Along the new road to Proveis and into Val d’Ultimo
Malè – S. Gertrude val d’ Ultimo: km 50
The stretch of Val di Nòn furthest to the North was inhabited, as early as in the 13th Century, by German populations. They started to farm the mountain slopes and worked as miners in the local quarries. These Northern peoples introduced one of their living traditions: they settled in scattered rural houses, ruled by the so called law of the “maso chiuso” (providing that a family’s entire property and land is inherited by the eldest son). Another typical feature of these Northern population is the German language, by which they differ from the other inhabitants of the valley. The German speaking community is still present in the villages of Laureino and Propesi (Lauregno and Proves) as well as in the area around Passo Palade (St. Felix and Unsere Frau in Walde - or Madonna di Senale). These are high mountain villages, once almost totally isolated from the rest of the South Tyrol inhabitants by the mountain range that acts as a barrier to the North. A few years ago, a panoramic road was opened, that links these little Val di Non villages to Val d’Ultimo, and hence to the Meran and Bolzano region, allowing the local inhabitants to avoid a long and tortuous itinerary to get there.
Take from Malé towards Clés: at the Mostizzòlo bridge, go up to Revò (featuring numerous noble mansions, such as Càmpia, and a beautiful church erected during the 15th Century in Gothic-Swabian style). Hence, just before entering the village, a road indicated by clear signposts turns to the North-West, going past Tregióvo. At Frari, by the turning point towards Rumo (that boasts several hamlets with magnificent 15th Century churches with frescoed paintings), continue to the North, up a series of hairpin bends going towards Proveis. The new road does not go by Laurein (Lauregno, 1,182 m of height, was the legendary fatherland of King Laurino, sovereign of the Dolomites), neither by Proveis (featuring a big, neo-gothic Parish church), but continues along bends and tunnels past the mountain between Ilmenspitz and M. Luco. Going steeply downhill, the road heads towards Val d’Ultimo and eventually joins the valley’s main road between St. Pancraz and St. Walburg.
Some forty kilometres long, the valley (Ultental) features several South Tyrol typical villages, whose “masi” still maintain the old traditions (such as the procession of the Magi). The region, covered with thick forests, offers a superb series of winter sports facilities and boasts a small ethnographic museum (traditional buildings in St. Walburg). The highest village is St. Gertraud, by the Stelvio National Park, which is the starting point of hiking routes towards the Sternai (m. 3443) peaks and to Val di Rabbi, a side valley of Val di Sole.

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