Madonna di Campiglio was born in the end of the 12th century, when an hospice with a little church was built in the Campo Carlo Magno Pass (one of the most important transit way through the Alps towards the German regions, also used according to the legend by Carlo Magno and Federico Barbarossa). From 1500 the hospice lost importance gradually, till it was bought by Giovan Battista Righi of Strembo in 1868: from that time the tourist history of Madonna di Campiglio started. Righi changed the hospice in an alpine establishment, which welcomed many guests and famous mountaineers: here the members of the Alpine Society of Trentino met for the first time, and just here SAT was founded in 1872. After some years, Righi built the connection road with Pinzolo (the present old street) at his own expense, considered one of the best ways of the Alps at that time. When he died, the activity was carried on by Franz Josef Osterreicher, who renovated and modernized the establishment, creating the Grand Hotel Des Alpes of Campiglio. This hotel welcomed the Sissi Princess in 1889 and 1894 and Franz Josef Emperor in 1894 during their holidays. Madonna di Campiglio was born as the summer tourist resort for the Central European nobility, then in 1910 a group of English skiers discovered its winter beauty, making it one of the most important ski resorts of the Alps. From that time the Pearl of the Dolomites entered in the ski history, thanks also to the great international sport events that it hosted, as the legendary 3Tre ski competition, which has taking place here for 55 years and that is coming back on 18th December 2012.
CULTURAL POINTS OF INTEREST
1 Santa Maria Antica church. Granite church in neo-Ghotic and Tyrolean style of the end of the 19th century. Inside there is one nave with a wooden truss ceiling. The pulpit, the confessional and the facing of the choir’s walls have been donated by the Austrian family; another link with the royal family is the tomb of Joseph Osterreicher. There are precious art works as the crucifix in Nordic style of the 13th century (according to the tradition it was donated by Carlo Magno during his passage in Val Rendena) and the triptych over the altar (second half of the 15th century). The walls are decorated with polychrome stained glass windows.
2 Salone Hofer. This prestigious feast hall is inside the Des Alpes hotel, the old alpine establishment. Its name comes from the presence of some paintings in liberty style realized by Gottfried Hofer. The big canvas on the entry wall represents the Brenta Dolomites seen by Monte Spinale mountainside: there are some children that pay homage to the sweet and humble Virgin with Child.
The painting with the vision of the Madonna on Spinale is important because its title gives us the first attestation of the name of Madonna di Campiglio, then confirmed in a monograph written in 1900 dedicated to the resort. On the opposite wall, in two medallions with the gold ground, the painter represented the faces of the Sissi Princess and the Franz Josef Emperor.
3 3Tre, slalom stadium. “3Tre” is the World Cup slalom competition par excellence. It was born in 1948 by an idea of Rolly Marchi as an event made of three competitions (slalom, giant and downhill) and it has always kept intact its glamour and excitement.
On 18th December 2012 the “Canalone Miramonti” ski run will host again this great competition, where many international and Italian ski champions raced in the past, as Alberto Tomba, Zeno Colò, Gustav Thoni, Piero Gros, Ingemar Stemmark
4 The Empress square. The so called “Sissi rock” or “Empress square” is set along the path towards Monte Spinale: it indicates the place where the Sissi Empress was used to stop and see the panorama of Madonna di Campiglio, during her walks with the Dallagiacoma alpine guide.
This stone has the following writing in Italian and German: “A memoria-erinnerung 6 – 14 sett. 1889”, which attests the pre- sence of the Empress in the valley.
5 The Sissi Princess. At the beginning of its history as a famous alpine tourist resort, Madonna di Campiglio hosted the Habsburg Imperial Court and some famous royal members of the European aristocracy in 1889 and in 1894.
Elisabetta of Wittelsbach Princess, the famous “Sissi”, and Francesco Giuseppe Emperor were used to walk to the Brenta tops with the alpine guides and to participate in the splendid receptions of the “Grand Hotel Des Alpes”.
The Empress was used to walk in the resort, trying to appease her restlessness and melancony, made worse after her child’s death (heir to the throne).
6 Giovanni Battista Righi. Born in Strembo in 1830, he was a very witty man, considered the father of the birth and development of the tourism in Madonna di Campiglio. He bought the lands of the Campiglio hospice from the Trento Curia and realized the road which linked Pinzolo to the rising re- sort. Not without difficulty, he changed the crumbling hospice in a comfortable alpine establishement , which welcomed the first mountain tourists (then it was transformed into the Grand Hotel Des Alpes, which hosted the Austrian royal family). In behalf of the Trentino mountaineers society – the so called SAT- (founded during a meeting in this establishment in 1872), he built the Lares refuge and thought to build also a refuge in Mandrone area, in addition to a railway from Pinzolo to Condino in Val del Chiese. His sudden death, on 16th August 1882, broke off his plans.
7 Franz Josef Osterreicher. After the death of Giovanni Battista Righi, the first part of the modern history of Madonna di Campi- glio ended. His heirs, in order to face the many accrued debts, had to sell many of the goods bought by their fathers.
The selected buyer was Franz Josef Oesterreicher: a golden age started in Madonna di Campiglio, with new entrepreneurs who opened the resort to rich and important markets. People said that Franz Josef Oesterreicher was the illegitimate son of the Habsburg Emperor Francesco Giuseppe, who favored the purchase of Campiglio to find a beautiful place for his son, far from the naughtiness of the Viennese court.
In 1894, after two visits of the famous Sissi, the Emperor himself arrived in Campiglio directly from Vienna, an event that was in a class of its own. Till the First World War, Campiglio was the favourite place for the stay of the Habsburg family and the high Austro-Hungarian bourgeoisie . With the Oesterreicher family, the Righi alpine establishment became the Grand Hotel Des Alpes that welcomed the royal family and famous characters.
8 The mountaineering pioneers monument and the alpine guides museum. The monument dedicated to the mountaineering pioneers is a work by the artist Sivio Bottes: it is a simple peak on which an alpine guide is climbing. To the alpine guides is also dedicated a museum, which collects the memories of the historical alpine guides’ families and people that made famous the resort with their valour and deeds.
9 Golf Club Campo Carlo Magno. When Fritz Osterreicher transformed part of his inherited lands in Campo Carlo Magno in a golf course, he had to face some big technical problems. But he was a very farseeing man and in 1919 he committed himself to the greater golf player of that time, Mr. Henry Cotton, who projected and realized the golf course. People could used it since 1921, but it entered the Italian Golf Federation only in 1923. It was the third green in Italy - after those of Acquasanta in Rome (1907) and Menaggio e Cadenabbia (1911) – and the first one in Europe in altitude. From that time, the original golf course with 9 holes is still the same, a part from some changes and improvements. It offers a wonderful panorama on the Brenta Dolomites and it is in the Adamello Brenta Nature Park. It has a driving range, a putting 1 green, a pitching green and a club house.
10 Malga Fevri is a kind of old rural economy.
NATURAL POINTS OF INTEREST
11 The Brenta Dolomites. They are the only group of the Dolomites westwards Adige river, and they have been the destination of mountaineers and hikers from all over the world from more than one century: they offer an extraordinary variety of climbings and equipped paths, many refuges and bivouac. The group extends for about 40 kilometers from north to south and for about 12 kilometers from east to west. Its natural 4 boundaries are the “Valle di Sole” northwards, the “Valle di Non” , the Molveno lake and the Paganella group eastwards, the “Valli Giudicarie” southwards and the “Val Rendena” westwards. The whole Brenta group is included in the Adamello Brenta Nature Park area.
The Brenta Dolomites have unique rock peaks, that from dawn to dusk paint themselves pink, and majestic natual sceneries: among the most famous tops there are Crozzon di Brenta, Cima Tosa, Cima Brenta, Campanil Basso and Castelletti di Vallesinella.
12 Vallesinella waterfalls. The water gushes out from the rocks and breaks in a variety of rivers and waterfalls: they are Vallesinella waterfalls. They are crossed by Vallesinella river, divided in high and low waterfalls and are about one kilometer long totally.
13 Val Brenta. It is one of the most suggestive alpine landscape in the Adamello Brenta Nature Park, a big amphitheatre of the Dolomites that encloses the Val Brenta, once the main access to the Brenta Dolomites. The landscape of the low and middle valley, even though without the past beautiful beeches than replaced with coniferous woods, has still the features of the pastoral life of that time in the Brenta Bassa and Brenta Alta alpine huts, from which the majestic Crozzon di Brenta can be admired.
You can find Madonna di Campiglio "Family route" map at Val Rendena town halls, Pro Loco tourist offices and Tourist Board offices