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Val Passiria/Passeiertal

The homeland of a hero

Productive vineyards, palm trees and cactuses characterise this typically Mediterranean basin of Meran – Merano where the Passeiertal – Val Passiria begins. This Mediterranean vegetation is contrasted by the typically alpine flora, composed by carpets of alpine roses, that frames the Landscape of the Timmelsjoch – Passo Rombo.

The bevelled mountain summits of the Stubaier – Stubaital and the Ötztaler and Sarntaler Alpen – Alpi dell’ Ötztal and Sarentino give off the impression that they are protecting the valley from the outside. “From water and from light” is the theme of the Naturparks Texelgruppe – Parco natural del Gruppo di Tessa; this is because there is a contrast between the eastern slope of the valley where the larch woods are dry and sunlit and the western slope where the red spruce tree forests are shady and humid.

Water is an important element of this valley, and can be found under the form of waterfalls, streams, and small lakes. Paths that have been created by the many excursionists indicate the direction to follow. On the surrounding mountains old paths that were used by smugglers can still be seen. Through these paths smugglers used to sneak in speck and skins to Austria and bring back sugar and tobacco in exchange. Today these same paths compose the dense network of excursion itineraries available for hikers.

The hidden parts in between the mountains are a whole world to be discovered. History can be rebuilt by visiting the characteristic "Schildhöfe": old farmhouses; scattered all along the valley. The inhabitants of these "Schildhöfe" were the “schildbauer” or squire farmers.

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