The freedom tour
The First World War is the theme of this tour and in spite of the serious subject there is an optimistic tone. In fact, those who are familiar with the grandiose alpine landscape of the Dolomites will tell you the meaning of the word freedom. Austrian mountain troops and the German Alpine corps along with the Italian ‘Alpini’ were present here from May 1915 until November 1917, engaged in a bitter struggle for survival. At the epicentre of the fighting, Col di Lana, the tour passes under the cliff walls of those famed peaks like Civetta, Monte Pelmo, Tofana, Lagazuoi, Conturines, Settsass, Sassongher, Sella and Marmolada. We’re talking about a day out on those breathtakingly beautiful slopes for all the family. The run from Lagazuoi to Armentarola and the Punta Rocca run (over the Marmolada glacier towards Malga Ciapela) are particularly spectacular. In fact the Civetta skiing resort is a frequent and superlative starting point. You can also set off on your tour from S. Cassiano, Corvara, Arabba and Malga Ciapela.
An open air museum
As far as beauty and spectacular mountain summit views are concerned, one need look no further than the renowned Sellaronda on this freedom tour. Including time for lunch you’ll be on the move for up to 7 or 8 hours; one can follow the way either in a clockwise or anti clockwise direction and will cover almost 100 kilometres in doing so, a good half of the day being completed on skis and the rest divided between lifts and ski buses. A romantic trip by horse sleigh ride is also included for good measure. At the numerous memorial points as well as museums along the way there are touching reminders of the notion of freedom. Historical documents show the fate of the soldiers, whose greatest enemy was often not the enemy in itself but the hard mountain winter. Many lines and trenches have been made presentable – for example at Lagazuoi – and they exist these days as open air museums for visitors. Experienced tour guides know the best vantage points.
The best organised bar in the entire Dolomite skiing resort area is to be found on the Fertazza plateau and is entirely fashioned from ice. The house is equipped with 100 different aroma-laden schnapps which are well cooled and ready for you to sample.
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