Old and new in Val di Rabbi
Male – Somrabbi – Rabbi Spa – Ragaiolo: km 20
To the side of Val di Sole, easily accessible from Malé, Val di Rabbi winds up amongst the mountains for 19 km., showing its wild nature like in ancient times. The mountain slopes are steep and covered with conifer forests dotted with small hamlets, and there are bountiful water courses. The bunches of houses dotting the valley’s slopes, particularly the sunnier ones, are all scattered around, as is more typical of Tyrol than of Trentino. However, the valley’s inhabitants – that settled here some 8-9 Centuries ago – come from Val di Sole: Rabbi was used as an exhaust valve due to the population growth in Val di Sole, and offered a precious resource with its Alpine pastures and timber production.
Isolated for a long time, the valley has preserved its ancient dialect, and leads to a more meditative lifestyle comparing to other stretches of Val di Sole. The historically important centres are Pracorno, St. Bernardo and Piazzola; however, there are plenty of hamlets, boasting one of the most precious and typical landscape element: hundreds of masi (small rural houses providing shelter to both people and cattle, built in timber and stone, with a roofing made of larch tiles) are dotting the meadows and visually convey the idea of a culture that has been able to put utility and beauty together.
S. Bernardo has a modern church, however masterfully adapted to the surrounding environment,and boasting works dating back to the 15th –18th Centuries.
Not very far you will see the remarkable spa facilities, whose renown is attributable to the healing properties of their water, well known since the 17th Century. Behind the spa centre, an 18th century “Veneziana” water-driven sawmill is still operating and run by the Stelvio National Park organisation. A short walk away, you’ll get to the Ragaiòlo waterfalls. Continuing further up, you’ll get an opportunity to enjoy an enchanting landscape, where Alpine pastures are dotted with “malghe”, typical long and narrow buildings that, during the summer months, provide a shelter to cattle and tools for the production of genuine butter and cheese.

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