Südtirol is always worth a journey. Its wide valleys, high mountains, mediterranean flair and great outdoors activities attract many visitors every year to bike the valleys or ski the mountains.
Located right in the middle of the lower Etsch valley Fennberg or Favogna in Italian is accessible for everyone but not many take the journey upon themselves because the small plateau is high up in the Alps only connected to the Adige valley with a narrow windy road.
From the centuries old center of Kurtatsch (250 meters above sea level) the narrow road will first take you up the village navigating close quarters around old farms and wineries progressing up into the vineyards of Cortaccia. Ascending the side of the mountain you will start to appreciate the efforts of the vintners having to work the steep and rocky slopes to tend to their precious harvest. Further up the side of the valley the road narrows more as it ascends out of arable land into the alpine geography winding in tight serpentines. Assuming you have a manual car – by then your left foot will start to cramp from all the clutch work between 1st and 2nd gear. Then, after about 25 minutes of hard work you will reach a saddle with a first glimpse of the plateau with the Fennberger lake (1035m) right below.
Scarcely populated and beautiful! Only a few farms have been working up here for centuries growing whatever plants will survive up here and sell in the valley. The local cheese is spectacular I hear. Besides from the view the major landmarks are the lake (Fennberger See) and the church (Chiesa di Maria Ausiliatrice). Refreshments are provided by two Gasthäuser. Their opening times are heavily dependent on the season, weather and the church service.
Fennberg was first mentioned in official documents in 1144. Today the hamlets on the plateau are very popular destination for hikers and the road up from Cortaccia is frequented by ambitious cyclists.