The old man and Val Venosta’s wind
The blessing of the heavenly child
“Today, the wind is blowing again”. You can regularly hear this phrase in Val Venosta. Each of the approx. 35,000 inhabitants of the valley has probably already said it. They mean the sometimes squally and usually dry fall wind that can blow quite hard across the valley floor, especially in Alta Val Venosta. Our valley can be compared to a flute tube where the wind can only release pressure at particular places to produce soft or loud music and so it enthusiastically races through U-shaped Val Venosta. And nobody else knows that better than „Korl Peppi“ from Prato allo Stelvio. No one knows exactly how old Peppi is and nobody dares to ask. But everybody agrees that there is no one else who knows Val Venosta’s wind better than he does. The wrinkles in his face show his old age but he is still full of swing and energy. As if he had a little bit of this wind that he has studied for decades inside.
“Val Venosta is a work of art of nature, a relief in the earth’s surface at the heart of the Alps. It stretches from west to east and is protected by high mountains both in the north and in the south. When air masses hit these high mountains, a part of them crosses the mountain crest and enters Val Venosta. This wind blows the clouds out of Val Venosta and this is why we have nice, sunny weather most of the time.“ According to „Korl Peppi“’s description, Val Venosta’s wind results in a solar eruption which Val Venosta’s apples can benefit from. „Korl Peppi“, who has been a farmer for decades, lovingly calls his wind “Solaris”. “We owe it a lot here in Val Venosta. In the rest of South Tyrol, they often tease us about our wind, but I believe that they are simply jealous. They know that we have much more sunshine and so they envy us because our wind brings good weather.”
And Peppi is probably right. The wind blows away the clouds during the day. So Val Venosta’s apples can sunbathe and the bees fly more often with dry weather. And even at night, the moon reflects the indirect light of the sun during crystal-clear nights. “Thanks to Solaris we even have more sunlight at night here in Val Venosta than other valleys have during the day,“ exaggerates „Korl Peppi“.
Especially in summer, the wind has two important purposes: it guarantees much more sun, but also provides pleasant cooling for tourists from cities suffering from the heat. The local inhabitants also praise the light breeze and rely on their valley’s punctual visitor that has enjoyed the status of an adopted child for decades. A heavenly child with fixed routines: Depending on the village, Solaris persistently roars from the same direction, which made trees give in to the pressure and unresistingly succumb to the energetic wind: They are all a bit slanting. Wind freaks take advantage of the reliability of Solaris to enjoy kitesurfing or windsurfing at Lake Resia in Upper Val Venosta and an increasing number of hot-air balloons offering endless views of Val Venosta’s apple paradise with its crunchy apples has recently discovered Val Venosta’s wind. With the guarantee and delight of an airy friend.