Novale di Laion along the road from Chiusa to the Valgardena valley is the home of the minne singer Walther von der Vogelweide
Novale di Laion is located beneath Laion at an altitude of 750 m above the junction of the Valgardena and Valle Isarco valley. This is where the road to Valgardena passes, stretching from Chiusa to Passo Gardana and Passo Sella. Novale di Laion is mainly a dispersed settlement, made up of a series of farms scattered on a sun-drenched slope round a little church. As today, close to these farms, there is also a new residential area, Novale di Laion can be called a village by implication, boasting a total of 300 inhabitants.
The church of Novale is by the way dedicated to S. Caterina and dates back to the 15th century. Several frescoes adorn the interior, one of which illustrates the Saint Urbano with a bunch of grapes, testifying the fact that viticulture looks back on a long tradition in this area. With the utmost effort, settlers have established terraces on the slopes in this altitude in order to create pasture-land and vineyards. Moreover there are also some orchards above Novale di Laion.
The most famous citizen of Novale is by the way Walther von der Vogelweide. The minnesinger of the 12th century is considered to be the most important German-speaking lyricist of the Middle Ages. The Vogelweiderhof farm in Novale is believed to be his birthplace. To his honour, a circular trail named after the poet has been established in the village, providing a great view of the Valle Isarco. Ried is also starting point for extended “Toerggele“ hikes to Laion or Albions, which is a tradition in this area.