"Calalzo, another mountain town" Calalzo by mapakettle
Calalzo Travel Guide: 28 reviews and 123 photos
We've spent a lot of time in the mountains, not climbing them you understand, we're not dumb, simply curious. We find a certain appeal in the people that live here. Life is basic, and neighbours are an importatant part of the villagers life.
Everyone knows everybody, their backgrounds, their strengths, their weaknesses, their desires, their dreams, and are well aware of an occasional skeleton tucked away in the closet. They rely upon one another for day to day existance, and are defensive of their way of life.
There is no pretense, no false pride, and the fact is they accept life in the purest form. Calalzo is not a ski town, and at no time is it over run by the cursed tourist. However, it remains a great alternative for the person who enjoys the slopes, but hesitates to pay the resort prices. Cortina, a major ski resort town, is only 35 km away, an easy twenty minute drive. Something to think about for the winter months.
People come to enjoy the fresh mountain air, swim in the cool mountain lakes, and couples are often seen strolling hand in hand along the narrow streets. Countless trails are found throughout the mountain side just waiting to be explored, perfect for a picnic, carrying a wicker basket filled with local cheeses and cured meats, and perhaps a bottle of red to quench the thirst. Romance is renewed with a vengeance, and life is seen to be good.
We were here for none of the above however. We were in Calalzo to attend an old friends funeral, a man whose company we have enjoyed numerous times over the years. Therefore, I apologize for limited facts in my narration, and must content myself with expressing my feelings, and describing life as I saw it through my own eyes. No time for touring or real exploration, and a visit to the local tourist information centre just not possible.
I can say that the service at the local church was filled to overflowing, and tears were restrained. Mountain folk spoke quietly among themselves, reliving memories of Luciano's follies, and sharing thoughts and grief with family members. The sun was bright, the scenery fantastic, and the occasion enjoyable under the circumstances. A perfect day for a send off.
Calalzo di Cadore is known for its soothing mineral waters, rich in magnesium, iron and sulphates, and a drink or two has been successful in treating people with biliary and gastric problems since 400 B.C., and the mud from the shores is known to heal dermatitis and wounds of various sorts.
I admit I'm a skeptic of sorts when it comes to spas, but legends are born from facts, so I'll remain unconvinced, although open minded. The thought of lying naked under a sheet while some stranger is manipulating my fat deposits while spreading goo into my crevices is a bit of a turn off to this placid Canuck.
For me, the pleasure of visiting the mountain towns remains the slow pace, the scenery, and the peace and serenity of the surrounding countryside. Having the opportunity to sit in solitude and gaze upon the valleys below is treatment enough for Ma Kettle and me. So soothing for the troubled mind.
While wandering about Calalzo, it suddenly struck me that I noticed numerous elderly ladies laden down with shopping bags. Here I was winded from climbing the hilly streets, and all I was carrying was my camera, and yet these women are carting their groceries about. Perhaps these ladies lived in the valley below, so it is all down hill for them. Even so, for the downward trek, my calves still call for 'time out'. Mountain life does tend to give one a shapely leg, and a certain longevity.
Every bar had a gathering of local men sitting outside, chatting, sitting contently, ignoring the bag ladies passing by, strutting their stuff. Oddly, there really was a mixed bag, age wise enjoying the bar scene. I say oddly only because in North America, you don't often get a combination of young and old. Generally, the youth prefer their own age groups, whereas here in Italy, especially in the mountains, the youth give great respect to the elders. Jokes are shared, with an obvious affection for senority.
Calalzo is made up of the old town, which is located higher up on the slope, and the new part, which may be seen in the larger picture at the top of the page. In fact, the top photo actually encompasses three towns, which are slowly growing closer together, and two additional towns may be seen in the valley in the far distance. Villagers often work in one town out of necessity, and live in another.
The valley lies about 806 m. above sea level, and is serviced by Trenitalia from Padova or Venice, as well as by the Dolomite bus lines feeding from various cities surrounding the Dolomites. Treviso airport is located only 80 km away, as is Marco Polo airport 98 kms distant. Road connections are pretty straight forward as well. Easy to reach, inexpensive hotel accomodation, and great meals are available to the adventurous tourist. A day or two max. would be my guess however, before the hours would begin to drag. Certainly worth a consideration if you're tired of the usual tourist destinations.
- Pros:fantastic scenery, fresh mountain air
- Cons:isolation, but not rural living
- In a nutshell:a feeling of friends and family
Enjoy the mountain air, stop for a coffee, a shot of Grappa, and simply enjoy life in its most basic form. more travel advice
We love to wander the sreets of the mountain villages. I often forget that the photo I'm taking is a persons home,... more travel advice
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