The church of Santo Spirito: beauty and legends

chiesetta di santo spirito

The church of Santo Spirito is a jewel at the ends of the Valle Aurina and Tures. The church was once a destination for miners, but today it is much loved by pilgrims and visitors who are in the area for a fascinating trekking route.

Fascinating also because the place is full of legends. The date of its construction is unknown. A legend tells that in this area even before there was the church, a bell was heard ringing in the earth: digging and following the sound, an image of the holy spirit was found that no matter how many times it was moved from that point, it succeeded always returning to the place where it belonged. For this reason it was decided to build a church on the site and to dedicate it to the Holy Spirit.

The cemetery and the church of the Holy Spirit were subsequently consecrated by the prince bishop of Bressanone, Niccolò Cusano. In 1500 an expansion of the structure took place, during which the baroque and gothic works of art were secured inside. Today they can be admired freely.

The most beautiful walk is the one that goes from Casere, a village at the end of the Valle Aurina (1595 meters), towards a long and old path that crosses the valley bottom and the farms. The path continues on level ground up to the Maso Lenzer and still continues until the first huts; from here begins a descent to a bridge that crosses the Aurino stream and reaches the pretty Church of Santo Spirito, usually open to guests (1621 m; from Casere reachable in about half an hour).

To return instead we can use the same path or the path indicated by the number 12, which passes to the left of the valley and makes us cross the Aurino stream again this time on a wide and uphill bridge for a few meters to the parking lot.

Don't forget to take a look at the cross of the church, where three bullet holes are still visible. Legend has it that they were the work of a chosen shooter who was going to a shooting competition. Passing in front of the church, he decided to practice targeting the crucifix. Eventually he managed to win the race, taking home a bull. When he passed in front of the church of the Holy Spirit on the way back, the bull got mad and turned right against the shooter, killing him.

This church is the perfect place to tell stories, enjoy some nature and be amazed by this beautiful white structure that stands in the middle of the valley.