st jakob ahrntal
st jakob ahrntal

San Giacomo Aurina

The Sun Village in the Valle Aurina presents itself with wooden sculptures, behind which the three-thousand-metre peaks tower

Numerous places throughout South Tyrol are named after San Giacomo, the Italian name of St. James, one of which can be found in the Valle Aurina valley and is known for its woodcarving. Until a few years ago, San Giacomo (St. Jakob) was the seat of the only carving school in the wider area. Even when it moved to the more central town of Brunico, the mountain village remained faithful to the old craft. The wood-carved larvae are still worn today in Krampus Runs, and the root masks are also closely associated with the Valle Aurina.

Today, San Giacomo presents itself as an idyllic holiday destination on a small hill in the Valle Aurina. Behind it, the mountain giants of the Zillertal Alps rise up to the Eternal Ice. The Gothic church near the village is dedicated to St. James - the village fountain on the church hill is adorned with a statue of the saint, whose gaze is directed towards Santiago de Compostela. It is a reminder that the Way of St. James from north to south used to lead through the Valli di Tures and Aurina.

Well worth a visit is the Sculpture Garden of the artist Jakob Oberhollenzer in the village centre, which you can also reach on the St. Leonard Path, one of the Valle Aurina Sun Paths. It starts at the fountain on the church hill and offers information stations and wooden sculptures. An excursion on horseback or - in winter - on one of the toboggan runs offers a change: On the Oberachnerfeld sledge run, snow rafting is the order of the day once a week - it is illuminated in the evening.

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