First World War one day itineraries through Italy. Suggestion no. 4: Monte Tudaio and its fortification

Each post of the unit tagged as Itineraries will correspond to a one day trip proposal, so that everyone will be able to assemble and disassemble these suggestions to prepare a "more than a day schedule". Of course these are intended to be only suggestions, and you should always take into consideration the travel variables.

The fort - Photo Courtesy of Ugo Agnoletto

Google Maps Starting point: Piniè di Vigo di Cadore (you may take into consideration the Chalet "Pino Solitario")

This one may be a half-day itinery and combines perfectly historical and naturalistic interests. Well, almost every itinerary we suggest in the Alpine region is able to combine these two spirits. Let's say we could suggest this itinerary to people looking for World War One forts. Mountain forts are an interesting architectural type belonging to period that ends with the outbreak of the Great War, the so called Belle Époque. Today itinerary rises to the Monte Tudaio, a strategic peak between the mountain Piave area and Comelico region. The place where they built the fort was basically the point of convergence of many possible attacks to Italy coming from the Austro-Hungarian empire. If you take the map (by the way, if you're used to the popular Tabacco Maps this region is mapped in the number 16) you will easily catch this first localizing Santo Stefano, then the Ansiei Valley and finally the Mauria pass. Architecture-wise the fort is laid out in three floors and its volumes try to fit the summit of the mountain. As it often happens, eventually the fort did not play a key-role during the war. From 1915 to 1917 it was too far from the front and after Caporetto, when the Italian army gave up a huge portion of territory to the Austro-Hungarian troops, it was used only for a few days by the Italian army during the chaotic retreat. One year later, it was destroyed by the Austro-Hungarians retreating northward.

From the chosen starting point, we have two possibilities to reach the summit: the path n. 339 (a former military road, from 900mt to the 2140mt of the peak of Monte Tudaio) or the via ferrata "Sentiero attrezzato dei Mede". In this second option (probably not the most crowded via ferrata you may find in the Dolomites) you will have Cima Bragagnina at your right, while the large path n. 339 rises with a constant presence of the rivers Ansiei and Piave at your left. On the summit, besides the fort, you can enjoy with a spin the entire view. The Tudaio belongs to the Bretoni mountain range. From the top the view embraces the Cadore and the Comelico regions, Antelao, Cadini and Cristallo, Marmarole, the Three Peaks of Lavaredo, Monte Paterno, the Brentoni and Cridola. If you walk the normal way, don't forget that you can take advantage of the some hairpin bends from where some small paths start and lead you to nice panoramic spots of the Ansiei valley. Finally, not far from the fort and the peak, at a level of 1900mt, you will for sure enjoy the gallery.