"One Step from the Sky": South Tyrol's Puster Valley

If you love the outdoors and being active, head to South Tyrol’s Puster Valley. I have just returned from a marvelous trip there and, given the hiking lover I am, I was in heaven. Plus, it was such a welcome respite from city life – and from the heat wave that is enveloping Italy these days.

One of the most popular valleys in the Alps, the Val Pusteria (Pustertal) stretches between the charming towns of Bressanone in Italy and Lienz in Austria, in the heart of the Dolomites, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2009. Some of the Puster Valley’s top natural attractions include Braies Lake (Pragser Wildsee), the Three Peaks of Lavaredo (Drei Zinnen), and the Prato Piazza tableau (Plätzwiese) within the natural park of Fanes-Sennes-Braies.

The eastern part of the valley is called the Upper Puster Valley (Alta Pusteria-Hochpustertal), which is where I was based, precisely at Prato Piazza, whose precious alpine ecosystem at 2,000 meters of altitude is protected by UNESCO. Every morning, I would wake up to a fabulous view of the Croda Rossa mountain group, the Vallandro Peak, and the Gruppo del Cristallo (Crystal Group) in the distance.

Below is a selection of photos I took on my trip. Stay tuned for a more in-depth feature about the Val Pusteria and my hiking adventures there.

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