The white season
Narration of South Tyroean tourist Areas during the second Lockdown
Val Gardena and Alta Badia are the two largest ski areas in the Dolomites. Others like Carezza, Obereggen and Alpe di Siusi join them on the South Tyrolean slopes. Entire valleys live and thrive on tourism, which has always been one of the main drivers of South Tyrol’s economy.
The 2019-2020 winter season, which in its final part was amputated by the first lockdown, recorded a loss of more than 20 percent in both arrivals and overnight stays. The 2020-2021 winter season never even got off the ground. Government regulations banned opening and, for most of the time, allowed the movement of people between regions only for business purposes.
The streets are unusually deserted during the 2020 Christmas vacation, and hotels and stores are closed. However, a buzz, however invisible, is there. Almost all businesses display Christmas decorations and lights, the ski slopes are groomed by snowcats and powered by cannons. The few encounters are with people busy arranging storefronts and shoveling snow- the first whitewashed season after a long series of mild winters with little precipitation.
With no one around, the architecture does the talking: ski lifts, hotels, and city centres render a surreal atmosphere of tension, expectation, and absence.