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Year-round Fun: Moena and the San Pellegrino Pass

Posted by Megan DeAngelo on July 10 2016

Surrounded by dramatic mountains, the town of Moena in northeastern Italy in the region of Trentino, is a year-round destination for both locals and visitors.

Moena is a UNESCO “World Heritage natural site” in a country that has more than its share, 44, of UNESCO sites. In awarding this distinction, the residents’ enthusiastic commitment to preserving the land was noted by the agency.

The San Pellegrino Pass, more than 6,000 feet in altitude, connects Moena with the town of Falcade in Veneto. Moena is part of the enormous Trevalli ski area, with 62 miles of slopes. The mountain pass has been a popular route between Germany and Venice since the time of the Crusades.

Now it's a playground for visitors all year round.

Active Lifestyle All Year Round and Panoramic Views 

cycling event Val di Fassa Bike

Children can enjoy multiple outdoor activities and a park, Fiabilandia, in the Prà di Sorte, has entertainment, rafting, swings and a mini-chalet.

Skiing and snowboarding are popular in the Alps, and in the summer, many locals escape the heat in the cities by traveling to higher altitudes. Walking, rock climbing, hiking and cycling are all common. A well-known cycling event, the "Val di Fassa Bike” in September, attracts many European riders.

Moena itself offers visitors lots of walking routes and trails of varying difficulties for mountain bikers. It has a bike route that can be covered in a day with panoramic views of valleys below. Buses will take you back to the start if you do not want to bike back.

The town center is closed to traffic, which makes it a perfect place for leisurely strolls. Moena is known as the "Fairytale of the Dolomites”and the "Alpine Pearl." The locals, speaking the Ladin language, have a traditional culture and food that has survived to this day.

The Fairytale of the Dolomites Offers Multiple Attractions

Many unique boutiques and craft shops are in the town, including the copper workshop of Moena, La Bottega Del Rame, on the square, selling cookware and home furnishings. Copper is favorite of chefs because it provides uniform heat distribution. In the store's workshop you can watch the fifth generation owner, Vincenzo Tironi, do his craft.

The main street in Moena, Strada Riccardo Löwy, is dedicated to the Austrian Jewish businessman and engineer, Richard Löwy, who was tragically murdered by the Nazis at Auschwitz in 1942. He had come to Moena to run fortification operations in the village and Passo San Pellegrino during World War I. He employed many who were saved from service during the that war and then was awarded honorary citizenship. 

Turchia, an ancient district of Moena, has a neighborhood of elaborately decorated barns, fountains and even woodsheds, which locals embellish with beautiful flowers and small wooden sculptures.

Traditional Festivals with Music, Dancing and Local Crafts and Artistry

music festival

The well-known Turkish Festival is celebrated over a whole weekend in the summer. On Saturday the parade of Turks through the streets of the village takes place, with the star of the parade, the sultan, on a throne carried by his servants and followed by women and children in costume.

Visitors and residents can visit the tabià (barns) open for the occasion as exhibition spaces. Watch artisans at work and local people dressed in traditional Tyrolese dress give demonstrations of ancient trades. Try typical delicacies of Ladin and Turkish cuisine, dance to the music of various folk bands and listen to the Enrosadira choir and the Banda di Moena.

Many of the old barns are restored and open to the public during July and August and host exhibitions of local animals. The "Tabià del Copeto," from 1693, stands out as a tourist favorite. Visit the small church of the Madonnina, built in 1713, and Ciasa Piaz, from the early 1700s, home to a fresco by Rovisi.

The historical town center boasts historically important buildings and a cooper’s shop that is part of the Ladin Cultural Institute, with a museum displaying all the equipment of the cooper's trade. In upper Moena you can visit the home of Luigi Canori, a famous composer from Moena, who wrote what would become the anthem of the valley.

Visiting Moena is like traveling into another time and place to get close to foreign cultures and traditions that are quite rare today. You will be charmed and enriched by the experience.

To learn about Italian summer activities in the Alps and where to stay, chat with a Bella Vista Tour travel expert at 877-723-0802 or email us at

Summer in Italy

Topics: alps, italian culture, northern Italy

Megan DeAngelo

Written by Megan DeAngelo

Travel Consultant BellaVista Tours