BADIA AND THE DOLOMITES
The Badia valley, together with the valleys of Gardena, Fassa, Livinallongo with Colle Santa Lucia and Ampezzo, is one of the five Dolomite valleys where Ladin is spoken. These valleys are administratively divided into two regions (Trentino-Alto Adige and Veneto) and three provinces. Badia and Gardena are located in the province of Bolzano, Fassa is part of the province of Trento, while Livinallongo with Colle Santa Lucia and Cortina d'Ampezzo belongs to the province of Belluno.
The Ladin language spoken locally differs from the zone to zone, but every single version or dialect is understandable for the inhabitants of the nearby valleys. In Val Badia we distinguish three linguistic variants: the badiot spoken in the upper part of the valley, the ladin de mesaval used in the central part and the typical marou of the municipality of Marebbe. Administratively the Badia valley is divided into the five municipalities of Marebbe, San Martino in Badia, La Valle, Badia and Corvara.
The municipality of Badia, with 3358 inhabitants at the beginning of 2011, is made up of the three villages of Badia (made up of the hamlets of San Linert / San Leonardo and Pedraces), La Ila / La Villa and San Ciascian / San Cassiano.
The Dolomites were already inhabited over 2000 years ago by Rhaetian populations. In the 15 bc Drusus and Tiberius, the two stepchildren of Emperor Augustus, arrived in the Alps with their troops and subjugated the region to the Roman Empire. From the contact between the Roman world and the indigenous population, the language we now define "Ladin" was born. Ladin was once spoken throughout the Alps, from Lake Constance to Trieste, while nowadays it is preserved only in three linguistic islands: in our territory, also known as Ladinia, in the Canton of Grisons (Switzerland) and in Friuli.
In the province of Bolzano, Ladin is recognized as an official language, alongside Italian and German. With the first autonomy statute of 1948, the Ladins obtained recognition as an ethnic group and in 1951, with a decree of the President of the Italian Republic, they were declared a linguistic group. In 1972, with the implementation of the second autonomy statute, the joint school system was made official in the Badia and Gardena valleys.
By "joint school system" we mean a school system that provides for the teaching of half of the lessons in italian and half in german, alongside two hours a week of teaching the Ladin language and culture. Ladin is also used as a vehicular language, as a support in cases where students do not understand a subject dealt with in one of the other two languages. From the fourth grade of elementary school, a few hours of english are added next to Italian and German.
Badia: Pedraces and San Leonardo
The toponym "Pedraces" is of uncertain etymology: the most accredited hypothesis (from the Latin PETRA + ACEA) traces it back to the presence of two large boulders along the Gadera river. One of the boulders is located right next to the Ustaria Posta.
Pedraces is known above all as a tourist destination: there are numerous touristic facilities like hotels, shops and restaurants in this town area. Along the way there are the main administrative and social infrastructures necessary for the life of the town.
Until 1950, one of the historic hotels in Pedraces offered the possibility of bathing in sulphurous water from the "Pantan Sarè" spring, located just above town. The first evidence of these baths dates back to 1860. Especially the Germans tourists great appreciated Pedraces as a holiday resort.
In San Linert / San Leonardo, the first church, dedicated to the Saint Leonard and James, seems to date back to before 1347. The current Baroque church dates back to 1778; it was made by Franz Singer of Götzens (Tyrol) and decorated by Mathäus Günther, director of the Augsburg Academy. The only part of the old gothic church that has survived is the bell tower, 52 meters high.
Worthy of note is the "Croce Bianca" hotel, built in 1614 on behalf of the lordship of Marebbe and restored in 1731. On the valley façade a fresco by Franz Angel Rottonara (1848-1938) from Corvara represents the abbess Gisela of the nunnery of Castelbadia (in San Lorenzo di Sebato), on which most of the territories located on the orographic right side of the valley once depended.