The Val di Fiemme, Italy. This place is legendary for Nordic skiers. It’s home to the Marcialonga Worldloppet Marathon, has hosted multiple Nordic World Championships and will be the Nordic venue for the 2026 Winter Olympics. Many may recognize the Alpe Cermis alpine ski area as the Tour de Ski climb where Jessie Diggins just became the first American to win the Tour de Ski.
The Marcialonga will be one of the few Worldloppet races (along with the American Birkebeiner) to actually take place in person this year (this Sunday) -- albeit with only a limited field of elite and local participants.
From my experience, the Val di Fiemme is about much more than racing. The region is especially known for its Lagrein red wine. In fact, it’s probably one of the few places in the world where a bottle of fine wine literally costs less than water (true story, ask our guests!). The cuisine also reflects the history of the region, which has both Austrian and Italian influences. Our local hotel hosts a cooking class, for example, where we learn to make apple strudel. The chef-owner of the property is quick to note that it is a vegan strudel, not necessarily for the health benefits, but because they prefer the taste of local Italian olive oil rather than the traditional butter found in most strudel recipes.
Speaking of tradition: the Marcialonga weekend includes the “Marcialonga Story” -- a vintage ski event where participants don equipment and garb that is at least from the 1970s or prior. Here is a much more in-depth story about The Story. Prizes for the Story are not awarded the fastest skier, but for the oldest equipment and best dressed. Just a few hundred kilometers from fashion capital Milan, these skiers take the competition seriously. It is a can’t-miss part of the Marcialonga festivities.
And did I mention the skiing? The Passo Lavaze plateau rivals Seiser Alm as one of Italy’s most scenic ski trails. It’s well worth the 30 minute trip from Val di Fiemme up to the plateau. A windstorm in 2019 blew over most of the trees that used to protect the ski trails and they were closed for harvesting that winter. In 2020, the trails were reopened and now offer even more spectacular views of the surrounding dolomite peaks.
See you on the trail,
Cross Country Ski Vacations