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The habitat

Alta Badia is a land of unspoilt beauty, a place where two very different worlds meet

panorama-alba

There are two things which strike you on your first visit to Alta Badia.

The first, which is immediately apparent, is the unspoilt beauty of the landscape, which seems to rest on three columns: lush green meadows leading to dense pine forests, beyond which rise majestic mountain walls, formed from the Dolomite rock that makes our mountains so unique. To the east, your gaze is taken in the direction of Conturines, an artist’s canvas, hundreds of meters wide, on which the setting sun paints its orange-red rays; to the west, the Sassongher, whose sharp and jagged peaks announce the first light of dawn each day.

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The second special feature that attracts attention is less obvious at first, but no less interesting. It’s the Ladin, the language spoken by the locals. Ladin is one of the three Rhaeto-Romance languages of the world and is the language the locals use in their everyday dealings. It could be considered a living fossil, a testimony to the interaction between two different worlds – the Latin, Mediterranean and Roman culture interacting with the Rhaetian, Alpine and Etruscan-Celtic culture. Historical sources from the Iron Age describe our Dolomite valleys as valleys of encounters and exchanges. Our land has always been the interface between the Northern and the Southern Alps.

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To understand our culture – past and present – the two components, landscape and language, are inseparable. The landscape determines the habitat, the ecosystem, the symbiosis of people, nature and the seasons. The language, so old and yet so modern in the way it crosses cultures, testifies to a unique disposition: the ability to accommodate different cultures and to exchange ideas with them.

At the same time, the Ladins preserve a deep awareness of their own cultural roots. Ladin is a language that arouses curiosity, but which does not allow for the devaluation or disappearance of its own history in the face of some novelty.