Ladin is an ancient language that has survived in Ortisei and the surrounding Val Gardena since medieval times. Ladin is a latin-based language, but is distinct from Italian. It is actually more closely related to Romansch, a minority language of Switzerland. Signs in Ortisei are in three languages: Italian, German, and Ladin.
As we entered Ortisei from Ponte Gardena, I noticed wood-carving's, what I didn't know, was this is a big Wood Carver's area in Italy.
We pulled up by the shop in my photo, "Holzschnitzereien Goller A", you can't miss it as it's on the right hand side if you are coming in the same direction as us!
The first photo show's a signpost, this is infront of the shop.
I went inside, and found the most beautiful religious sculpture's I could ever see!
Not happy that NO PHOTO'S were allowed!
Item's in the Shop ranged from small to extra large, and price's were "large - expensive!"
Well worth stopping and having a look at!
This was another Wood Carving Shop we came across just a little further along the main road.
I went inside, and the wood carver was busily working on one of his piece's. He spoke a little English and was friendly, so we had a chat.
I was allowed to wander around his shop, and I could take as many photo's as I wished!
Another shop full of beautiful wooden religious sculpture's and non-religious wooden sculpture's.
Conrad Moroder Woodcarvings are well known for their high artistic quality, the trademark under each figurine testifies it.
The maplewood Figures are of the finest quality, carved by experienced sculptors and handpainted, paying special attention to the smallest details!
The Workshop is situated in Ortisei, the main village of the famous Gardena-Valley which is surrounded by the most beautiful Dolomite-mountins in the eastern part of the Italian Alps.
The manufacturing of woodcarvings represents one of the main characteristics of this alpine valley. This craftmanship has been handed down for generations from father to son.
The dedication to their exacting craft has become a way of life for the gifted artist gathered in this renowed art-studio.
In addition to agriculture, arts and crafts were also well developed in Val Gardena by the Middle Ages, and the craftsmen of the valley had a fine reputation for their skills and diligence. They produced thick loden cloth, turned wooden bowls, and the women later made lace as well. At the beginning of the 17th century Christian Trebinger, his brother Bartlmä, and Melchior Vinazer established a craft that is today inseparable from the name Val Gardena – wood carving.
Many of them made wooden bowls and other simple utensils, while the more talented tried their hand on more artistic items, mostly statues with a religious subject. In the course of the 17th century the Val Gardena wood carvers concentrated more on works of a figural type, while some of them produced caricatures, picture frames, ornaments, animals, nativity scene figurines and children’s toys. By the 18th century Val Gardena was a major centre of wood carving, and pedlars and merchants carried the carvings and the name of Val Gardena far and wide.
Of the several thousand wood carvers in the valley, some developed into true artists, and in order to raise the general standard an art school was founded. Today wood carving is a modern industry and a genuine craft at the same time, producing individual, varied and authentic specimens of the art.