One of the largest municipalities of the Val Gardena, washed by the river Gardena and surrounded by Mount Seceda and Mount Rascesa and the Siusi Alpes, in addition to the spectacular scenery of the Dolomites, Ortisei (St. Ulrich in German) is a popular holiday resort, ideal all year round, thanks to its diverse tourist offer. In addition to modern sports equipment, in fact, the Val Gardena boasts 175km of ski slopes and 98km of cross-country trails at disposal of the Winter visitors and botanical walks along the well-maintained mountain trails, excursions to the most scenic peaks, horseback riding, mountain biking and trips to the shelters are only some of the activities available during the Summer months.
The name of Latin origins, attested since 1288, derives from "urticetum" (land of nettles), while the German version, documented since 1366, refers to the patron Saint Ulrich.
Since ancient times the valley was inhabited by the Ligurians, devoted mostly to hunting and gathering, in 500 B.C., coinciding with the immigration of Illyrian-Veneti population, from Asia, here started to prosper the first forms of agriculture. Traces of a Gallic settlement (360 B.C.) were discovered in the district of San Giacomo. With the Roman occupation in 15 B.C., a new language dialect took over, the Ladino, the merger between the languages spoken by the local inhabitants (Reti) and the Roman soldiers. Around 350 A.D. the area submitted the immigration of the Baiuvari, from Bavaria, who undertook a massive deforestation of the Valley. Once incorporated in the great Germanic Kingdom, Val Gardena was entrusted to the County of Norigau, which was later ceded to the Bishops of Bressanone in 1027, which, in turn, passed the temporal power to various accounts. It became part of the Kingdom of Italy after the First World War.
- the Parish Church of Ortisei, dedicated to St. Ulrich, which was mentioned in a document for the first time in 1342, features itself in a late Baroque style. In the XX century the building was enlarged by the addition of two aisles. There are some nice benches and confessionals, valuable artworks made by local master carvers;
- the Church of St. Anthony, in the Renaissance style, with a beautiful Romanesque altar, the pulpit and valuable niches.
- St. Anne's Church in the cemetery of Ortisei, already mentioned in the XV century, with a beautiful Baroque style altar;
- the Church of St. James, the oldest in the Val Gardena and accessible only on foot, built in 1181. Today it features a Gothic style on the outside and Baroque interior, where stands a majestic altar, built by brothers Vinazer in 1750. Also of interest is the fresco on the outside wall of the building, depicting St. Christopher;
- the Parish Church at San Leonardo in Bulla, in the Romanesque style;
- the monument to Luis Trenker (1892-1990), actor, director, writer and mountaineer South Tyrol;
- the Ladin Museum.