you more about South Tyrol from the viewpoint of a skier – for now, I’ll leave you with the pictures, to whet your appetite 🙂 Not only for pastas, speck and tiramisu, but also for the winter sport challenges that you might experience here! 🙂

Południowy Tyrol, Kronplatz, South Tyrol

let’s go!

Kronplatz, Południowy Tyrol, South Tyrol

let’s take a break

I’ll tell you more very soon! I woke up early in the morning, covered approx. 25 km on skis (I’m really happy but such a challenging outdoor physical exercise makes you very sleepy in the evening!!! :)) and had a cooking lesson of one of the local delicacies… So, goodnight! 🙂

*this post is a result of a collaboration with the province of South Tyrol