Mountain villages are the keepers of small jewels of history, architecture, and culture.
Valfurva is located on the east side of the Bormio basin and develops for about 25 km in the Ortles-Cevedale alpine mountain group, a stunning amphitheater of peaks over 3,500 m asl. It contains the largest glacier of the Italian Alps, the Forni glacier (from Tresero to Cevedale).
You can reach Santa Caterina from Bormio by taking the provincial road no. 29 to Gavia pass. It is open all year round up to Santa Caterina. The Gavia pass connects Valfurva to Val Camonica (Brescia) and Ponte di Legno. It is open in the summer months, from May to October.
There are several little villages along the valley and over the centuries they have changed their ancient toponym by choosing the name of the saint protecting their church. They all maintain interesting town centres, monuments and places related to local culture.
Santa Caterina (ancient name: Magliavaca) – It’s the winter and summer resort. While maintaining its activities related to mountain agriculture and farming, it started dealing with tourism from the second half of 19th century, especially for what mountaineering and health treatments is concerned (thanks to its ferruginous waters).
The ancient toponym “Magliavaca” probably reminds of the dangers of once marshy lands and was used for many centuries. The new name S. Caterina started to be mentioned between 17th and 18th centuries, probably when the parish Baldassarre Bellotti “miraculously discovered” ferruginous water sources.
In 19th century the Grand Hotel S. Caterina became a comfortable base for British and German mountaineers who climbed the fascinating mountains around Valfurva, as well as being a comfortable and fine home for the European elite who chose treatments based on the famous ferruginous healing waters.
Tourism was at the beginning of its history and has now become the main economic sector of the entire valley, making of Santa Caterina a true excellent winter and summer destination.