Sometimes, you’ve just got to put the car in the garage. Making the holiday season memorable can occasionally lead to some movie-worthy goof-ups, but every so often, a good idea will rise to the top and make you look like the family hero you were meant to be. The “one-horse open sleigh” sung in Jingle Bells will be your new way of travelling!

There will be no sound but that of the bells on sleighs, lost in the snowy fields and the gentle curves of the mountains… atmosphere of Christmas Eve, a journey to be undertaken with loved ones, to rediscover the true essence of the holiday!

Horse Sledge in Dolomiti, Italy

 

Italy and the sled: a former marriage

A horse-drawn sleigh ride is definitely the most romantic and comfortable way to discover  Italian landscapes in winter. But also to revive the traditions of our country culturli : the slide, mean for moving people and goods, work tool, stylish ” toy ” for the nobles. But where and why did the image of the slide become the most known and loved (the one that is associated with Santa Clause)? Who could believe that his fantastic driver finds its origins in ancient Roman history and Christianity?

The day of the winter solstice was the day of rebirth of the sun, “Natalis” a word which was later changed to Christmas. Julius Caesar in his reform of the Calendar stared at the winter solstice on the 25th of December.
The celebration of the winter solstice, the day of rebirth of the Sun,  was only later recovered by the Christians who established the date of Jesus’ birth, the day of the solstice, that is December 25 .

And the sled ? Paradoxically, an American pastor is the inventor of this funny and weird thing. In 1821 Clement Clarke Moore, the pastor of his church , wrote a poem for his children in homage to the good Santa Klaus.
In Italy the slide is also synonymous of horses. The Italian Group Attacks tries every winter to evoke the myth of the slide, organizing walks and competitions. In particular in winter, when this kind of journey becomes a fun way to share intense moments with our family.

Three unique places where slipping on the snow!

The Dolomites and the scent of tradition

We start from the high Val Badia: passion, professionalism and love for tradition, so that today the slides are still created according to the ancient rules.
During the winter season in special occasions you can see many fine horse-drawn Noriker or Haflinger, for example every year with ” The Slitada by Paur ” an historical re-enactment that takes you back in time to when the sled horses were the only means of transport in mountain areas to move from the farm to the country. Here, in short, horse and sleigh are celebrated with care and detail.

South Tyrol is a perfect location for these trips that can also become romantic moments: from the parking lot of the Croda Rossa cable car in Moso you can move through idyllic larch meadows and snowy woods to Rifugio Fondo Valle , Fischleinvalley. The sleigh carries a maximum of 3 adults and 1 child.

A few steps you can stay at one of our accommodations eco friendly, the Family Hotel La Grotta in Vigo di Fassa. The Hotel is located in the Dolomites of the Fassa Valley and has been awarded by environmental ecolabel . The atmosphere of the mountains, in a warm and inviting landscape, including internal carved by master Fassa decorated by our artists, hospitality and courtesy will amaze you in this little corner of paradise mountain!

Info: For more information on routes sleigh in Val Badia, where a path will take you a couple of hours from La Villa in Corvara , through a wonderful snowy landscape: Tourist Board Alta Badia, tel +39 0471 / 836176, info @ altabadia.org

A sixth slide in the path from the parking lot of the Croda Rossa cable car to reach the Refuge and Moso Fondo Valle, Fischleinvalley through idyllic snow-covered meadows and groves of larch. For more information: info@suedtirol.info, or info@sesto.it

In Selva di Val Gardena sleds depart from the station of the cableway Alpe di Siusi (Compatsch) and from the one of the chairlift Monte Pana . For more information: Alpe di Siusi Tourist Office, Tel 0471 727904, info@valgardena.it

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The Bassa Padana rediscovery in the snow …

Do you really think you have to move up to Trentino to savor the taste of an excursion in the past? You are wrong! In the heart of the Po valley , in the places of Giuseppe Verdi, you can experience the thrill of a sleigh pulled by one or two horses! The B&B Grisù, in addition to the usual carriage rides and groves along the banks of the Po, organizes fun-filled outings slide (according to the snowpack) . Nothing  easier to discover the familiarity of a 900 farmhouse immersed in the green countryside of the river Po!

 

When  Veneto meets the Dolomites …

On the apex of the Venetian lands on a horse-drawn sleigh you can find the opportunity, during a holiday in Auronzo and Misurina, to dive to the bottom of the enchanting landscape of the Dolomites, declared “World Heritage” by UNESCO and considered by many the most beautiful mountains in the world.

In this area it is impossible to miss the beautiful and noble Cortina d’ Ampezzo, and why not to spend the night in one of the most beautiful examples of widespread hospitality of the region? The Albergo Diffuso Sauris offers a strange and wonderful place to breathe in deeply the fresh mountain air.

And what about you? Have you ever experienced the thrill of a sleigh ride in Italy? Where? Share with us your day riding the snow!

Info: Itineraries in horse-drawn sleigh in Cadore, turismo@regione.veneto.it , tel . 041.2792644

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Author: Angela Sebastianelli

Angela was born in Parma, she has a Law degree, a job as chief editor and an MBA running out. Then, three compulsive passions: writing , painting and enjoying her life with animals. In 2004 she started the very first collaboration with a blog, after that a cascade of collaborations with several sites and publications (PAIS, Total Free Magazine etc.). Every day she tries to make up new stories: this is her calling that she keeps on chasing on http://mystreamoffecklessness.wordpress.com/ Nature is her compass, green, sunsets that ignite the horizon, all filtered by the attentive ears of a horse, his tireless companion. Green Travel Blog is now a window on a world of beauty and silence, to think, write and talk about ecology, sustainability and animal rights. A convinced animal rights activist, frank and sincere. Just like people who really live with animals.
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