San Candido is a very pretty town with delightful colored houses and flowery balconies. They are everywhere in the city and spotting your favorite ones can keep you busy for hours: almost every house is a small work of art!Bikes can be rented at several locations in town and maps and basic gear provided. This is a super fun day and requires not mountain biking skills since the path is mostly flat and easy (it is not a mountain biking path).Marta Correale is an Italian mama of two. Born and raised in Rome, Marta has a passion for travel and especially enjoys showing off Italy to her kids, who are growing up to love it as much as she does! A classics graduate, teacher of Italian as a second language and family travel blogger, Marta launched Mama Loves Italy as a way to inspire, support and help curious visitors to make the most of a trip to Italy and learn about Italian culture on the way.Ciao! My name is Marta Correale, I am the travel-loving Italian Mama behind this Mama Loves Italy Blog. On this site, you will find Italy travel ideas, inspiration, guides and tips that I hope will help you plan a wonderful stay in my wonderful, complex, magical country. Read moreArticles on this website may contain affiliate links and, should you make a purchase through them, we might make a small commission at no extra cost to you.San Candido Mountain Playground, a fantastic area for kids on Mount Baranci perfect for kids of all ages and in one of the most beautiful nature playground you can ever ask for!Other things worth ordering are mixed berries (in summer) and anything with whipped cream: the local dairy products here are out of this world delicious!The ossary is one of the main mementos in the area of the heavy fighting this area lived during the first world war and it easy to visit as it is just on the side of the main road leaving the town.
me of the prettiest homes are along the main streets but do not discard the little lanes that seem to lead nowhere!The town is in South Tyrol, an area of Italy Bilingual Italian-German and therefore comes by two names: San Candido and Innichen, which you will find alternatively or together on road signs leading to the town. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. The ossuary is one of the main mementos in the area of fighting this area lived during the first world war and it easy to visit as it is just on the side of the main road leaving the town.The cemetery is pretty, walled and with nice lawns hosting graved with carved iron crosses, and it has peculiar artwork by local artist Martin Rainer, which is interesting to see both for adults and kids.
Traditional of the area are printed table cloths and kitchen apparel, tyrolean outfits (super cute for kids) and wooden sculptures especially, although you will also find fabulous food specialties such as grappa and speck.Outside, the main thing you will notice is the tower, which dates to the XII century, but the real surprise is inside: worth seeing are the ceiling frescoes and the beautiful wooden crucifix above the altar, truly touching and unique.Some of the houses are painted in pastel colors, many have wooden balconies with flowers and all are immaculately well kept, flowers, garden gnomes and wooden carvings being popular outdoor decorations in the area. A visit to a cemetery may not strike you as appealing however, the cemeteries in this area are characteristics and the one in San Candido also has some local art worth seeing. Nestled on the valley floor, San Candido is surrounded by green slopes, running brooks and it is overlooked by Mount Baranci, a breathtaking Alpine Peak towering over the town like a mighty, otherworldly guardian.As well as a family-friendly mountain restaurant you also have kids’ adventure trails, two small ponds, a fantastic mountain playground and a fun bob station, so you can swiftly come back down to the town while having a thrilling ride! The town has two main squares with shops and cafes and it also has two main churches worth seeing: the Collegiata (San Candido Collegiate’s Church) and St Michele’s church. July and August are wonderful for hiking but they get busy: this is an area with many returning visitors and it is not unusual for places to fill up for the summer already in February. Book as soon as you know you will come.The specialties here are influenced by Austrian cuisine and worth tasting are the local Apfel strudel (apple strudel), Linzer cake (buttery, with jam), ricotta cakes and kaisersmarren, a local type of pancake-style sweet served with jam. Wonderful! We have been vacationing here for years and we highly recommend it to families as a place with lots of children entertaining options, good family hotels and very many kid-friendly and even buggy-friendly hikes for all ages. If you stay at Atto, you are at the heart of Innichen. A small village in the middle of the Dolomites that still has a lively historic centre. Surrounded by nice shops and cafés, you can enjoy your cappuccino in the morning and Alpine-Mediterranean cuisine in the evening among the locals in the restaurant of the Atto.
Innichen also serves as a starting point for activities including cross-country skiing, skiing, hiking or mountain biking. There is even a small thermal bath. A shuttle service connects guests staying at the Atto with the surrounding activities in an easy and flexible way.
Occupying a northerly position in Italy’s South Tyrol, close to the Austrian border, lies the alpine village of San Candido, also known as Innichen. Clasped in the scenic splendour of the Dolomites, which rise up like a protective wall, the village’s most noteworthy landmark is the 8 century Innichen Abbey. Putting San Candido on the map for many sightseers, the church is significant as one of the best-preserved examples of Romanesque architecture in the Alps. A Benedictine monastery, the collegiate church was once a place of devout pilgrimage and today visitors can admire the Romanesque sculptures, a gothic vaulted interior and a fresco in the south portal created around 1450.Wrapped by the Dolomites, this modern eco resort pairs mountain lifestyle with simple elegance and luxury wellness vibes. An authentically pastoral location accented with the local Ladin culture that feels at once both holistic and fun.Around the springs, in 1591 a chapel was also erected, and dedicated to San Salvatore (St. Saviour) – possibly as a late resurgence of worship linked to the presence of water. Contrary to the rest of the compound, this building is still in a good state of conservation: consecrated in 1594, the chapel was originally connected to a hermitage that was suppressed in 1786 by Emperor Joseph II. Even prior to that, anyway, in lieu of the chapel there was a small place of worship, originally dating to the 8th century; in all likelihood, a Pre-Christian site of devotion related to the cult of the water Goddess. This locality is reachable today with a pleasant 45 minutes’ walk from the centre of San Candido, in the direction of Sesto/Sexten.
As a note of curiosity, it could be reminded also that the territory of San Candido represents the extreme western diffusion of the so-called ‘Harpfe’ – a characteristic wooden structure used traditionally to dry out wheat and rye, and constituted by two vertical posts connected by horizontal beams.
All in all, many events take place in San Candido, and the town displays motives of interest all year round, but the two peak seasons are of course summer and winter. Amongst these events are many exhibitions, cultural happenings and concerts, which are periodically organized by the Cultural centre Josef Resch – while at the Museum “Dolomithos” there is a permanent display of fossils and minerals that evoke the geological history of the Dolomites, the protagonists of their scientific discovery, and the local legends connected to these celebrated rocks.Even though the Collegiate Church is unrivalled in its importance and magnificence, there are also several other notable religious buildings in San Candido.
It is situated just on the other side of the “Sella di Dobbiaco” – an important watershed located just west of town. San Candido and its basin are crossed by the Drava (Drau), a river which flows into the Danube and eventually drains into the Black Sea – a geographical peculiarity in the whole of Italy, shared only by the neighbouring municipality of Sesto/Sexten, and partly by Dobbiaco itself. In the other direction, the cycle path network of the Val Pusteria/Pustertal virtually allows one to cycle the whole length of the valley all the way to Bressanone/Brixen, but it is a lot more “up and down” affair – especially in the first section to Monguelfo/Welsberg, after which descent is more steady. Around the middle of the 14th century, an attempt to turn San Candido into a market town along the important route connecting Cadore with Carinthia was contrasted by the Counts of Gorizia, as they did not wish to initiate an economic rivalry with the nearby market town of Lienz. San Candido therefore remained mainly a religious centre, gravitating around the “Chiesa Collegiata” – the Collegiate Church, which since its foundation has attracted many pilgrims over the centuries. Still today the town centre is characterized by the presence of many religious buildings (chapels and churches), as well as noble examples of houses for the local gentry, dating mainly to the 18th and 19th centuries.
In summer, as well as being the departure point for excursions to the Cime di Tre Scarperi/Dreischusterspitze (3,152 m), the highest peak of the Dolomiti di Sesto/Sextnerdolomiten, and the Tre Cime di Lavaredo, San Candido has become famous for its cycle paths.
The closeness of the frontier has also meant the presence of a high number of offices – this in turn causing the town to expand quite significantly, as housing was needed in order to host the increasing bureaucracy.
Finally, in terms of religious buildings, the “Chapel of Altötting and of the Holy Sepulchre” was erected in 1653, and now finds itself in an awkward position close to the railway line. It was conceived after a pilgrimage to the Holy Land as a miniature copy of the Holy Sepulchre at the Calvary in Jerusalem, with the idea of harmonizing it with a previous building that was copied after the Chapel of Grace at Altötting – so that it appears today, in fact, as two chapels built one inside the other. As a note of curiosity, in the interior of the chapel is the bone of a prehistoric Saur, which was brought by the founder as a ‘souvenir’ from the pilgrimage, and that has been hanging from a wall ever since.
But together with neighbouring Dobbiaco/Toblach, San Candido today is at the forefront also for the extensive use of renewable energies; the two towns are served by a unique district heating plant, fuelled by the combustion of remains from the wood mills and timber industry, with great advantages on an environmental level – something which has won San Candido some very important national and European awards.At the partition of Tyrol between Austria and Italy in 1918, San Candido – given its history and geography – should in theory have remained in Austria, being situated beyond the main Alpine watershed, but for what were then purely military reasons it was assigned to Italy instead; on that occasion, two huge barrack compounds were built, and the town – given its proximity to the border – has remained an important military outpost ever since (now, with the opening of the frontiers within Europe, this aspect has been somewhat relaxed).The centre developed around a monastery that was wanted by Duke Tassilone III of Bavaria in 769, and then constructed by the Bishop of Frisingen to contrast the Slavs – at the time still Pagan people. In fact, for centuries the locality has remained dependent on the Diocese of Frisingen – the most ancient in Bavaria – and the links with this town have led to a twinning between the two centres (in 2007). The Convent of the Franciscan was erected at the end of the 1600s, after the arrival of friars from that order in 1691. The convent is in a very nice location, facing the Rio Sesto/Sextenbach (a small stream) at the entrance of the historical part of town, and is dedicated to St. Leopold. Respecting the vow of poverty of the Franciscan order, the church does not present an impressive bell tower, and is very simple both from an architectonic and an artistic point of view. Only few of the original objects and works of art remain in the church, and most of the altars are today in Rococo style. The convent hosted also an important historical library – but this has been relocated to Bolzano. Between 1992 and 1994, the whole structure was the object of an accurate restoration to bring it to its original state, and the project won an important award (Premio “Europa Nostra”). The baths were later enlarged by Doctor Johann Schreiber, and a sanatorium was created; on a second occasion, a big hotel was also erected, the “Grand Hotel Wildbad”. The spa became very famous; even the German Emperor Friedrich Wilhelm II and the Austrian Emperor Karl I stayed there. After the passage of South Tyrol to Italy following WW1, though, the establishment fell into decline; it was then auctioned in the 1930s, and left to the neglect of passing time. Today only the external structure of the original baths remains, while the interior of the complex is in a bad state of conservation. The mineral water, in fact, comes out of four different springs, and each has a particular flavour – for example, one is sulphureous, another rich in iron.«The giant Hauno was at the head of a horde that devastated the Pustertal and – before going to raid elsewhere – left a handful of troops by the town of Sillian (now the first to be encountered after the Austrian border, where there is still a castle named Heinfels). In aid of the population of the valley, another giant appeared from the woods: his name was Huno, and he declared himself ready to help the people and conquer the castle. The fight he waged against Hauno was bitter, and he came out as a winner. The “good giant” Huno settled therefore under the mountain of the Rocca dei Baranci, and constructed the monastery of San Candido. There is no happy ending to the story, though, as after that, Huno was killed by the local people with a trick, as apparently his requests for food were excessive to them…».The parish church of Saint Michael – just a few steps away from the Collegiate Church – dates originally from the 12th century, and displays a Romanesque exterior, but in its long history it was destroyed several times, and finally refashioned in the Baroque style in the 1700s; that is how the interior still appears today. Of the original building, only the cylindrical bell tower remains, while the exterior presents arcaded windows with niches that contain statues. For the walker, to the south of town there are particularly magnificent and extensive woods – mainly of Norway spruce and larch – with easy trails suited to all abilities. After WW2 the development of winter tourism began in earnest, connected mainly to the creation of ski slopes at the foot of the Baranci (see above) and Monte Elmo/Helm (2,434 m), while cross-country ski took over along the open valley corridors of the Alta Val Pusteria/Hochpustertal towards Sesto/Sexten and Dobbiaco/Toblach (from where a wide network opens up towards Cortina, Monguelfo/Welsberg, the val Casies/Gsies, Valdaora/Olang and the valley of Anterselva/Antholz). The Italian name, San Candido, was given instead only at a much later stage, after the town became ‘officially’ Italian, and following the renaming of all place names of South Tyrol by Ettore Tolomei – the over-zealous man who masterminded (often with ridicule results) the infamous ‘Italianization’ of the province under the Fascist regime.This area can easily be reached by ‘circumnavigating’ the rounded hills to the north of town, Scheibeneck (1,954 m) and Bodeneck (1,983 m), then entering the Valle San Silvestro/Silvestertal and the smaller, solitary Blankental. This area is less equipped with mountain huts as they are intended in the Dolomites, but there are nonetheless several high-altitude farms (here known as Masi; Hoefe in German), where sometimes food and drinks are being sold in the very cosy Stuben (such as at Silvesteralm, 1,800 m).The legend of the giants Huno and Hauno is probably the most popular story related to San Candido. In fact, the German name of the Rocca dei Baranci (2,966 m) – Haunold – derives in all likelihood from the surname of a Lord – Hunolt – who used to be proprietor of the woods below that mountain.
Fascism exercised a cruel policy of repression towards all-things-German within South Tyrol, with an uncovered – and relentless – attempt to erase the cultural roots of the newly ‘conquered’ region. Needless to say, the name San Candido was plainly taken by the most important building in town – and perhaps of the whole valley: the “Chiesa Collegiata of San Candido and Corbiniano”. There are, around town, some interesting rock series, constituted by deep quartz veins, basic conglomerates, Val Gardena sandstone and Bellerophon Layers formations. From these, in the woods at the foothill of the Rocca dei Baranci/Haunold (2,966 m) – an imposing Dolomite mountain to the south of town – spring the sulphureous and mineral waters of the “Bagni di San Candido” (in German “Wildbad Innichen”). These waters – used for therapeutic baths – have been frequented since antiquity, and appear for the first time in documents dating from the 16th century. You have probably already noticed: San Candido / Innichen is a paradise for athletes, culture enthusiasts, shopping fans and connoisseurs. It captures the hearts of everyone.In San Candido in Italy, in the Three Peaks Dolomites region, holidays there are a unique experience. Whether hiking or in the saddle of a mountain bike in summer, or in the colder season, when San Candido turns into a real winter sports paradise: you are guaranteed magical moments and indescribably beautiful hours in an idyllic atmosphere here.
Hospitality, a cosy atmosphere and harmony – in San Candido everyday worries disappear in no time. As soon as you set foot in San Candido, you will be able to breathe in the fresh mountain air and be spellbound by the magnificent surroundings. The urban-inspired village centre with wonderful places to shop, and all sorts of events in every season, adds to the variety of a holiday in San Candido.Perfect for a change: the Acquafun indoor swimming pool. In addition to a 75m long waterslide and large swimming pool, it also has a non-swimmer pool and a baby pool filled with warmer water for the little ones.The varied pedestrian area in Innichen, Italy is perfect for taking a leisurely stroll along, with its range of inviting boutiques and shops. Rustic taverns and fine bars offer you the opportunity to relax and enjoy Pustertal specialties during your holiday in San Candido.Search and book your ideal accommodation in San Candido. Whether you opt for a hotel in San Candido or search for a self-catering apartment or prefer holidays on the farm or a family run “Garni” Bed and Breakfast or pension: You are guaranteed to enjoy your holiday in San Candido to the full!