The second week of my trip home was spent in Italy. South Tyrol, to be exact. As previously mentioned, my parents took my sister and me skiing in Val Gardena every year ever since we were little and being able to finally go back there (with everybody) was such a special treat. I am giving you a fair warning – this post is photo-heavy!
We stayed at this super-nice vacation rental (Apartments Granit) within walking distance to the slopes and kids’ ski school. We had a three-bedroom apartment with full kitchen, huge living room and wrap-around balcony with the view of the impressive Sella Group.
Awful view, am I right?
The weather was perfect all week. It was cold (so the snow held up really well despite no more snow fall), but mostly sunny and they were just the perfect conditions to ski. (You need to know that I am a “fair-weather-skier”. I don’t like being caught in snowstorms.
Tyrolean bacon dumpling soup
Our apartment was within walking distance to the ski school (where we had to drop off the kids in the morning) and then we could hop on the next gondola and start our skiing day in the huge Val Gardena Skiing area.
In the evenings, we were able to ski down all the way into the town –Wolkenstein’s elevation is 1500 m (5,100 feet) – and walk back to our apartment. It doesn’t get better than that.
We prepared yummy Brotzeit dinners at home, but also went out to eat a few times.
We had delicious authentic Italian pizza at Pizzeria and Restaurant Pranives.
Pizza with arugula, fresh tomatoes and parmesan cheese
One evening, we drove to St. Ulrich/Ortisei, another small town in Val Gardena, where my family used to stay during our vacations in the past. It’s famous for it’s ornate woodcarvings (they export to all around the world) and we visited “our friend” (who has been guarding this store front since we were little girls).
We also visited the old steam engine that has been around as long as I can remember.
We had dinner at Restaurant Pizzeria Mar Dolomit. This restaurant is attached to the public indoor swimming pool which also has been around since my sister and I were little. Of course, we had to eat there while we were there.
Before we went on our trip, I said that I wanted to go to our favorite aprés-ski café, Bar La Stua, every single day and enjoy their hot chocolate, because they serve the best hot chocolate in the world, hands-down. That didn’t quite work out, but I had it twice and it was as delicious as I remembered.
On Thursday, the kids were in ski school all day (the other days were half days) and we had the opportunity to ski around the Sella Group. This all-day tour is called the Sella Ronda, which is a series of ski-lifts and downhill runs, all linked to one another around the whole plateau (possible both clockwise and counterclockwise). It means you won’t use any lift or run twice and it was so much fun.
Well deserved! Egg nog at the ski lodge after skiing around the sella group.
On our last day, we had the opportunity to ski the Saslong, a World cup downhill race course and annual venue for the Men’s Super G (super giant slalom).
The kids participated in a farewell skiing race that is organized by the ski school on the last day of the course and they both did really great.
The pork shank was so good!
I don’t really have the words to describe what this trip meant to me. We had a truly amazing family vacation and I wish we could have done this for another week (or two). Time always flies when you’re having fun. But honestly, I am just so very thankful that I was able to go home and spend this precious time with my family.