(by Elena Viotto) (ANSA) - TRIESTE, JULY 9 - Silence reigns over the fields, meadows, and woods of the Lesachtal valley, where frenzy suddenly disappears and, as time goes by slowly, residents and visitors can rediscover the old traditions in the production of natural food. In these lands, the "early Carinzia" wheat and the winter rye have been grown for centuries according to traditional methods at over a thousand meters altitude, then ground at home or in old mills to be used in the preparation of the Lesachtal bread, a Slow Food Presidium. Here begins a true experiential vacation, the right way to discover ancient flavors: in the last three years the Lesachtal and Gailtal valleys were awarded the title of world's first and only Slow-food travel destination. We are visiting a corner of Austria, a meeting point between the cultures of 3 countries (Austria, Italy, and Slovenia), in the easternmost area of ​​Carinthia, just over an hour's drive from Udine. Enjoying a holiday here entails a journey to discover the roots of good taste, combining excursions and walks, uncontaminated nature and gourmet experiences; and then genuine hospitality of the residents, committed to making tourists feel at home, through a relationship which is almost one-to-one. In the Lesachtal valley, there cannot be more beds for tourists than inhabitants. Thus, in addition to the Lesachtal bread, which is celebrated in a fair scheduled for the first Sunday of September, you can choose to taste the herbs of the valley or learn about the many properties of poppy, always used in the area to flavor the traditional dessert, a "pancake" usually baked on Christmas Eve. You may also see how the malga cheese and the fine speck of the Gailtal are produced; steal the secrets of brewing and honey production or discover the taste of Landmais, white corn, on its way from the field to the table. In three years, 600 slow-food experiences have been enjoyed. For tourists - mainly Austrians and Germans, but also (5-6%) Italians, and Dutch, Czechs, Belgians and Swiss - this area of ​ Carinthia, between Nassfeld-Pramollo, Lesachtal and the Weissensee area offers numerous fun and entertainment opportunities. In Liesing you can combine a walk in the mountains with the discovery of the genuine local "snack", the "morende" prepared by the farmers, in a ring route along the Brot & Morendenweg path, across summer mountain pastures. Then the violin museum, managed by one of Johann Lexer's sons through an exhibition of over 1,000 instruments made for pleasure, never sold and only given away as special gifts, by this local luthier with fir wood that slowly grows at the highest altitudes of the valley. At Maria Luggau you can take a walk on the path of the mills with perfectly functioning mechanisms, visit the great Basilica of the Sanctuary of Santa Maria Luggau which for centuries has been a destination for pilgrims coming from Austria, Germany, Italy and Slovenia, the garden paths rebuilt with the same species of plants used in the courtyards of the convents at the end of the seventeenth century. The beneficial mineral waters are available in Tuffbad; in Techendorf you can book a boat trip on Lake Weissensee or take a walk at the nature park. The slow-food travel project, capable of retaining the younger generations of workers and catalyzing tourism operators from various corners of the world, who come here to study its secrets and model, is extending to the whole of Carinthia with a project to rediscover ancient recipes to prepare delicatessen in harmony with nature and sustainable food production. In central Carinthia, 45 gastronomic partners came together in a consortium and some important regional projects which aim to create villages and slow food schools are also being implemented, where everything is based on authenticity and sustainability. (ANSA).

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