First World War one day itineraries through Italy. Suggestion no.18: Val delle Mure – Croce dei Lebi – Cima Grappa

Monte Grappa #4

An excursion on Monte Grappa at the beginning of the winter (but also now, taking into consideration the weather and snow conditions) is a highlight for all those who wish to understand fully what the Great War on this mountain range was. A discreet assistant appears in fact during this period: the snow! When a white blanket covers the valleys and the slopes, it is of course very hard to recognize the remnants of the World War One and one must pay attention in hiking here, since you get quickly lost, if you do not know the paths, and small avalanches are also possible. But the first snow is a precious fellow: like a sprinkle of powdered sugar, it paints white the landscape and makes so the trenches stand out with black zigzag which climb the meadows or crossing the woods. We’d like to suggest today a particular suitable itinerary for this purpose.

The starting point are the trenches of Monte Boccaor. You can reach them if you park your car near the Rifugio Bellavista, in the Valle San Liberale, and then following the path n.153 and then, on the crest, turning left on n.152, as we suggested in the first itinerary on Monte Grappa, here. The ascension takes about 1h30. You can also eventually drive up to Rifugio Ardosetta (website here), which lies at the mouth of the Valle delle Mure; but we advise against this option, especially in winter, since the road is impassable (but also in summer: after all we want you to hike and to discover these mountains on foot).

From the summit of the Monte Boccaor, just walk along the trenches and descend to the Valle delle Mure, where our today itinerary actually start. While descending, you have the chance to look at the near inclines, and recognize the Italian trenches on this side of the valley. And if you look carefully on the other slope, in front of you, you’ll be able to glimpse also the Austrian ones. While walking along the trenches we also suggest to keep silent: you may have the chance to see groups of chamois grazing all around. As you reach the bottom of the Valle delle Mure, you have to climb the opposite slope. There is no numbered path, but you can easily walk among the meadow (pay attention, however, with the first snow they could be quite slippery), making your way towards the summit in front of you. You will reach so the path n.156, which corresponds to the Alta Via n.8, also called “Alta Via degli Eroi” (Heroes High Route), and the Croce dei Lebi. This is a perfect panoramic viewpoint. If you turn North you can see first of all Valle dei Lebi, with the Austrian trenches. And in the distance the first Dolomiti range, Monti del Sole, the underlying valley and the city of Feltre, and behind even the peaks of the Pale di San Martino. If you look east, you can see instead the ridge where you are which runs to Col dell’Orso and Monti Solaroli: here there was a crucial defensive line from November 1917 and October 1918. Behind these peaks of the Monte Grappa range, you can also see the Prealps of Treviso. And then turn again, this time to look south. You’ll be able so to admire the Valle delle Mure and the Pian dea Baea, recognize the trenches of the Monte Boccaor, and see in the distance the plain and the Colli Asolani. Finally, turn West so to locate immediately the Rifugio Bassano, that you can now reach easily following the path n.156. This latter is very easy, it turns into a small road in the final section – but pay attention to the ice – and on its side there are some shelters dug in the rock. You will reach in short the Rifugio Bassano, where you can eat and drink something. We suggest you to walk to the near Sacrario Militare and visit also the other monuments nearby. The way back to Val delle Mure is the path n.151: it starts just behind the Rifugio Bassano, leads you to Malga Val Vecchia (an old Alpine hut, which offers refreshment only in summer) and then to a paved road, which runs on the left to the Val delle Mure, at the lower point of the trenches of the Monte Boccaor. The circuit starting and ending here takes about 2 hours, inclusive the break at the Refuge. You can eventually reach the car at the park near Rifugio Bellavista in about 1 hour following the path n.151, which starts exactly here.

This is a simple but pleasant itinerary, which can be undertaken during the whole year, but it is particularly fascinating with the first snow, as we already said. If you do not believe us, anyway, don’t miss the upcoming reportage: you will get a clearer idea if you have a look to our photos!