It’s a winter benchmark when Italians head for their beloved Alps, Apennines, Dolomites or Mt. Etna on Sicily for seven days of fun in the snow, under bright blue skies or falling flakes, Mother Nature permitting.
I, too, join the legions of Gor-Tex®-wearin’, white-stuff aficionados each and every year at this time and head for the Val Pusteria in the Trentino-Alto Adige (South Tyrol) region of northern Italy where German is spoken, but Italian understood (Ja, das ist gut!).
But, I don’t go alone. I’ve got an army of buds watching my six and making sure my wine glass, beer stein and short-shot vessel are always filled. Hey, I need a little “courage” to go downhill.
Our annual hoedown in the snow is branded Ski Trek. We’re an avalanche of Italians, Yanks and Canucks, and we act like one, too, as we literally take over Hotel Adler in Villabassa (Niederdorf in German) and ski the Dolomites, ringing up large bar and food tabs along the way whenever we stop to, ahem, re-hydrate.
Not to be overlooked are the outstanding regional slow foods like canederli in broth (bread dumplings), spätzle (small egg noodles), gulasch (thick soup/stew), wurst (sausage) and speck (smoked prosciutto/ham).
CHICKEN WINGS? Italy? ARE…YOU…NUTS?
No. Well, yes, if you consider the only way to Baite-Hütte Raut, where these finger-licking-good delicacies are prepped, is via a steep pista nera (black run) midway down the slopes of Mt. Elmo that my ski bum brethren have dubbed the “Chicken Wings Run.”
Once again we’ll prove that the knife, fork, spoon and glass are just as mighty as skis, poles, boots and goggles when traversing the Dolomites.
Be on the lookout for my dispatches and tweets (#SkiTrek2015) from atop AND underneath the snow.
As they say up in the South Tyrol when the lederhosen fit a bit too snugly: Yodel-ay-ee-oooo!
©The Palladian Traveler