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The Dolomites / Alto Adige legends

The Savers' coat
It´s important to bear in mind that the Savers are very shy spirits that live in the woods and when they intervene and help people they do not want to reveal their presence at any cost. An antique legend tells that the shepherds had the habit of taking their sheep to the neighbouring meadows by the Sasso della Croce. As time passed,something very strange started happening. Even though the grass was very fresh and tasty, and the sheep grazed a bit here and a bit there they came back into the barn straightaway completely full. Yet they looked fit and healthy. They thought and thought about the strange phenomenon, but could not resolve the mystery. And so, they decided to spend one night hidden in the barn in order to see whether they could discover something new. And there, in the middle of the night, a small dwarf came along and took the sheep out onto the meadow until dawn. The shepherds were touched by the dwarfs attention and decided to thank him for his help. They got a lovely red jacket wrapped up and left it in fron of the barn door. The next morning the jacket was gone, but the dwarf had stopped visiting in that neighbourhood. 

The dwarfs and the shoemaker from Marebbe
The sun was already sliding down behind the mountain peaks of Val Badia and the poor Toni from Marebbe was lingering to prepare all the necessary on his desk as he was about to make a new pair of shoes. When he finished, he slowly got up from his stool, closed the door and went home. But the next morning when he opened his morning drink bottle, he realized that the shoes were already made. The strange thought about what had happened left him perplexed during the entire morning and once he got home he told everything that happened to his wife. She looked him in the eyes with her severe face, and once confirmed that her husband wasn´t lying
Il pensiero di tale stranezza non l´abbandonò per tutta la mattinata e giunto a casa, raccontò il fatto alla moglie. Questa, con un borbottio severo, lo scrutò dritto negli occhi. Poi, rassicuratasi che il marito non s´era fermato nella locanda a bere qualche bicchiere di troppo, lo esortò a passare la notte in bottega per cercare di risolvere il mistero. 
Bisogna però sapere, che il buon Toni era uomo di poco coraggio e così, non fece neppure in tempo a scoccare la mezzanotte, che già si precipitava fuori dal negozio in preda a una paura tremenda. A dire il vero, nulla di strano era accaduto, ma la mente del pover´uomo aveva iniziato a fantasticare su streghe, fantasmi e chissà quali altri spiriti ancora. Grazie al cielo, la moglie era fatta di tutt´altra pasta e prese il suo posto nascosta dietro la stufa. A un certo punto, il silenzio fu lacerato da un sinistro cigolio della porta e due piccoli gnomi apparvero con la lanterna in mano. Si sedettero al desco, presero chiodini e martello e iniziarono a lavorare di gran lena. Tale fatto toccò profondamente i due consorti che decisero di comprare un paio di graziosi vestitini e li misero in bella vista sul banco. Anche quella notte gli gnomi non mancarono all´appuntamento. Indossarono i vestitini, fecero un nuovo paio di scarpe, ma non ritornarono mai più. 
The knight Gran Bacun from San Vigilio di Marebbe
The people from Val Badia still remember the heroic co-patriot Francesch Wilhelm de Brach, also known as the <<Gran Bacun>>. Marebbe´s hero earned his honour and fame in the crusades in Terra Santa but the most important and heated affair happened in his own mountains. You should know that lots and lots of years ago, there was a ferocious dragon that lived at the foot of Sasso della Croce that attacked and ate every human being or animal that crossed its way. People started leaving those areas and the hungry dragon started going down towards the valley in the search of prey. The people weren´t safe even in their own homes and the atmosphere in the villages became very tense. Every once in a while some warrior tried to defeat the dragon at Sasso della Croce, but they didn´t even manage to pull out their sward – the dragon ate them all in one bite. But one day, a powerful warrior came from the East, and made his way from the valley all the way up to Marebbe; he was the “Great Bacun”. The news about his arrival spread across all the villages as quick as the wind and the people came out onto the streets in order to beg him to help them. The following day, Brach put on his luminous armour, mounted his trusted battle horse and went all the way to the dragon’s den. The enormous beast came out of the cavern with its jaws wide open, but the warrior without showing any signs of fear, pulled out his arrow and aimed directly at the dragon’s heart. The monster fell to the ground with terrifying cries. Then at once, everything calmed down and the valley started blossoming again.

Fodara Vedla’s white snake
Not very far from San Vigilio, there is a rich grazing land that belongs to Fodara Vedla. In the summer, the shepherds go there with their cattle. Up there, wherever you look, you can see nature that talks with its sweet melodies and the fine jingling of the animals’ bells accompanies our lovely walks. Once upon a time these kinds of places where infested by venomous snakes and only the most courageous and expert of men had the courage to explore those areas with cattle at the foot of Sas dla Pera. And as if this was not enough, as soon as night fell, these evil snakes entered the barns and drank all the milk that the cows could offer. Poor shepherds… As well as having to live in fear of their bites, they had to support their caprices.
But finally, the day arrived, when the shepherds tired of the continuous raids decided to get help from a local wizard from San Vigilio. He prepared a bag full of magical dust and herbs, went all the way to Fodara Vedla and there as it got dark started a fire and began saying prayers in order to call and get together all the snakes. The snakes got enchanted by the mysterious ritual and started throwing themselves into the fire, one after the other burning in the fire. But all of a sudden a majestic big white snake came closer with a little crown full of jewels. The wizard did not defend himself on time and the snake wrapped itself around him and pulled him into the fire. 
The following morning the locals gathered to see what had happened the night before, but only found a huge hole in the ground corroded by venom and covered in ash. But not all shepherds where that distracted – one of them found the small crown of the white snake and lived as a prince for the rest of his life.

Ms Dindia 

The sun shined and the last reddish sun rays could be seen across the windows of the big room. The young knight was talking whilst sitting at the long table with Ms Dindia. He ventured all the way to the Lamarida forest in the search of a jewel called “Rajeeta” in order to satisfy his future wife’s tantrum. As soon as she heard what he had to say, the lady gave him a tender smile and said. “The jewel that you are talking about is in the cave at the foot of the castle. But there is a very ferocious dragon that surveils the entrance of the cave. It is the same dragon that keeps me prisoner and until now nobody has ever managed to defeat it.”
The young forest man’s eyes lit up with curiosity, and so the intriguing Dindia continued to talk about the strong ties that she had with Raietta. That jewel was the gift from an evil wizard who wanted to marry her at all costs. As proud as he was, he kidnapped her and locked her up in the castle. This incredible story touched the young man’s heart so much, that he went off to the cavern with the aim to free the noble prisoner and to give his loves desire the fantastic jewel. 
The duel started soon in a ferocious exchange of blows, until the knights sward cut the dragon in half. Ms Dindia finally became free but when the young man came out of the cavern triumphantly, he fell to her feet covered in deadly wounds. At the very same moment, an agonizing cry echoed in the air and a young woman fell to the wounded body: it was the castellana from Badia that was looking for her loved one. The two ladies looked at each other for a long time in silence, then Ms Dindia picked up the lifeless body of the knight, placed him on her white horse and disappeared in the forest. 

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Dolomites - South Tyrol - Italy
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Author: Call Oliver
Wellnesshotels Südtirol | Hotel benessere Alto Adige