Val di Pejo in summer
Il Trentino Alto Adige is a region that is appreciated above all for its immense naturalistic heritage: areas and nature reserves show landscapes of unspeakable beauty and the Stelvio National Park, which enchants with its high peaks such as the Ortles-Cevedale group and with its luxuriant valleys, including the Pejo Valley.
It is certainly a well-known ski resort thanks to the Pejo 3000 Ski Area, the first plastic-free in all of Italy. But it is in the summer, like any mountain resort, that it shows its most colourful, lively and luxuriant face.
Val di Pejo, whose most precious resource is water thanks to the presence of lakes, streams and snow from glaciers, is also a place wounded by one of the saddest pages of Italian history, namely the Great War.
Val di Pejo in summer
Val di Pejo is an enchanting side valley of the Val di Sole, in the north-west of the Trentino region: being a river valley, it has the characteristic V shape and borders with Val Martello, Valcamonica and Valtellina. The Val di Pejo, which in the Solander dialect is nicknamed Valeta, is crossed by the course of the Noce stream, extends in the shadow of the peaks of the Ortles-Cevedale group: it includes the entire municipal territory of Peio (including its five hamlets), part of that of Pellizzano and Ossana.
The landscape of the Pejo Valley is included in the spectacular Stelvio National Park, one of the largest natural areas in Italy, but is also located near mountains such as the The Dolomites del Brenta and the Adamello-Presanella mountain group.
In summer, these marvels of nature unleash all their beauty, among alpine lakes with crystal clear waters, pastures dotted with mountain flowers, huts and peaks to climb.
Fans bicycle they will be able to pedal along the Val di Sole cycle path, skirting the Noce river starting from the hamlet of Cogolo up to Mostizzolo: in summer tourists can also take advantage of the "Bicibus" and "Dolomiti Express" services, to transport their bicycle everywhere.
Who wants to fish instead, he can go to Lago dei Caprioli, Lago di Pian di Palù (an artificial basin located at about 1800 m above sea level) or to the Noce stream, where he can find marmorate, arctic char, rainbow and brown trout.
In Val di Pejo sports lovers can then have fun practicing paragliding, doing torrentism or browsing in canoe o kayak on the river Noce or by organizing walks to horse riding reaching the Fede Ranch, one of the many educational farms in the valley.
The little ones, on the other hand, can spend a few hours relaxing and having fun at the Pejo Kinderland: it is a route located at almost 2000 m. of height punctuated by small walls from Climbing, a large slide, rope swings and pulleys. A stone's throw away is also the Scoiattolo refuge and can be reached via the Pejo Fonti-Tarlenta cable car, or on foot on a path that starts from Peio Paese, in the San Rocco area.
The municipality of Peio is made up of several hamlets, some higher up and others downstream: Celentino for example it is located at 1264 m. high and, in addition to the beautiful Church of Sant'Agostino complete with a bulbous bell tower, houses the NESTALP Museum at Malga Campo at 1979 m. high, where visitors are shown how in the past milk was processed to make cheese and butter. In Celentino there is also the Piccolo Mondo Antico Ecomuseum, located in an old elementary school.
The museum space is divided into thematic sectors, linked for example to wool, wood and water and also includes an Orto dei Semplici and the Gianni Rigotti laboratory, linked to weaving and located in a room covered entirely with wood fromthe Swiss pines.
In Celle, between houses with tiled roofs and wooden beams, are instead the Ethnographic Museum of Wood and Mountain Peasant Museum, located in the eighteenth-century Malga Borche at 1720 m. of height.
Do not miss a walk to Comasine, a center with a mining past which houses the Church of Santa Lucia (the oldest in Val di Pejo, dating back to 1374 and flanked by a frescoed bell tower) and Pejo Sources: here there is a thermal establishment that exploits the waters that flow from the Nuova Fonte, the Fonte Alpina and the Fonte Antica.
From Pejo Fonti you can reach the beautiful Runcal Wildlife Area where you can spot deer and roe deer in their pristine natural habitat. Not far from Pejo Fonti is the Strong Barbadifiore, built at 1600 m. high from the Austro-Hungarians during the First World War even if, being far from the front line and despite being armed and armoured, it was never really involved in war actions.
In this regard, during a summer holiday in Pejo, a visit to the White War Museum a For the country, full of war finds found on Passo Gavia and Passo del Tonale. Here, at the top of Colle San Rocco, there is also a small one shrine dedicated to the Fallen Soldier: many of the remains of the soldiers buried here were found in the surrounding glaciers.
Among other places worth visiting in the valley are the Witches Museum in Peio Paese, dedicated to the popular beliefs of the area, the Grazioli house a Strombian and headquarters of the Stelvio National Park a Cogol.
What to do and what to see
Experiencing Val di Pejo in summer means taking part in some of the most beautiful excursions in the Alps: for example, you can reach the Lake of Pian Palu starting from Rifugio Scoiattolo which can be reached from Peio Fonti by cable car. You walk on the paths n.127 and n.125, passing the Cadini waterfall, the Valle degli Orsi and the Malga Giumela, up to the lake, from which you can also reach the Fontanino Celentino from which you can drink pure water directly from the source.
From Peio Paese starts instead the walk that leads to the Covel Lake, crossing trail n.125 in the direction of Colle San Rocco: this route also allows you to visit the beautiful Rio Vioz Waterfall, which can be approached via the wooden bridge. The excursion allows a detour to the An der Front war cemetery, located a stone's throw from the Chapel of San Rocco, above Peio Paese.
Equally enchanting is the Roe deer lake, located in the middle of a coniferous forest at 1280 m. high: in this case the excursion starts from Pellizzano, on a road that passes through the beautiful Malga Alta di Fazzona 1546 m. high, where there is also a small farm complete with a donkey, goats, hens and cows. Lago dei Caprioli can be reached by following the Sentiero degli Gnomi which, among installations that refer to magical characters of the woods, also passes through Malga Bassa di Fazzon.
Val di Pejo also includes part of the municipality of Ossana, where a visit to the is a must Castle which, mighty, stands on a spectacular rocky outcrop. The first news of this construction of Longobard origin dates back to 1191: passing the ancient drawbridge, you can visit the rooms, the guardhouse and the prisons. Ossana Castle is located on the road that leads to Passo del Tonale.
The excursion that leads to 1720 m starts instead from Pejo Paese. of height of Malga Tale, located in the heart of a green pasture surrounded by spruce woods populated by rock ptarmigan, hazel grouse and above all capercaillie. The route first winds along a dirt road, and then becomes quite flat and wide, in the heart of the Stelvio National Park and with a view of the Val di Pejo and the Val de La Mare.
From the hamlet of Comasine, on the other hand, hikers can walk on an excellently signposted path surrounded by secular larches (which date back to 1400-1500), until they reach the Mason hut at 2200 m. of height. Along the way you will also come across several panels that explain many curiosities relating to Val Comasine.
To reach the Mantua Refuge, the highest in the whole region at 3535 m. in height, you need to be capable enough or in any case guided by experts.
The Pejo-Tarlenta gondola lift takes you to the Scoiatttoli Hut from Peio Fonti and then the chairlift takes you to the Doss dei Cembri Hut at 2380 m. of height. The excursion winds along the SAT paths no. 138, 139 and 105: you pass a rocky ridge and steep hairpin bends up to the ridge of Monte Vioz, to then pass the rocky spur of the Dente del Vioz and overcome an exposed section.
The last stretch that leads to the Mantova refuge is quite steep and offers a magnificent view of the surrounding Stelvio National Park.
Not far from Val di Pejo there is the Tonale pass, starting point to reach the Presena Glacier: it is a spectacular excursion that starts from 2575 m. high of Passo Paradiso reachable by cable car.
You walk into a dark tunnel dug by soldiers to hide themselves and their ammunition during the Great War. Continue uphill towards the Capanna Presena refuge at 2735, immersed in a fantastic bucolic setting, among alpine flowers, rocks and the nearby Monticello lakes. Continue up to a cable car that allows hikers to literally fly over the Presena Glacier, then reaching the Panorama 3000 Glacier where, enjoying an incredible view, you can sip an exclusive aperitif at high altitude.
Among the other excursions to do in the Val di Pejo there is the one that from Malga Campo leads to Celentino: in this case the path winds through the heart of birch, poplar, larch and fir woods, also meeting some small lakes.
You also come across flowery meadows of green mountain pastures and thus you reach the marshy area where Lake Celentino rises, which forms only when the snow thaws and is therefore visible only in summer.
A stone's throw away is the Malga Campo at 2060 m. high, with the peaks of Ortles-Cevedale and Passo del Tonale in the background: the malga also has a dairy where butter and cheeses are prepared, among ancient tools and period furnishings.
Val di Pejo is a truly vast area that holds a series of splendid places that deserve to be discovered through more or less short excursions.
Among the many unmissable events taking place in Val di Pejo, there is the Agriculture Festival in Cogolo: in three days visitors make a real full-immersion in nature, including excursions to the Maga Covel, awarding of the most beautiful cow and the desmalgada, a ritual that sees the cows parade through the village on their return from the pastures.
The animals, dressed in colorful floral arrangements and ribbons, arrive in the village among the inhabitants in traditional clothes and music. The Agricultural Festival also has the Palio delle Frazioni as its highlight, with tug of war, milking and grass mowing challenges.
A holiday in Val di Pejo cannot fail to include lunches or dinners in a refuge or in the restaurants of Peio, made in total tranquillity, savoring every typical flavor of the place. Green light then to taste the cheese Casolet (declared a Slow Food Presidium), dumplings spatzle, game, the savory pie the smacafam, dumplings, polenta carbonara and the famous Pejo cake with almonds and raisins.
Staying in Val di Pejo means having a wide choice of accommodation, including residences, holiday homes, B&Bs, hotels and family-run guesthouses.
Val di Pejo summer holidays
If you are considering a summer holiday in Val di Pejo, below you can find some useful links to find hotels and holiday apartments.
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