Walking off the pizza

19 Sep

19 September 2019.

It is so wonderful to have fine Italian pizza again! Nothing in the U.S. compares, for us. Here, we each eat an entire pizza and while full, we never feel bloated or grotesque. And my jeans still zip the next morning.


The culprit: Pizza Golosa, which means ‘delicious’ or ‘gluttonous.’ Fresh mushrooms and cherry tomatoes with spicy salami and gorgonzola. Ric had a Siciliana with anchovies, capers, and olives.

Italian pizza crust is made from a type of flour that is more digestible. (Ask any Italian about digestibility and you’ll be entertained for hours.) The toppings are fresh and pure and distributed with a light hand. Each ingredient shines on its own and together, well,  Mamma mia what a product!

Pizzeria & Steakhouse La Tambra in Santa Cristina is our favorite in the Val Gardena. Usually, we make the trek to La Tambra in the evening catching the infrequent and elusive night bus back to Ortisei. The other day, while tromping around on Monte Pana and Mont de Sëura, we realized that it was almost lunchtime and Santa Cristina was only a chairlift away. Does La Tambra serve pizza at lunch? Turns out they do, and as it was a sunny day, we could dine on the terrace. But what to do after lunch? It was only 14:30 and we certainly could use some steps to retard the growth of fat cells after eating THE WHOLE THING.

Ric’s idea? Walk back to Ortisei on the Sentiero del Trenino. This mostly level path takes one between the towns of Santa Cristina and Ortisei where the WWI supply train ran from 1916-1918. Eventually, it became a tourist train which operated until 1960. This area was part of Austria when the railway was built and was annexed by the Kingdom of Italy after WWI. Some 6000 Russian and Serbian POWs were conscripted to build the line, which they accomplished in only 5 months of brutal day-and-night labor.

WWI picture

Photo from one of the informative panels along the route. 6000 Russian prisoners and 3500 locals were employed in building the WWI rail line to resupply the front. This was Austria at the time.

We started our walk a bit before the official start of the path, launching our pizza-stuffed selves off the terrace of La Tambra and making our way up to the picturesque church in Santa Cristina. The cemetery is stunning and beautifully maintained by the families. Seasonal flowers are planted on each gravesite.

More-or-less beneath the church, a tunnel used by the narrow-gauge train was reopened in 2017 with informative displays about the line. It is well worth a 15-minute detour to walk the 203-meter tunnel and study the displays. The tiny renovated station house (from tourist train days) has short films of the trains in action.

Click any photo for more detail and a slide show.

Continuing on after the church, one heads steeply downhill. We encountered cyclists going both directions but felt exceedingly sorry for one guy who was pushing a pram uphill while his wife struggled along behind. We’ve done this hill in both directions and would vote to go down every time. Ugh!

S. Cristina pat

This path is steeper than it looks. After this descent the rest of the path is mostly level.

Then the path levels out and it is a delightful stroll to Ortisei, past farms, playgrounds, and beautiful hotels. Sunny vistas are interspersed with forested sections. The 3 miles passed quickly, taking about 90 minutes including the train tunnel detour.

At least we made a dent in those pizza calories since we are back on the weekly pizza plan during out trip!

Click any photo for more detail and a slide show.


11 Responses to “Walking off the pizza”

  1. Maarja Paris September 19, 2019 at 11:10 #

    Hi Laurel, I just loved this post and I wonder how can you ever return to the states after this??? You are giving us lots of ideas! We have plans to go to Colmar in December and I’ll read your blog post again! Next week we go to Nice and then in October I’ll go briefly to Portland for my hip check up etc. I hope we can meet up over here sometime…when is your next trip over going to be? We will be back in Oregon for a while in January until about late May…we are doing a two month house exchange which will be interesting! Enjoy the rest of your great trip! Bises, Maarja

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

    • Laurel September 19, 2019 at 23:55 #

      Thanks, Maarja! Sent you an email about future plans.


  2. pagebypage14 September 19, 2019 at 10:11 #

    I love your photos! The countryside looks so green and lush. Your pizza looks delicious, as usual! I’ve been filling up on cream teas and trying to walk off the calories. Ah, vacation!

    Liked by 1 person

    • pagebypage14 September 19, 2019 at 10:15 #

      I should have signed my comment: Grier


      • Laurel September 19, 2019 at 23:56 #

        I now know it’s you… 🙂

        We do use travel as an excuse to eat what we not at home. We had gelato the other day and could not remember the last time we had done so. Probably in Ortisei last year!


  3. chloe erkenbrecher September 19, 2019 at 10:05 #

    What a beautiful area. Love the photos and miss good pizza.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Laurel September 19, 2019 at 23:58 #

      It is our favorite, Chloe! We enjoy saying “We go back every year.” Now in our 8th year, 9th visit. Next year’s plan is in formulation already.


  4. Marcia Lynn Kakiuchi September 19, 2019 at 10:01 #

    Your pizza picture and description look absolutely AMAZING. I can taste it! Yummm. I love that little train min-house. And the scenery. It just never disappoints. As I head to the gym today (every day), I am thinking of your beautiful hike rather than my monotone elliptical. HAHA. Keep posting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Laurel September 19, 2019 at 23:59 #

      Yes, this sure beats the treadmill! Much more effective, too. Doesn’t that station and tunnel picture look like a model railroad?


  5. Gayle Seely September 19, 2019 at 08:27 #

    This all sounds SO WONDERFUL. I am so glad you are doing it. Thanks for sharing.


    • Laurel September 19, 2019 at 08:58 #

      Thanks! No matter how often we come here, we find new places to explore along with visiting our favorite haunts.


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