The high mountain valley has always been an important crossing from Latsch and Kastellbell in Vinschgau, where there were already settlements during the Copper Age, as seen with the menhir in Latsch. Recent archaeological finds in the ground around the Penaudalm inn and the old mountain farm suggest that this area had been used as a hunting ground not only since the Mesolithic Age but that the high plateau already had a seasonal settlement from the Bronze Age on. We are still waiting for the results of analyses to see if the buildings discovered were connected to milk processing, that is to say, cheese production.
Naturns/Naturno - Schnalstal/Senales - Karthaus/Certosa
Take the forest road (20/A7) that leads into the Penaudtal Valley. Once we have passed by the ruins of the abandoned Penaudhof farm, we come to a bridge and soon after to a wayside cross at the edge of a small plateau. The trail goes upwards again to a small locality with the strange name of “Karl Sumperer” that is overlooked by a three-armed weather cross. A number of artefacts were found here years ago near a boulder (stela). This may have been a wonderful outlook point for early hunters and shepherds because you can see virtually the entire valley from here and you also have a stunning panoramic view of the Similaun Mountains in the background. We will now arrive in no time at the highest herdsman’s hut in South Tyrol (2323 m), which in addition to offering a stop for refreshments and a bed for the night, also has a dairy with some exquisite products. On the return journey, there is an alternative trail (20A/21) from the former Penaudhof farm through the Pitair farm and back to the valley.