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A winter without snow

Di Antonio Caneva, 14 Gennaio 2016

An extraordinary winter, with unprecedented weather conditions.
It did not rain for months in some areas of the country, and it did not snow in the mountains.
If it does not snow in the mountains, is it still worth going there?
I was in Corvara during the holidays, and it was like listening to a choir of wails. Hotel keepers lamented the poor turnout of customers, and those who had an adequate number of guests were still troubled by gloomy thoughts. One of them, with rare ?sensitivity?, let slip in conversation that ?if they go skiing and hurt themselves, they go back home and leave me with a vacant room!?
But how to go skiing if there was no snow? Easy: favoured by cold weather that allowed for snow-making, the tracks in Alta Badia were beautiful, kept to perfection.
It?s a commonplace that the mountains can only be enjoyed if there is snow; wrong: with a little mental photoshop you can appreciate unparalleled pleasures. The burnt-colour mountains striped by white skiing slopes make for an exciting landscape; you can take advantage of the situation by taking otherwise impossible high-altitude hikes, breathing the nippy air, while the planes crossing the sky leave clear-cut white condensation trails.
The villages are well organised for tourism, and you can find all you expect of an alpine resort; in brief, in addition to skiing, you can move around comfortably without having to walk in snow up to your knees.
Why not visit the other picturesque small villages of the area? So I found myself walking on water like in the Scriptures, although it was the frozen water of Lake Braies, with relaxing families gliding about in ice skates, in an atmosphere of serenity.
Mountain huts have by now turned into gourmet restaurants, proposing different cuisines, sometimes even a little eccentric, to be honest, like oysters and fois gras.
Anyway, what more can you desire, even without snow?
If, on the contrary, the reason why you don?t go there is that a cappuccino, drunk at the counter, costs two and a half euros in any local café, well, this is another matter.

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