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Culture and craftsmanship in Gherdëina

The Ladins and their culture

South Tyrol has always been a land where the Mediterranean culture and the German one join together. Probably, it isn’t well-known that on this land, full of cultural and linguistic shades, German and Italian cultures are flanked with another one, a small but solid Ladin culture.

Gherdëina is one of those valleys where this culture is preserved together with its customs and the language which the inhabitants of this place share with other 55.000 people scattered between South Tyrol, Veneto and Trentino.

It seems that the Ladin language derives from the spoken language of antique populations of Noricum, a historic region that corresponds to Bavaria and Austria of today. In V century d. C., these populations escaped from the barbarian invasions, by seeking refuge in the valleys of Eastern Alps.

The Gherdëina dialect, that is still spoken in the valley towns, is a local variation of this language, that combines the Italian awesome sounding and the German vocabulary.

Craftsmanship of Gherdëina

The Ladins of Gherdëina are famous for their abilities in woodworking – a tradition, born in 1625, that has its antique origins in farm activities. Consequently, the fame of the Gherdëina craftsmanship became so widespread that it reached even Spain and Portugal.

Wooden toys and sculptures are the principle products of Gherdëina sculptors, who still conduct this tradition with devotion and constancy.