For centuries the principal activity of the valley was of an agricuktural nature, and then in the 1700s there was an emergence of artistic flair so that in the following decades many of the families passed from the land to concentrate on carpentry, sculpting, paintng, and design and decoration. The finished wooden sculptures from Val Gardena began to reach the main European markets and then made their way to the world at large. The next significant development was with the advent of tourism for there were numerous possibilities for excursions and climbing and as a result of the incoming visitors there were increased working opportunities and a new wealth came to the valley. Moving forward to today it can be said that Val Gardena is one of the most popular winter sporting locations in the world and has earned its status through hosting a number of international events. In 1970 the World Alpine Skiing Championships were held here, in 1981 Group B matches of the Hockey World Championships were held, and since 1972 the valley has been on the Ski World Cup itinerary, it having a Mens Downhill and Super G, both on the Saslong slope above S. Cristina.
The Sella Group, the central massif of the Dolomites, stands proud above the village. The village up to a few decades ago was a remote mountain location and it was only with the advent of winter tourism that it began to enjoy a strategic position for it found itself on the ski carousel of the famous Sellaronda. Livinallongo was perhaps one of the poorest of the Ladin lands through the centuries and the state of poverty reached its apex during the First World War, the front separating Austria and Itaky passing directly through this valley, and most of the local population were obliged to emigrate. In summer there is much opportunity for road cycling, going as far as Passo Pordoi and experienced hikers and climbers can enjoy the many assisted ropeways leading on to the higher peaks. The agricuktural tradition is not neglected for there is still great emphasis on milk production and preparation of much appreciated cheeses.
Notwithstanding the growth of tourism and the strength in its artisan industry the agricultural sector has kept an important role in Alta Badia life. Indeed in all Val Badia it is so, and this gives the summer months here a distinctive look as the fields are cultivated and the farmers work their trade. The sporting tradition in Alta Badia can be seen in the long history of the Alpine Ski World Cup. The Giant Slalom being held on the Gran Risa slope at La Villa.
Passing through the valley one can notice the houses decorated in bright colour with decorative and happy illustrations. This goes back to the times of great poverty in the 19th century when the local men to make a living would travel to many places in Europe and make use of their artistic skills to embelish houses, churches and palaces. Val di Fassa also has tourism, both of a winter and summer nature, to thank for its relatively recent economic upturn.