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About Alta Badia

The people in the Dolomites cherish and protect their language and culture

Sotciastel in Alta Badia

Finds in Sotćiastel in Badia prove that permanent dwellings existed in Alta Badia as early as about 1,700 BC. The people inhabiting the alpine region in this age are known as the Raetians. When the Alps were integrated into the Roman empire, the Raetians in the Dolomites adopted the vulgar Latin spoken by the Roman magistrates, soldiers and tradespeople and, over the years, it was transformed into the Ladin language. This makes Ladin a modern Latin language whose basic structure is related to Italian, French, Provençal and Catalan.

Ladinic shack in Alta Badia

Today, the Ladins form a community of about 30,000 which is spread across five valleys and three provinces: Val Badia valley and Val Gardena valley in South Tyrol, Livinallongo and Ampezzo in Belluno as well as the Val di Fassa valley in the province Trento.

The awareness of having their own language plays an integral part in the Ladins' identity. The language is a means of self-assertion towards the outside, but also a link between the five Ladin communities.
The Ladins in Val Badia valley cherish and protect the appealing, strong and yet fragile mountain nature that surrounds them. Their typical architecture represents the harmonious bond between people and countryside. The Viles, century-old, compact dwellings are particularly interesting - a unique form of communal organisation in times when which people used to live in mostly self-sufficient ways.

  • Castle Colz in La Villa in spring with the Boè in sight
    Castle Colz
  • "Viles" in Alta Badia
    "Viles"
  • Typical ladinic processing of wood
    Culture and Tradition
Music chapel in typical ladinic costumes

Culture and tradition are held in high regard in the land of the Ladins and festivals are celebrated ceremonially, with traditional processions and the most beautiful traditional costumes.

The traditional festivals also provide the possibility to try many typical dishes from grandmother's kitchen. After all, gastronomy is a part of culture in Alta Badia and the best proof that love of nature and tradition can blend well with quality and enjoyment.

Their distinct artisan skills are a special talent of the Ladin people - the first traces found date back to the year 1020.