Witches, giants and mysterious creatures… even a nightingale can be found in the numerous legends of the Val Gardena valley
The alpine world of the Val Gardena, especially the region around the Sassolungo mountain (Langkofel), have been tickling the locals’ fancy since time immemorial. In this Ladin valley, natural phenomenons and strange proceedings are explained by mysterious creatures or vigorous powers of man and beast.
In the area of the Sella Group, in previous times giants were living, indulgent beings. One legend tells of a giant named Langkofel, a true prankster, who played tricks on the inhabitants of the valley. When he also started to go out stealing, his companions decided to put an end to this. After his third trip – he insistingly denied to be guilty – he was forced by the council of elders to sink into the earth. Still today his hand rising up to the sky reminds of him, it is the Mt. Punta delle Cinque Dita (literally five-finger peak, Fünffingerspitze, in German).
It is also said, that at the foot of the Sassolungo a castle was located. When the king’s daughter saved a nightingale from the clutches of a hawk, the nightingale promised the princess that from now on also she could change into a nightingale whenever she wanted to. Only the death of a human was able to stop this metamorphosis. By singing, soon she enchanted a lonely knight who was living nearby. He was angry and chased her away by his grudge. When she finally picked up courage to return as a nightingale, she found the knight dead in the courtyard. The death of a human…. So the princess had to continue to live as a nightingale in the forest. Whenever you hear a nightingale singing more beautiful than all others in the Val Gardena valley, you can be sure, that it is the bewitched princess!