Rocca Pietore, holiday among the Serrai of Sottoguda and the shops of the iron masters
Rocca Pietore is a tourist resort at the foot of the Marmolada massif, surrounded by an uncontaminated nature and places of impressive beauty. Every year its ski tracks, modern ski lifts and traditions attract thousands of visitors. Rocca Pietore is rich in ancient traditions and culture, that survived up until today thanks also to the effort of the Union di Ladins de Rocia, striving to recover and enhance this cultural heritage.
If you are looking for a holiday combining sport and culture, visit the many artisan shops of Pian and Sottoguda, famous internationally for their wrought iron manufacturing and wood carving: take a walk on the picturesque road of Sottoguda and admire some of the most beautiful wrought iron statues. Among the historical monuments, worth a visit are Saint Mary Magdalene's Gothic church in Rocca Pietore, with beautiful works of art; the small church of Sottoguda; Saint Gottardo's church in Laste, rising on a small hill from which you will be able to enjoy a wonderful view; and the Sanctuary of Saint Mary Graces, a favourite destination for Saint Mary's devotees, adorned with the works of contemporary artists like the sculptors Toni Benetton and Augusto Murer.
In winter Rocca Pietore is perfect for ice climbing lovers: here in fact you find the famous "Serrai" of Sottoguda, an impressive natural canyon that lies between Malga Ciapela, the lower cableway station, and Sottoguda. The canyon is about 2 km long, carved out of the rocks and enclosed by impressive cliff walls. It is the best known and most visited ice climbing training ground of the Dolomites, and with its ice walls and ice waterfalls it offers unforgettable thrills to ice climbing lovers.
Rocca Pietore has more than 60 km Alpine skiing tracks for both beginners and experts, with perfect snow cover. Thanks to the modern lift facilities you will reach not only the peak of the Marmolada within a few minutes, but also the other ski areas of the Dolomiti Superski resort and the Sellaronda ski route. Moreover, the Marmolada cableway is one of the most spectacular and exciting of the Alps. If you think this is still not enough, a ski bus will take you to the Civetta ski area, where you have at your disposal even more ski runs.
If you are a cross-country skiing lover, try the beautiful 15 km long track running through a silent fir forest. There are also some charming snowshoe trails, like the one running on the foot of the southern wall of the Marmolada, with view on the peak of "Ombretta's mushroom".
In summer the "Serrai" are the perfect setting for easy walks with the family. Along the path you find wooden boards illustrating many legends that will attract the children's attention, like the one of king Ombro and his daughter Ombretta, changed into a rock by her stepmother. Children will also like the Serrai Express, a mini train going from Sottoguda to Malga Ciapela through the "Serrai". In this canyon many sports events and religious ceremonies take place, like the "Serrai in notturna", a non competitive night foot race, or the beautiful torchlight walks through the canyon from the church of Sottoguda to the "Serrai" grotto. Rocca Pietore offers many other sports events, like the "Vecchie glorie" international tennis tournament in the Sottoguda tennis court and the regularity march.
You can take countless hikes in the wonderful places surrounding Rocca Pietore and its hamlets. One you shouldn't miss is the one reaching the Lech dei Giai (pool of the roosters): at the end of this slightly difficult hike you will admire a beautiful mountain pool surrounded by the Cime d'Auta peaks. If you want to practice mountaineering or just take a walk to a wonderful place, visit the "monoliti di Ronch", a group of rocks overlooking a larch forest on the Laste plateau. On the three biggest rocks there are about one hundred climbing paths, and almost all of them are of high difficulty levels. If on the other hand you want to feel the atmosphere of the ancient hamlets you can visit the deserted villages of Albe and Vallier, opposite the Sasso Bianco.