The Rio Racines has eroded the marble rock and formed a spectacular natural monument: the Stanghe Gorge, near Vipiteno, in the Upper Isarco Valley.
At Racines, near Vipiteno, the rio of the same name gushes forcefully. It eroded the rock so deeply and formed the Stanghe Gorge. This is one of the most beautiful gorges in the Alps. Due to erosion its marble walls at times give off a greyish green light. The gorge entrance in Stanghe is surrounded by woods of alders and red firs. After a short walk into the woods the path becomes steeper. Bushes and trees cling to the rocky walls and suddenly an incredible scenery opens up before our eyes: there are bridges, steps and panoramic viewpoints crossing the 400 m gorge below at a dizzying height. A serpentine path takes us to the top. Here we find ourselves in front of the magnificent, so-called "church", a waterfall that plunges several metres into the narrow gorge. The Stanghe Gorge was explored between 1893 and 1895 on the order of Emperor Francesco Giuseppe. It was called the Gorge of Francesco Giuseppe for a brief period of time.