SPECIFIC DETAILS OF THE WALKS
DAY ONE: From the Lago di Bràies to the Rifugio Biella at the Croda del Becco
Gradient: 900m in ascent, 60m in descent
Length: about 6 kilometres
Time required: 3,30 hours
Difficulty: T and E
From the Hotel, take the little road to the south which goes along the western edge of the romantic Lago di Bràies until the first inlet, then go onto the convenient path marked n.1 which follows the river bank until its most southerly point. From here begins a climb which becomes increasingly steep and tiring along the valley overlooked by the first spurs of the Croda del Becco. After going up a basin thick with mugo pine trees you reach a narrow passage created by two rocks, from where you go round the leap passing to the left and then reaching the upper furrow.
After a wood you come to a concave clearing, go up an easy rock plate and reach an area scattered with boulders where, if you look carefully, you will see a small spring. Proceeding in zigzags you will then reach the opening known as Porta sora’l Forn (or Forcella Sora Forno-Ofenscarte), 2388m near a votive chapel.
Going down a little you come to the Rifugio Biella at the Croda del Becco, 2327m, over which looms the huge sheer rock face of the characteristic, extremely peculiar Croda del Becco, 2810m, easily reachable along a fairly good path in the rock in about 1hr15 mins from the refuge. Superb view from the top.
3,30 hours from the Lago di Bràies to the refuge.
The Rifugio Bràies, a solid three-storey brick construction standing all alone in a clearing in a lunar landscape, is owned by the Treviso Section of the CAI (Italian Alpine Club). It was built in 1906 and renovated in 1926. It offers the same services as a small hotel (with a Nepalese cook) and is open from 20th June – 20th September. It can sleep 53 people, plus another 6 in the winter shelter. Lighting with generator, water and toilets inside. CNSAS “118” Rescue Station. Tel: 0436 4467
DAY TWO: From the Rifugio Biella to the Rifugio Fanes
Gradient: in ascent 565m; in descent 830m
Length: about 14km
Time required: 4,30 hours
Paths: n.6 and 7
To get from the Rifugio Biella to the Rifugio Sénnes you can follow either of the following routes:
Take the convenient road marked n.6 which goes round in a huge “s” shape and takes you easily to Sénnes in about an hour, or
Go along the above road for about 1km, then take the path which branches off to the right (south-west; altitude 2260m; also marked n.6) and goes up through moorland to the nearby wide crest. Then go down the grassy depressions opposite or go down to the south-west, then to the south, until the dirt-track from where you will soon reach the Rifugio Sénnes, 2116m. This route takes about the same time as route a), but it offers more interesting flora and better views.
1 hour from the Rifugio Biella
The Rifugio Sénnes, which is privately owned, lies near the characteristic group of Alpine huts which are dotted around the pastureland plateau of the Alpe di Sénnes, a place of calm and peace with the backdrop of the Croda Rossa d’Ampezzo, the Cristallo and the Fànes. It offers the same services as a small hotel, and is open from 1st June – 15th October, from 26th December – 9th January and from 1st February – 30th April. It sleeps about 50; no winter shelter; tel: 0474 50 10 92.
From the Sénnes, take the road marked n.7 and go southwards, firstly slightly downhill via the grassy depressions across the vast Pian della Lasta. Then, after leaving to the left (south-south-east) the path (also marked n.7) for the Rifugio Fodàra Vedla, continue south- west , remaining on the road. Then go into the narrow gorge between the Pici Parëis and the Col di Rü and goes rapidly down the valley in sharp bends to the flat stretch where you will find the Rifugio Pederü, 1548m.
1,30 hours from the Sénnes
2,30 hours from the Biella
The Rifugio Pederü is also privately owned and offers basic hotel services from the beginning of June to 20th October and from 26th December to 20th April. Sleeps c.30; no winter shelter. Tel: 0474 50 10 86.
From the Rifugio Pederü the Alta Via n. 1 continues through the Valùn de Fànes along a fairly boring carriage – road, although the surroundings are quite interesting.
It is advisable to ask the refuge manager to take you to the Rifugio Fànes in his landrover.
If you decide to continue on foot, you can follow either the road or the shortcuts on path n.7, passing through a fascinating, desolate, almost lunar environment . The surrounding peaks are strangely coloured and have a peculiar charm.
Once past the beautiful little lake of Le Piciodèl, 1819m, you pass alongside the Rü dal Plan (Torrente del Piano), up some bends, and at an altitude of 1988m, you turn decisively south. At 2022m, leave to the right (south-west) the road for the nearby Ücia Lavaréla (Rifugio Lavarella, 2042m), go over a little bridge and reach Ücia de Fànes or the Rifugio Fànes, 2060m.
2 hours from the Pederü
4,30 hours from the Biella
The Rifugio Fànes is a fine, comfortable wood-panelled building. It is privately owned and sleeps c.60. Bar, guesthouse, restaurant, tavern. Open from the beginning of June to the middle of October and from 26th December to the end of April; no winter shelter; tel : 0474 50 10 97
The nearby Rifugio Lavarella is somewhat smaller and more modest, but comfortable. Open from the beginning of June to the beginning of October and from the middle of February to the middle of April. Basic hotel services. Sleeps about 30. The 7-12 path links it to the Alta Via just south of the Rifugio Fànes. Winter shelter. Tel: 0474 50 10 79.
DAY THREE: From The Rifugio Fànes To The Rifugio Lagazuòi
Gradient: in ascent 1070m; in descent 375m
Length: about 11 km
Time required: 5 hours
Path: n. 10-11, 20b, 20
From the Rifugio Fànes (known locally as Ücia de Fànes), follow the road marked n.10-11, which, after three sharp bends uphill, comes out onto the lunar plateau which leads to the Passo (pass) di Limo (Ju de Limo), 2174m, and to the nearby Lago di Limo (Lé de Limo), 2159m.
South of the lake you meet first path n.10, then the road with the same number; both branch off to the left (east) and go towards the Val di Fànes and Cortina d’Ampezzo.
You should instead continue to the right (south) along the dirt-track road, marked n.11, following the pastureland hillocks, which soon lead to the Ücia di Gran Fànes (Malga Fànes Grande), c.2100m.
Just after the malga (alpine hut), path n.17 branches off to the left. Ignore it, and follow path n.11 to the south-west. This leads to the Ju da l’Ega (Passo Tadéga), 2157m; from here you go up to the south along the Gran Pian.
At a height of 2117m, just before the end of the dirt-track road, take path 20b to the left (south-east), which goes up decisively to the Forcella del Lago, 2486m, between the bold Torre del Lago and the grand Cima Scotóni in the Fànis Group.
From the forcella (saddle), go down southwards through steep scree, among boulders, until you reach the splendid oasis dell’Alpe or Monte de Lagazuòi, with the magical, sparkling Lago di Lagazuòi, 2182m, in whose waters is reflected the bold structure of the Torre del Lago and the Cima (peak)Scotóni, with the immense rock gate of the Cima Fànis Sud.
Follow the shore of the lake on the western side and, just after, leave path n.20b, which branches off to the east and continue on n.20 southwards.
The good path covers all of the charming Monte de Lagazuòi and reaches the Forcella Lagazuòi, 2573m. From here it then goes up to the Rifugio Lagazuòi, 2752m, and to the arrival station of the cableway coming from the Passo Falzàrego.
5 hours from the Rifugio Fànes.
The Rifugio Lagazuòi is a comfortable building connected to the Passo Falzàrego by the cableway. Almost always open, privately owned, basic hotel services. Excellent stop-of point, not least because of the spectacular views, particularly attractive at dawn and at dusk. Tel : 0436 86 73 03
DAY FOUR: From The Rifugio Lagazuòi To The Rifugio Nuvolàu
Gradient: in ascent 635m, in descent 810m
Length: about 15 km
Time required: 5,30 hours
Path: n.20, 401, 402, 404, 403, 412, 440
From the Rifugio Lagazuòi you follow path n.20 northwards and return to the Forcella Lagazuòi, 2573m. Here you take path n.401 to the east, which soon takes you to the Forcella Travenànzes, 2507m, from where you look out on to the characteristic Val Travenànzes, surrounded by austere peaks and famous rock walls streaked with a myriad of colours.
From the Forcella Travenànzes you can go down directly and easily to the Passo Falzàrego by path n.402 and from there continue on the Alta Via, but this would mean missing out one of the most beautiful stretches. Therefore, we recommend continuing as described below.
Proceeding northwards on the northern side of the Cima Falzàrego and the Col dei Bòs, keeping on path 401-402 which here has double signposting, you reach the Forcella Col dei Bòs, 2331m, at the foot of the tragically famous rock fortress of Castelletto, theatre of heroic battles during the Great War. (see Variant 1).
Meeting point of paths. The 402 goes down directly to the locality of Ra Nona (where we will in any case arrive later), while a paths goes up northwards towards Castelletto and then onto the Ferrata (equipped mountain route)Livella.
Take path n.404 which runs eastwards beneath the beautiful rock face of the Tofàna di Rozes, and offers excellent views. It is possible, along this stretch, to visit the Grotta della Tofàna, which opens out above a leap which can easily be reached (signs, secure inexperienced walkers, lamp).
Keep on the 404 until the Valon de Tofàna at a height of 2375m at the meeting point with the 403 which from the Rifugio Dibona goes up to the Rifugio Giussani. With a clear diversion south, go down by the 403, zigzagging until you meet the road which comes from the Dibona and ends here.
It is not absolutely necessary to reach the nearby Rifugio Angelo Dibona, 2037m, but, as it was built in honour of the great guide from Cortina, a visit is highly recommended. Privately owned, comfortable, open almost all year, basic hotel services and overnight accommodation; tel 0436 86 79 38.
From the road above, take path 412 which takes you decisively south-west, passing under the bank of rocks which support the path 404, which we have just left. This stretch is also called “sóte còrdes” in Cortina dialect, i.e. under the ropes, because the rocky rib appears just like a cordon of ropes.
The path continues quite high up, passes the ruins of a shepherds’ shelter and, at Rozes, 2183m, meets the military road which goes up towards the Forcella Col dei Bòs. Now, partly following the road and partly following the shortcuts, the 402 goes down to the south-west and comes on to the SS48 delle Dolomiti at Ra Nona (the ninth bend of the road), 1985m, where you can stop for refreshment.
Follow the SS road for about 300m southwards and, at a bend which cuts through a marshy area, take path 440 which goes sharply south, then east and then south-east for I Casonàte. Then, go up quite steeply, on a basically good path, firstly through sparse woodland, then through the little Potòr valley, reaching the large knoll of rock slabs mixed with scree, sparse pastureland and a dirt-track road north of the Monte Averàu, not far from the Rifugio Scoiattoli, 2255m. You can avoid the road (numbered 439), by following the 440 which soon reaches the Rifugio Averàu, 2413m, near the Forcella Nuvolo.
Following a good path up the sloping side of the mountain, you soon reach the beautiful esplanade of the summit with the Rifugio Nuvolàu, 2575m.
The Rifugio Nuvolàu, owned by the Cortina d’Ampezzo Section of the CAI, was built on the look out point of the Cima Nuvolàu in 1883 and later rebuilt in 1970. Exceptional stop-off point, offering fine hospitality and spectacular views at dawn and dusk. One of the most spectacular, boldest structures in the Dolomites (high precipices drop down on three sides), it is open from 20th June – 30th September and offers basic hotel services. Sleeps 24; water inside; toilets outside; lighting with generator; CNSAS “118” Rescue Station. Tel : 0436 86 79 38.
Variant 1: Through The Galleria Del Castelletto
From the Forcella Col de Bòs, 2331m, where path 402 goes down to the south east and the 404 continues to the east, take the path (sign table) which goes north-east and leads to the Galleria del Castelletto, a rock spur famous for its role in the Great War.
It was the pillar of the Austrian defence towards the Val Travenànzes and dominated the Italian positions of Val Costeàna. At 3 o’clock on July 11th 1916, the peak of the Castelletto was blown up with 35 tonnes of nitrogelatine, with many casualties among the Austrian troops.
The gallery can be visited, obviously with a lamp, first conquering a rock wall equipped with metal ropes (traces of an encampment), then entering into the belly of the mountain, zigzagging up with a gradient of 100m in ascent and a development of some 500m, with the help of wooden steps and a handrail. There are signs indicating the various weapon pits. You finally come out onto the rock face not far from the crater of the explosion.
If you would like to continue on to the Ferrata Lipella, proceed on the Val Travenànzes side along a long ledge downhill to the beginning of the metal ropes.
If you want to get back onto the Alta Via n.2, follow a ledge and go down by a route equipped with a metal rope, until you re-take the path which leads back to the Forcella Col dei Bòs, from where you continue as indicated for day four.
DAY FIVE: From The Rifugio Nuvolàu To The Rifugio Città Di Fiume
Gradient: in ascent 260m, in descent 915m
Length: about 11 km
Time required: 5,30 hours
Path: n. 438, 443, 436, 458, 467
Difficulty: EE, EEA in the descent from the Rifugio Nuvolàu to the Passo Giàu.
From the Rifugio Nuvolàu, after a few metres, you go on to the south-west side of the summit esplanade where you go immediately down by a rock leap with the help of a ladder and some metal ropes. The trace of the path which follows is marked 438 and leads to a large valley scattered with grooved rock slabs, from which you go briefly up to a little crest ridge which leads to a gorge which goes down towards the Giàu.
The gorge is crossed by a path which conquers easy rock leaps (the less experienced should be prudent) and, at the bottom there are even some fixed ropes. Finally, the road leads to the left, at the top of a steep grassy ridge, parallel to the gorge, which you go down in sharp zigzags. At the bottom you touch on the gorge again, which you then immediately leave behind and go on to a convenient path which leads you through boulders and then pastureland, and finally onto the knoll which descends smoothly and easily down to the Passo Giàu, 2236m, where there is an excellent hotel and restaurant.
1,15 hours from the Rifugio Nuvolàu.
At the Passo Giau you immediately take to the south-east, beyond the road, path 436, which crosses the vast area of grassland and leads to the Forcella di Zonia and then enters and climbs up a valley west of the Col Piombìn until the saddle of the same name, 2239m. Beyond the saddle you cross until you enter the wild Val Cernèra, which you cross to the east. With a final, easy, zigzagging climb you reach the large Forcella Giàu, 2360m, which was already visible from the Passo Giàu and from where there is an extraordinary view over the Lastoni di Formìn, the imposing base of the Croda da Lago, and the pock-marked stretch of pastureland which goes as far as the Forcella Ambrizzòla.
Passing under the vertical Dolomite walls of the Lastoni (or Lastöi), you pass some 50 metres of gradient above the clear waters of the Lago Delle Baste, 2281m, and then (at an altitude of 2175m), close by the mesolithic site of Mondevàl (worth a visit; it is fascinating) and the nearby Casèra (hut) di Mondevàl di sopra, 2158m, where you can find some simple shelter in case of necessity.
If you have stayed at altitude (i.e if you didn’t go down to the site and the casèra, continue eastwards on path 436, until you go up a little and reach the Forcella Ambrizzòla, 2277m; if you set off from the casèra and then from the site, you cross the pasture, first to the south-east, then to the north-east on path n.446, and this will take you to the same saddle.
2,45 hours from the Rifugio Nuvolàu.
From the Forcella Ambrizzòla (from the saddle, go down path n.434 to the north for the Rifugio Palmieri and the Lago de Fedèra or Lago da Lago; see Variant 2), continue south, almost at altitude, on path n.436, which soon passes across the Forcella Col Duro, 2293m, from which you go down first among boulders, then pastureland, towards the Casèra Prendèra, 2148m.
Here the n.436 goes eastwards, and after passing under the four peaks of the Rocchetta, goes down to San Vito di Cadore.
Take the n.458 to the south -east, which goes to the Forcella di Col Roàn, 2075m, and then to the Forcella Roàn, 1999m. After a wooded hillock, it reaches a pastureland shelf where you will find the Forcella de la Puìna (= ricotta), 2034m, from where you can easily continue south-west until you reach the Rifugio Città di Fiume, 1918m.
4,30 hours from the Rifugio Nuvolàu.
Owned by the Fiume Section of the CAI, the Rifugio Fiume is a renovation of the Malga Durona, carried out in 1964. Open from 15th June to 15th September, it offers basic hotel services. Sleeps 31; electricity; hot water and shower; inside toilets; winter shelter sleeping 6; CNSAS 118 Rescue Station. Tel 0437 720268
Variant 2: From the Rifugio Nuvolàu to the Rifugio Fiume via the Rifugio Cinque Torri and the Rifugio Palmieri
This stage is useful for those who prefer not to tackle the equipped route which goes down to the Passo Giàu, or for those who intend visiting the charming spot where the Rifugio Croda da Lago is situated. This stage is straightforward and easy, but a bit longer than the one above, and it also does not contemplate the visit to the mesolithic site of Mondevàl (unless you go down for the purpose from the Forcella Ambrizzòla).
From the Rifugio Nuvolàu, go back northwards, on path 439, to the Forcella Nuvolàu, and take the little road (keeping to the 439) north-east until you come to a fork. To the left (north) you can soon reach the Rifugio Scoiattoli, 2255m (privately owned, basic hotel services, open also in winter), where the Rifugio Bàin de Dònes chairlift arrives at the SS48 Dolomiti road, convenient for anyone wanting to “give up”. Continue to the right (north-east) and you will soon reach the Rifugio Cinque Torri, 2137m.
The Rifugio Cinque Torri, just behind the small, majestic Dolomite towers, the pride of the Cortina basin, is privately owned. Open from June to September, basic hotel services, sleeps about 20. Tel 0436 29 02.
From the Rifugio Cinque Torri, go down for a bit until you reach a fork. From here, follow to the right (east) a little road (still marked 439), which soon afterwards turns northwards in the direction of the SS48 road. You should instead continue to the east on path n.437 which goes down to the Ponte (bridge) de Rucurto, 1708m, on the SS638 road from the Passo Giàu.
After crossing the road, you should immediately re-take the 437 eastwards and go up a wooded hillock and a rock terrace, then pass the torrent of the Val Formìn, north of the Croda da Lago group. Here you will meet the good path – mule-track n.434. Take this path and go up, first following some steep hairpin bends and then almost on the flat, through the Val Negra, until you reach the lovely spot where the Rifugio Croda da Lago “Gianni Palmieri” is situated, 2046m, on the southern edge of the romantic Lago Fedéra or Lago da Lago.
About 4 hours from the Rifugio Nuvolàu.
The Rifugio Croda da Lago is owned by the Cortina Section of the CAI and is named in honour of Gianni Palmieri, who was awarded the Gold Medal of the resistance. It is built on the banks of a beautiful alpine lake, in whose waters are reflected the bold pinnacles of the Croda da Lago Group. Built in 1901 and renovated in 1947, it offers basic hotel services for 47 people and is open from 15th June to 20th September. Water inside; inside and outside toilets; shower; winter shelter for two people; CNSAS 118 Rescue station. Tel: 0436 20 85
From the Rifugio Croda da Lago – Palmieri, take the convenient mule-track marked 434 to the south, which in about an hour will take you to the Forcella Ambrizzòla, 2277m, from where you continue for the Rifugio Città di Fiume as already described on day five. 6,30 from the Rifugio Nuvolàu.
DAY SIX: From The Rifugio Città Di Fiume To The Rifugio Venezia And Pala Favèra
Gradient: in ascent 580m, in descent 990m
Length: about 12 km
Time required: 5,30 hours
Path: n. 480, 472, 474
Difficulty: EEA on the “Gino Flaibani” Path, then E
From the Rifugio Città di Fiume, follow the good mule-track marked 480 to the south, which will soon take you to the Forcella Foràda (Foràta, on the map), 1977m. Leave the mule-track, which continues north-east for the Val de Foràda, and go southwards, still on the 480, on the “Gino Flaibani Path (looked after by the Fiume Section of the CAI), which allows you to cross, and thus also to “circumnavigate” the massif of the Pelmo.
Go back on to the south-east and go up a steep gorge, follow sparse pastureland at altitude and go down a little until you reach a grassy shoulder which starts from the Cima Foràda.
On the right (south), the wild Circo di Val d’Arcia opens out; until just a few years ago it contained a small glacier.
From here a tiring ascent up the subsidence-prone cirque (with a splendid view over the superb northern walls of the Pelmo) and a final effort will take you to the Forcella di Val d’Arcia, 2476m, a little window on the great Cadore area.
2,15 hours from the Rifugio Fiume
From the saddle, go down on the right (south-east), cross two imposing gravelly gorges and follow the good tracks to a large, clearly evident col with a large rock spur. From the col, descend diagonally down the huge stream of scree which comes down from the Forca Rossa, pass nearby the beginning of the Cengia di Ball (normal route for the peak of the Pelmo) and, continuing in a southerly direction, you reach the Rifugio Venezia “Albamaria De Luca”, 1946m.
1,15 hors from the Forcella Val d’Arcia
3,30 hours from the Rifugio Città di Fiume
The Rifugio Venezia is an excellent stop-off point for those who wish to extend by one day their Alta Via trip, or extend by a couple of hours the easy, fantastic next stage.
The refuge is situated on a knoll at the Sella (or Passo) di Ruturto, 1931m, in an enviable position offering fabulous views over the nearby Cadore Dolomites and at the base of the superb north-east pillar of the Pelmo. Departure point for the Cengia di Ball and the peak of the Pelmo.
Owned by the Venice Section of the CAI, the refuge was built in 1892 and renovated in 1954. Open from 20th June to 20th September, it offers basic, friendly hotel services. Sleeps 76, plus 9 in the winter shelter. Inside bathroom services with hot water and shower; lighting with generator; CNSAS 118 Rescue station. Tel : 0436 9684
From the refuge you a moderate climb southwards on path n.472 will soon take you to the Sella di Ruturto.
From here, continue to the south-west, with an easy traverse under the imposing walls of the southern shoulder of the Pelmo until the Lac (Lach), where the Val de Cuna and the Costàuta meet at an altitude of c. 1968m. Now turn west, pass at the southern base of the imposing Pelmetto in the locality of Le Mandre, and you will come close to the Col delle Crepe Cavaliere, where path 472 continues for the Passo Staulanza.
Take path 474 to the left (north-west), on marshy ground, which just afterwards turns decisively to the south-west and goes down the Val del Ru Bianco until it comes out onto the SS251 road at Palafavèra, 1507m (Pala Favera, on the map, where you can find a few hotels-refuges and a campsite.
2hours from the Rifugio Venezia
5,30 hours from the Rifugio Città del Fiume.
At Palfavèra the Rifugio Monte Pelmo, open from June to October, sleeps 9 and offers basic, friendly hotel services. Tel: 0437 78 93 59 ; email email@example.com
The Rifugio Palafavèra, which is a littler bigger, is open from June to October and in the winter season; it sleeps 25 and offers hotel services. Tel 0437 78 91 33 ; email : firstname.lastname@example.org ; website : www.palafavera.com
The Palafavèra Campsite has 200 spaces (they do not rent tents) and a grocer’s shop (useful for stocking up on any necessary supplies before the long Civetta-Moiazza traverse); tel 0437 78 85 06
Variant 3: From The Rifugio Città Di Fiume To The Passo Staulanza
If for any reason you wish to end your Alta Via trip at the Rifugio Città del Fiume , or in the event of bad weather, for example, you prefer not to risk going round the Pelmo through the Forcella Val d’Arcia and the Flaibani Path, you can take, from the refuge, path n.472 (but also the road which goes via Malga Fiorentina, 1799m), which in an hour and a half takes you, after skirting to the west the scree of the large basin of the Val d’Arcia, to the Passo Staulanza, 1766m, on the SS251 road.
Refreshment available in the Rifugio-Albergo Passo Staulanza (sleeps 40; always open. Tel : 0437 78 85 66).
Palafavèra is just over 4km south from here and can be reached by the SS251 road.
2,30 hours from the Rifugio Fiume.
Variant 4: From the Rifugio Fiume to the Rifugio Venezia and Palafavèra
Until the Passo Staulanza, as for variant 3 in 1,30 hours.
From the pass, keep on the 472 (Anello Zoldano), pass the Col delle Crepe Cavaliere and, via the Triól dei Cavai (Horses’ Path) and the Sella di Ruturto, you reach the Rifugio Venezia, 1946m.
From here, retracing your steps, you will reach Palafavèra in 2 hours, as described in Day Six.
5,30 hours from the Rifugio Fiume.
Variant 5: From the Rifugio Fiume to the Rifugio Coldài via the Casèra Bèla Mont or Vescovà and Pioda
From the Rifugio Fiume to the Passo Staulanza as for Variant 3; 1,30 hours.
From the pass, follow the SS251 road south –west for about 750m until you come to a fork on the right (west) from where a little road takes off, marked 568. follow it until the fork at an altitude of c.1700m.The right branch (west) continues towards the Casèra Fontanafredda. Take the left branch (south-west), which goes to the Casèra Monte Bòi Vescovà or Bela Mont 1722m (refreshment), an hour from the Staulanza.
After you leave the road, follow path n.561 (Anello Zoldano) to the south-west, then south-east until you get back onto a little road at an altitude of 1885m. From here, about 400 metres further on, a path takes off to the right (west) which leads to the Forcella di Alleghe, 1816m, and to the nearby Casèra di Pioda; about one hour from the Casèra Vescovà.
From Pioda, take the good mule-track marked 556 and in less than an hour you will reach the Rifugio Coldài, 2132m.
4,30 from the Rifugio Fiume.
DAY SEVEN: From Palafavèra To The Rifugio Coldài, The Rifugio Tissi And The Rifugio Vazzolèr
Gradient: in ascent 850m, in descent 650m
Length: about 14 km
Time required: 6 hours
Path: n. 564,556,560(563)
From the SS251 road, after the Palafavèra Campsite, a little military road marked 564 (closed to cars) branches off to the west and leads to the Casèra di Pioda. From here, follow the good mule-track marked 556 which goes up the wide, sparse pastureland to the Rifugio “Adolfo Sonino” at Coldài, 2123m.
About 2 hours from Palafavèra.
The Rifugio Coldài, built in 1911 and renovated in 1999, lies on the northern edge of the grand Civetta Group, at the head of the Val de le Ziolère, near the Forcella Coldài. It is owned by the Venice Section of the CAI, and is open from 20th June to 20th September. Basic hotel services, sleeps 88, plus 8 in the winter shelter. Inside toilets with hot water and shower; lighting with generator, CNSAS 118 Rescue Station. Tel : 0437 78 91 60
At the Rifugio Coldài begins one of the most majestic stretches of the Alta Via n.1; it is not particularly tiring and presents no difficulties, and it includes the opportunity to see the great northern wall of the Civetta, the “Wall to end all Walls”, the Wand der Wände, as it is called by the Germans, who are great lovers of this mountain.
From the refuge, you go up in a short time to the Forcella Coldài, 2191m, and descend the opposite side down the gravelly basin right on to the banks of the pretty Lago Coldài, 2143m, which reflects the bold rock walls above.
Going round the west bank of the lake you go up to the Forcella di Col Negro, 2203m, from where there is a magnificent view of the Torre d’Alleghe at the peak of the Civetta.
Now the path goes down a little into the Val Civetta proper, ignoring the traces which lead in the direction of the walls which are clearly visible from here, superb and striking. Then, from the hollow at 2030m, the path goes up again to the wide Forcella del Col Reàn, 2107m. Just before the saddle path n.563 takes off to the right (north-west) and leads, after a brief climb, to the Rifugio “Attilio Tissi”, 2250m, almost at the top of the Col Reàn, from where there is an incomparable view over the Lago di Alleghe to the north-west and the huge Civetta to the east.
2 hours from the Rifugio Coldài
4 hours from Palafavèra.
The Rifugio Tissi is named after the excellent mountaineer and politician from Belluno and is owned by the Belluno Section of the CAI. It was built almost at the top of the Col Reàn in 1963 and extended in 1986. It is open from 25th June to 20th September, offers basic hotel services and sleeps 64, plus 6 in the winter shelter. Toilets and shower with hot water inside; lighting with generator, CNSAS 118 Rescue Station. Tel : 0437 72 16 44
From the Tissi it is best to go back to the Forcella Col de Reàn and take path n. 560 which descends firstly towards the south-west and then to the south towards the picturesque Pian de la Lora, passing by the what is left of the Casòn de Col Reàn, 1895m, dominated by the gigantic rock barriers of the Cima De Gasperi, Su Alto and Terranova. Going easily up, you reach the Sella di Pelsa, 1914m, with a charming view over the Cantoni di Pelsa, huge needles of twisted dolomite rock.
The splendid walk continues across the Pian di Pelsa under the western wall of the Torre Venezia, then you go down near the nearby green pastureland plain of the Case Faretti from where you enter a little road which runs under the imposing south wall of the Torre Venezia.
Lastly, you cross a thick wood and suddenly find yourself in the peaceful oasis where the Rifugio “Mario Vazzolèr” is situated, 1714m.
c.2 hours from the Rifugio Tissi
6 hours from Palafavèra.
The Rifugio Vazzolèr, owned by the Conegliano Veneto Section of the CAI, was built in 1929 and renovated in 1992. It is open from 15th June to 30th September, offers basic hotel services and sleeps 84, plus 8 in the winter shelter. Electricity. Outside and inside toilets, hot water and shower; CNSAS 118 Rescue Station. Tel: 0437 66 00 08
DAY EIGHT: From The Rifugio Vazzolèr To The Rifugio Carestiato
Gradient: in ascent 550m, in descent 430m
Length: about 8 km
Time required: 4 hours
Path: n. 555,554
After you leave the peaceful oasis of the Rifugio Vazzolèr, take the road which goes north for a bit, inside the wood, until you reach the bed of the torrent of the Val dei Cantoni, at an altitude of 1685m, where the path veers abruptly eastwards and continues towards the Pian de le Taie where there is the fork with pathn.558 which goes up towards the huge Torre Trieste.
Continue down the dirt-track road which goes down the Val Corpassa until the Capanna Trieste and Listolàde, on the SS203 road, in the Agordino area. At the second large bend at an altitude of 1430m, at Sass de la Dispensa, with a little green pastureland clearing, path 554 breaks off to the left (south). Follow it, and after a stream of scree, the path goes up slowly across the hillside among the mugo pines under the high precipices of the Castello delle Nevère, then crosses a little valley, reaches a small shelf and continues under the threatening streams of scree (Giarói or Ghiaoini del Palanzìn), until it reaches the grassy Forcella di Col Palanzìn, c. 1700m
The path continues among the trees, then cuts through the scree on reddish outcrops and reaches the Forcella Col dell’Orso, c.1700m. Go through a grassy bank with some trees and continue behind the rocks to the Forcella del Camp, 1933m, from where the path, beyond the spur, goes northwards.
Up to this point, about 2,30 hours from the Rifugio Vazzolèr.
Now cross under the Tridente and the beautiful Torri del Camp, from where the southern sector of the Molazza is already visible. Go down to the east in the Van dei Cantòi, cross a wooded area, pass through Le Stamère and then, under the Pala delle Masenàde, without excessive gradients, go up the debris and trees to the Col dei Pass, where you will find the Rifugio “Bruno Carestiato”, 1834m.
4 hours from the Rifugio Vazzolèr.
The Rifugio Vazzolèr, owned by the Agordo Section of the CAI, was built in 1948 and renovated in 1971 on the Col dei Pass in a splendid position. It is open from 15th June to 20th September, offers basic hotel services and sleeps 44, plus 9 in the winter shelter. Electricity with generator. Inside toilets, hot water and shower; CNSAS 118 Rescue Station. Tel: 0437 629 49. Near the pass you can also find the Rifugio – albergo San Sebastiano, privately owned; open from December to Easter and from 1st June to 30th October; tel 0437 623 60
DAY NINE: From The Rifugio Carestiato To The Rifugio Sommariva Al Pramperét
Gradient: in ascent 450m, in descent 430m
Length: about 13 km
Time required: 5 hours
Path: n. 549, (SS347), 543
From the Rifugio Carestiato, continue on the little road marked n.549, first steeply north, then easily south and east. Cross the beautiful fields with gentle ups and downs, leave the road and take to the south east the path which goes decisively down towards the Passo Duràn, 1601m, which you will reach in about 45 minutes from the Rifugio Carestiato.
The Rifugio Passo Duràn “Cesare Tomé” is located right on the pass. It used to be owned by the Agordo Section of the CAI, and is now the property of the Alpine guide Soro Dorotei. It is open from 1st June to 30th September, and on non working days in May and October. It offers basic hotel services with local cooking and sleeps 28; no winter shelter. Electricity. Toilets and shower. Tel: 0437 651 99 or the manager on 0437 320 34.
From the Passo Duràn, go along the SS347 to the south, i.e. towards the Agordino area, for just over one and a half kilometres until the wide bend in the road at Ponte sul Ru de Calèda, c. 1500m, 20 minutes from the pass. From here you can look up and see the imposing towered bulk of the Sass de Calèda.
Leave the SS347 road and take path n.543 to the south, which in a short time goes up to the Forcella Dagarèi, 1620m, from where the path continues south east, keeping at an average altitude of between 1600 and 1700m. Beneath the Tàmmer Grande, you meet path n.594 which comes up from the Casèra de la Rova. Continue on the 543 which now goes southwards and climbs moderately up until it meets, at an altitude of about 1770m, path 544 which also comes from the Casèra de la Rova.
Keep to path n.543, which, towards the south-east, goes past the beginning of the 542 of the Valle Ru and goes on to the Malga (or Casèra) del Moschesìn, 1800m (a reasonable shelter option in case of necessity) and then, uphill, the Forcella del Moschesìn, 1940m, which looks out on to the harsh Val Prampèr; remains of a small barracks.
4 hours from the Rifugio Carestiato
Once you come down the saddle, after a few zigzags, take the Sentiero (path) de le Balanzòle to the right (east), which runs beneath the peak of the same name, at the edge of the scree, with gentle ups and downs, until you reach the ample grassy shelf of the Pra de la Vedova and the romantic Rifugio Sommariva al Pramperèt, 1857m.
5 hours from the Rifugio Carestiato.
The Rifugio Passo Duràn “Cesare Tomé” is the property of the
Oderzo Section of the CAI. The original structure dates back to 1923, and it was renovated in 1995. The beautiful, peaceful setting, the friendliness of the owner and the fine cooking make it a place to remember. It is open from 20th June to 20th September. It offers basic hotel services and sleeps 36 plus 6 in the winter shelter. Lighting with generator. Outside toilets and water inside. CNSAS 118 Rescue station. Tel: 337 528403.
N.B. From the Val Prampèr to the Case Bortòt, you will be moving within the Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park, where it is compulsory to keep always on the marked paths and where you must behave appropriately in what is a veritable sancta sanctorum of Nature.
Make sure you know how walkers must behave within the park, and remember the wardens keep a careful and strict watch over visitors.
Variant 6: The Zoldana Variant: from the Rifugio Tomè to the Rifugio Sommariva.
From the Rifugio Carestiato to the Rifugio al Passo Duràn “Cesare Tomè”, as for the beginning of Day Nine.
From the Passo Duràn, go down a little to the north, about 300 metres, on the Val di Zoldo side, until you meet a flat mule-track which breaks off on the right (north-east) and which is marked 536 (Anello Zoldano; difficulty of the variant: EE)
The mule-track goes onto ridges covered with field and woodland, passes by a little torrent at an altitude of 1568m, and just after that meets path 539 which goes down into the Zoldano area. Keep on the 536, which goes east for a bit, then south until the Forcella de le Barance, 1688m, and after crossing the Van dei Gravinài almost at altitude, it zigzags up to the Forcella de la Càure (Càure = Goats), 1725m.
From the saddle, a short descent will take you to the shelter “Baita Valentino Angelini”, 1680m, at the locality of I Scarselóin.
2,30 hours from the Passo Duràn Rifugio Tomè.
The Baita Angelini is an attractive little wood and brick construction owned by the Val di Zoldo Section of the CAI, named after the brave mountaineer and academic Valentino Angelini, brother of Giovanni. Built in 1982, it can be used for an emergency stop and is always open. Water just a few metres away. For information, contact the Val di Zoldo section of the CAI on 0437 78100.
Path n.536, after a brief traverse, goes down steeply towards the area of sòra’l Sass de San Bastiàn and, at 1480m, turns east until it meets the 524 which comes up from Pralongo. Keep on the right, on the 536, which goes towards the north spur of the Petorgnòn. After passing the Viàz de l’Ariosto along a ledge and exposed rocks (EE), you will find yourself beyond the spur and the reach the bottom of a large couloir. Go up it for a bit, and, at about 1600m, you come easily out onto a promontory. With some ups and downs, continue north-east and the east until the Forcella Col de Michiel, 1491m, which dominates the Val Prampèr, the Pian dei Palùi and offers a magnificent view over the Piz di Mezzodì.
After the saddle the 536 goes down through a narrow couloir, then crosses southwards, high on the Masarèi, and joins the dirt-track road of the Val Prampèr, marked 523, at an altitude of 1480.
Follow the dirt-track southwards and you will reach the beautiful Casèra (or Malga) Prampèr, 1540m, which offers emergency shelter and outstanding views.
Continue south-east on the 523 along a good mule-track which goes diagonally up the slopes of the Cima Prampèr until it easily reaches the Pra de la Vedova and the Rifugio Sommariva al Pramperèt, 1857m.
c.7 hours from the Rifugio Carestiato.
DAY TEN: From The Rifugio Sommariva To The Rifugio Pian De Fontana
Gradient: in ascent 540m, in descent 760m
Length: about 6 km
Time required: 3 hours
Path: n. 514
From the Rifugio Sommariva, cross the Pra de le Vedova back again towards east for a bit, then take the first path which breaks off to the left (south-west), marked 514. This path goes up the knolls among the mugo pines and then, higher up, cuts across the slopes of the western peak of the Balanzòle on the Pramperèt side.
When you come to a ravine with strange rock slabs and little basins (water at the bottom), the path goes up the sloping pastures to the Portèla del Piazedèl, 2097m, south of the rocks of the eastern peak of the Balanzòle.
Now proceed southwards, on the side of the Dantesque Val Clusa, and go through I Piazedìai with its green oases and stretches of scree with rock slabs, until you come to a high clearing with tufts of grass and patches of flowers, scree and patches of snow at the beginning of the season, called the Vant dei Piazedìai, c. 2050m.
From here, cross southwards in the direction of the green side of the Baranciòn, then go up through debris and little rocks, zigzagging up to a little saddle at 2330m, from where the grand, wild Valòn dei Erbàndoi looms up.
Go up along the crest until you come to a grassy shoulder, then step-cut rocks, not difficult, from where a good, flat track cuts through the scree and reaches the Forcella Sud dei Van de Città, c.2395m. An imposing view opens out over the Van de Città, high basins which seem moon craters of a strange, harsh beauty; surely one of the most romantic places in the mountains.
Le Presòn (= the Prison), so-called because of some “cells” hollowed out into the rock, separates the Van de Città (Zità) de entro from the Van de Città de fòra ; the Alta Via goes through the Van de fòra.
From the saddle, go down sparse pastureland and easy slabs until the bottom of the Van, under the Forcella de Erbàndoi, then go up a first step and touch the underlying ravine, which you cross to the north-east until a grassy crag at 2030m, under Le Presòn.
Through harsh surroundings, rich in all kinds of flora, go down steep grassy cliffs (be careful if they are wet), until the underlying Rifugio Pian de Fontana and the Bivacco “Renzo Dal Mas” next to it, 1632m.
3 hours from the Rifugio Sommariva al Pramperèt.
The Rifugio Pian de Fontana is located where there used to be an old shepherds’ hut, built in 1935. The refuge was built in 1993 and the bivouac in 1994, from a rural building next to the refuge. It is owned by the Longarone Section of the CAI. It is open from 20th June to 20th September. It offers basic hotel services with local cooking and sleeps 34, plus 12 in the winter shelter and 6 in the Bivacco “Renzo Dal Mas” nearby. Lighting with generator. Inside and outside toilets with hot water and shower. CNSAS “118” Rescue Station . Telephone the manager on 0444 50 10 71 or mobile 340 231 28 60
DAY ELEVEN: From The Rifugio Pian De Fontana To The Bivacco Del Màrmol
Gradient: in ascent 830m, in descent 195m
Length: about 6 km
Time required: 4 hours
Path: n. 514
Difficulty: EE and brief stretches of EEA at the Màrmol (Grades 1 and 2)
From the Rifugio Pian de Fontana, go south on path 514, cross the pasture and go to the col at 1592m, then zigzag rapidly down the wooded mountainside until you come to a fork at about 1500m. Path 520 goes down to the south, then the east, through the Val de Ross, while the 514 continues to the west and then to the south-east. Follow the 514, going immediately up to the south-west and then crossing south along the side of the mountain, zigzagging until you reach the precipitous edge with the Forcella la Varetta, 1704m, which looks out onto a charming basin full of flowers and overlooked by the red crags of the Talvèna.
Opposite you can see the superb Schiara. Not far away is the Casèra La Varetta, 1709m, which can offer basic shelter if need be. Water nearby.
Now the excellent path cuts across the head of the Val Vescovà at altitude, passing beneath the Cima della Scala, above the crags, then zigzags steeply down to a fork where the 514 meets the 518 which comes from the Rifugio Bianchet (see Variant 7).
If you want to continue on to the Bivacco del Màrmol, follow path 514 which goes south, slightly uphill, to the Casonèt de Nerville, 1641m, a modest emergency shelter.
From the Casonèt, go up the head of the valley towards the Forcella de Nerville (but don’t go as far as the Forcella), meeting a boulder with an old shepherds’ hut. Then go into the ravine which is the base of the gully which goes down to the north, from the Forcella del Màrmol, between Schiara and Pelf.
Across karstic terraces you go into the gully which higher up presents rock leaps which are not difficult, and some patches of snow, and finally reach the Forcella del Màrmol, 2262m, immersed in harsh, wild surroundings. From here a fearsome icy gorge goes down to the north, which must be avoided at all costs, inviting as it may appear.
From the saddle, go slightly upwards to the right across rocks, following the good signs and, after a few little couloirs, go a little to the left and tackle a chimney. Now you are about 60 metres above the saddle and you must follow an equipped ledge to the left, then some chimneys, until, at a fork, you will see the signs for the climb to the peak of the Schiara.
From the fork (be careful in case of fog or snow), go down the Belluno side through rocks and grass until the edge of a large fissure with snow on the bottom. From here stretches of rock equipped with fixed ropes will soon take you to the Bivacco del Màrmol “Sandro Bocco”, 2266m (some say 2280m).
4 hours from the Rifugio Pian de Fontana.
The Bivacco del Marmol, owned by the Dolo Section of the CAI, was set up in 1968 and is dedicated to a member of the Alpine Regiment killed in action. It has 9 bunks; always open and unstaffed; water nearby, five minutes in the direction of the via ferrata. From the nearby eastern crest of the Schiara there is a magnificent view.
The bivouac offers the extraordinary opportunity to climb the peak of the Schiara, 2565m, in the morning, and enjoy one of the best views in the Dolomites. The climb takes about an hour, and there are some exposed stretches, but they are not particularly difficult from a mountaineering point of view. From the peak of the Schiara you can descend in four
1. return to the Bivacco del Màrmol and continue on the trail of the Alta Via 1 as described for Day Twelve;
2. take the Ferrata Berti (South-west crest) down from the peak until the Forcella della Gusèla and the Bivacco Della Bernardina, and from here take the Ferrata Zacchi to the Rifugio 7° Alpini
3. from the Forcella della Gusèla along the Sentiero Alpinistico (Mountaineering Path) Sperti, the Bivacco Sperti and the Rifugio 7° Alpini
4. from the Forcella della Gusèla to the Rifugio Bianchet.
Variant 7: From the Rifugio Pian de Fontana to the Rifugio Bianchet, the Val Vescovà and the SS Agordino Road
From the Rifugio Pian de Fontana until the fork where paths 514 and 518 meet, i.e. just before the Casonét de Nerville, as for Day Eleven
Then you take path 518, which takes off to the right (south-west), around an altitude of 1600m, and goes steeply down into the Val Vescovà, Initially down a steep wooded mountainside, then a grassy basin surrounded by high crags which form the head of the valley. After the dry bed of a torrent and a grassy area, the path becomes good, goes through the wood and continues under the ruins of the Casèra della Valle, 1396m. It then comes out onto a field, crosses a little valley and soon reaches the Pian dei Gatt with the Rifugio “Furio Bianchet”, 1245m.
The Rifugio Bianchet is in the beautiful clearing of the Pian dei Gatt, with the imposing walls of the Schiara and the charming Gusèla del Vescovà in the background. It is run by the Belluno Section of the CAI. It is open from 20th June to 20th September. It offers basic hotel services and sleeps 56, plus 6 in the winter shelter. Water inside; toilets with hot water and shower. CNSAS “118” Rescue Station. Telephone 0437 66 92 26.
From the refuge, take the dirt-track road through the forest, marked 503, which goes west, initially fairly straight and then with several bends, along the wooded Val Vescovà, until it reaches the SS203 Agordino road, at the locality of Pinèi, 486m.
4 hours from the Rifugio Pian de Fontana.
With this variant, you can conclude, in just eleven days, your adventure on the Alta Via delle Dolomiti n.1
DAY TWELVE: From the Bivacco del Màrmol to the Rifugio 7° Alpini, Case Bortòt and Belluno
Gradient: in ascent 100m, in descent 1570m until the Case Bortòt, 1770m until Bolzano Bellunese, 1900m until Belluno
Length: about 9 km
Time required: 5 hours to Case Bortòt, 7 hours to Belluno
Path: n. 514, 503, 501
Difficulty: EE and EEA on the Ferrata del Màrmol
From the Bivacco del Marmol, the simplest and most logical way to get down to the Rifugio 7° Alpini is to go via the Ferrata del Marmol. As is true for all the ferrate, intelligence, determination and common sense are essential, especially in foggy weather (which is common) or rain, or snow, which can happen even the middle of summer. The ferrata, which must not be underestimated (remember it is a rocky route with a gradient of 500 metres, in a harsh environment), is however safe, well maintained and well marked.
We feel obliged to point out that some hikers have found themselves in serious difficulty here, because, having reached the bivouac late in the afternoon, and thinking that, with the help of the fixed ropes, the underlying refuge could be reached in the blink of an eye, they were caught unawares by nightfall or bad weather; the refuge is in fact at least two and a half hours from the bivouac (best to take into account three hours), and is not to be taken lightly even in ideal conditions.
In any case, Variant 7 remains a valid shortcut, but it is best to decide beforehand, without reaching the bivouac and from there doubling back.
From the bivouac, turn right (west), along a grassy ledge, then in a corridor with a fixed rope followed by a little hanging garden. Still following the fixed ropes, go down a few chimneys (ladders; exposed) and you will come to a little saddle. Nearby there is water in a cave.
The surroundings are spectacular, dominated by the yellow walls of the Schiara.
Avoid a gorge, keeping to the left (east) over scree and little drops (equipped). When you come to a ladder, you land on a grassy slope which you go down for a bit, then go right, where you will meet three ladders in succession (exposed stretch), which take you to the bottom of the deep gorge (at the beginning of the season there is still snow).
After a narrow ledge, you go onto the Ferrata Zacchi on the south wall of the Schiara. Go down it (it is well equipped where necessary, there are some exposed stretches). When you come into a deep gorge, you will find water and a marvellous view. Then you will suddenly find yourself at the end of the wall, right at the base, on grass, next to the characteristic, monumental Portón, at about 1780m.
From the base, in about an hour’s descent down well marked grassy rock formations, you reach the Rifugio 7° Alpini, with the Capanna Bivacco “Severini Lussato” next to it.
About 3 hours from the Bivacco del Màrmol.
The Rifugio 7° Alpini was built at the Pis Pilòn in 1951 and renovated in 1970-75, while the nearby Lussato shelter dates from 1967, built on the remains of an old shepherds’ hut. It is owned by the Belluno Section of the CAI. It is open from 20th June to 30th September. It offers basic hotel services and sleeps 70, plus 5 in the winter shelter. Water inside; inside and outside toilets, hot water and shower; lighting with generator. CNSAS “118” Rescue Station. Telephone 0437 94 16 31.
The “Severino Lussato” hut / bivouac, dedicated to a mountaineer from Belluno who was killed on the Tofàne, is an unstaffed shelter which can be used when the refuge is closed, or full.
From the Rifugio 7°Alpini, go down the col, known as Il Calvario or Col de le Silimandre, across the grassy rock plate along path 501, to the south, until you enter the romantic, solitary Val d’Ardo, in a deep hollow rich in woodland, craggy, cut across by a torrent which forms several emerald cascades: here, peace reigns.
When you come to the Mariano basin, 681m, cross a bridge and take the wide mule-track, high above the Ardo, which goes up a bit to an altitude of 770m, then goes gently down to the Case Bortòt, 707m, where the valley opens out.
2 hours from the Rifugio 7° Alpini
5 hours from the Bivacco del Màrmol
At the Case Bortòt there is a tavern with accommodation and telephone. From here you can hire a taxi for Belluno.
If you prefer to continue on foot, go down the tarmac road to the Ponte del Cargadór, 478m, up to the hamlet of Giòz, then Conzago, 541m, and then go gently down until you reach Bolzano Bellunese, 498m, where you can find refreshment and accommodation in the peace and quiet of the gentle hills of Belluno.
1 hour from the Case Bortòt.
6 hours from the Bivacco del Màrmol
From Bolzano Bellunese, you can reach Belluno by taxi, hitchhiking or public transport.
If you are still determined to continue on foot, follow the road which goes down through pleasant fields until you make your “triumphal” entrance into the capital of the Dolomites, Belluno, 389m, where the Alta Via delle Dolomiti n.1 comes to an end.
Belluno, with 70% of the Dolomite mountains, truly merits the definition of capital of the Dolomites. The city is beautiful, bright, industrious and hospitable.
The old part of the city has several splendid monuments which range from Pre-Roman and Roman to medieval and Renaissance, all of which are surrounded by beautiful squares and large gardens.
The historical centre can easily be visited in a few hours, perhaps at the end of your hike, when everything appears more beautiful, more interesting.
Well worth a visit is the beautiful Piazza del Duomo (Cathedral Square), with the splendid Palazzo dei Rettori (Rectors’ Palace), which dates from the 15th centre and today houses the Prefecture – a veritable jewel of refined art. Then there is the Municipio (Town Hall), in Veneto style, and the cathedral with its noteworthy Baroque belltower, by Juvarra, 68 metres high and completed in 1743. Also interesting is the Museo Civico (Municipal Museum), in the same square, which contains interesting Roman and Pre-Roman relics, important paintings, sculptures and engravings and local historical relics from various eras.
Another charming spot is the Piazza del Mercato (Market Square), The most characteristic medieval and Renaissance corner of Belluno, with a typical Belluno-style fountain and the nearby Porta Dojona (Dojona Gate).
The Chiesa di Santo Stefano (St. Stephen’s Church) is one of the most important monuments in the city, a fine example of Italian Gothic architecture, completed in 1486, with the Roman sarcophagus of Flavio Ostilio at the side, bearing the motto “Ricordati sempre dei monti” (Always remember the mountains).
The heart of the city is the grand “Piazza dei Martiri” (Martyrs’ Square), where the locals enjoy an evening chat and a stroll alongside beautiful, well-maintained gardens.
Information on the Alta Via n.1 from tourism organizations and CAI Sections
Provincial administration - Tourism Sector – Belluno
Communication and promotion Service
Via Psaro 21 – 32100 Belluno. Tel. 0437 940084
Alto Adige Information – Bolzano
Piazza Parrocchia, 11 – 39100 Bolzano – Tel. 0474 999999
Tourist Association – Dobbiaco
Via Dolomiti,3 – 39034 Dobbiaco (BZ)- Tel. 0474 972132
Provincial Tourist Office – Cortina d’Ampezzo
Piazza San Francesco,8 and Piazza Roma, 1 – 32043 Cortina d’Ampezzo (BL)
Provincial Tourist Office – San Vito di Cadore
Via Nazionale, 9 – 32046 San Vito di Cadore (BL)
Provincial Tourist Office – Agordo
For any other information you might require regarding the Alta Via n.1, see the Tourism sector of the Province of Belluno.
For problems regarding bookings, confirmations, cancellations, opening and closing periods of mountain huts, etc., you can also contact, apart from the respective managers of course, the Italian Alpine Club Sections who own the properties, keeping in mind that the CAI members are volunteers and are not often present during office hours in the relevant Administration sections. For the refuge telephone numbers and those of their managers refer to the text
Sections of the CAI which own the refuges on the route
31100 Piazza dei Signori, 4 – Tel. 0422 540855
for the Rifugio Biella
Cortina d’Ampezzo (BL)
32043 Via G. Marconi, 18° - C.P. 239
for the Rifugio Nuvolàu and the Rifugio Croda da Lago
Fiume – Venice
30124 San Marco 2725 – Tel. 041 5221254
for the Rifugio Venezia and the Rifugio Coldài
32100 Piazza San Giovanni Bosco, 11 – Tel. 0437 931655
for the Rifugio Tissi, the Rifugio Bianchet, the Rifugio 7° Alpini and the Capanna Lussato
Conegliano Veneto (TV)
31015 Via Rossigni, 2° - C.P. 54 – Tel. 0438 24041
for the Rifugio Vazzolèr
31046 Via Comunale di Fratta, 35 – Tel. 0422 716354
for the Rifugio Sommariva al Pramperét
Forno di Zoldo (BL)
32012 Via Roma, 70 - Tel. 0437 7 81 00
for the Baita Valentino Angelini
32013 Piazza IV Novembre, 1 - Tel. 0437 57 65 61
for the Rifugio Pian de Fontana and the Bivacco “Renzo Dal Mas”
30031 Via Brusaura, C.P. 87
for the Bivacco del Màrmol “Sandro Bocco”