Welcome to Ossana, the most beautiful sky in Italy

Of the galaxy of villages that is the Val di Sole, a slice of Trentino to breathe deeply, Ossana is one of the most interesting planets to study. Both at human height and looking upwards, given that in 2017 the blue portion overlooking the town was elected “most beautiful sky in Italy”. An outpost of sustainability and the fight against pollution before Greta that in the polite coexistence with nature has found the key to fuel tourism, the first source of income and foothold to avoid the depopulation of the thirteen municipalities that manage to put together just fifteen thousand souls.

The castle of Ossana, a crossroads between the Val di Peio, Vermiglio and Passo del Tonale, watches over the pastures. A document certifies its existence since 1191, even if the period of maximum splendor was experienced in the fifteenth century, with the intensification of the iron trade, of which the area is rich. Road checkpoint and tax collection point, the decline of the San Michele castle began in the seventeenth century due to the opening of other trade routes. Until it became, during the Great War, an Austrian ammunition depot. Those terrible clashes, of which the whole area was the stage, are summarized in one of the thousand cribs, which are a tradition in Ossana. The castle has returned to shine since 2014 thanks to the restoration financed by the province of Trento.

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The weight of history can also be felt while walking in the Parco della Pace, the former Austro-Hungarian cemetery where the war memorial stands out. From here you go up to the Tomino hill, with its characteristic church, and to Mount Giner, the scene in 1956 of the plane crash that cost the lives of twenty-one people. Those who love walking in the midst of nature are spoiled for choice. One option is Boscoderniga, a well-kept garden among the trees in the Valpiana area that presents the visitor with the biodiversity of Trentino thanks to sensory itineraries. The little ones learn the secrets of plants through treasure hunts, quizzes and games.

Ossana, the village seen from above by the drone

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The symbol of the idyll between man and nature, in these lands, is represented by the hut. “The cows graze free – says the mayor of Ossana, Laura Marinelli -. The herdsman Lino transforms milk into cheese thanks to fascinating ancient techniques to observe, the only one to use them in the village. Valpiana was plagued in October by a flood , but now it is blooming again more beautiful than ever “. Among the various paths that can be followed, it is worth hitting the “Sinter de la lec”, where “lec” indicates the artificial canal that was used to irrigate the fields.

For those who love sports, Ossana and Val di Sole are a guarantee in every season. In winter, the ski lifts take skiers to Folgarida, the Stelvio and Passo del Tonale. As the snow melts, the valley is besieged by rafting enthusiasts who, along the banks of the Noce, find state-of-the-art facilities. Without forgetting the canoe and the hydrospeed. Those who prefer land to water can try their hand at personal challenges such as orienteering or bushcraft (small tests of survival in the woods). Or the more traditional mountain bikes (which will host the world championships for the third time), trekking and wildlife watching.

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Eleven thousand beds in hotels and apartments. Tourism, with its related activities, is the sector that involves the most workers. This is why vacationers are put at the center. The Val di Sole guest card, delivered to those who stay, allows you to move for free by public transport for the villages in the area. Including the alpine train to allow the whole family to reach the beginning of the cycle path and travel 35 kilometers slightly downhill.

Ossana, nature and sensory paths in the Bosco Derniga oasis

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There are many experiences to live, but the specter of depopulation has not been averted. To do this, it is necessary to keep the attractiveness of the area high. “The challenge – explains Fabio Sacco, director of the Val di Sole tourism company – is to attract more and more tourists outside the typical peak periods: December-March and June-September. The path we have undertaken focuses on the quality of the life of residents and guests, guaranteeing services but without going into trouble. We then try to increase job opportunities so as not to drive young people away from the area and involve new ones. Helping them to develop ever greater entrepreneurial skills. Without abandoning the pillars of conservation environmental and urban regeneration. We would like the visitor – specifies the director of the Apt -, even if for a few days, to live as if he were an inhabitant “.

At night in Ossana, when the sky is clear, it is difficult to sleep. Because the desire to take part in the astronomical trek, in the company of expert guides, is strong. Reaching on foot, with only the sounds of nature in the background, the panoramic points from which to observe the stars is an experience that only the most beautiful sky in Italy can offer. And from up there the lesson of the Val di Sole is even clearer: we respect nature. You know how to reward us.

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