History and art in Valfurva

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.

Uzza and Teregua: going up the valley, Uzza is the first town after Bormio. The name seems to come from a pointed shape, a conoid where the small town is located. Its origins are very ancient: traces of the small church date back to the 8th century AD and the town was certainly built along the communication route between Bormio, Val Camonica and Trentino. The sunniest area is Teregua, a town built “between waters”, e.g. between two streams.

San Nicolò (ancient name: Flodraglio) – where the town hall is. This is where you can take the road leading to Madonna dei Monti and Val Zebrù, the most famous valley for trips in the Stelvio National Park as well as Val Cedèc, Valle dei Forni and Valle del Gavia, the valleys around Valfurva, with peaks over 3,000 m asl.   Main services such as pharmacy, bank, newsagent and stores can be found along the road connecting S. Nicolò and S. Antonio.

Madonna dei Monti and San Gottardo: these are small towns along the sunny slopes of Reit, before entering Valle Zebrù. They were probably created when families from the valley gradually made their stay in the alpine pastures a stable one.

Sant ‘Antonio (ancient name: Furva or Furvaplana, hence the current name Valfurva): home of the schools, the library, the ethnographic museum and the Stelvio National Park visitor centre.

The Testorelli Museum and the Stelvio National Park visitor centre feature evidence of all the long and interesting history of Valfurva. The buildings around them are the Valfurva cultural centre. They can be visited all year round and organise many workshops and activities for families.