Val di Zoldo

The breath of the Dolomites Unesco

A pristine nature, not far from the principal cities of art (Venice and Verona), or from the great skiing destinations (Cortina, Arabba, Sudtirol), wide spaces where deer, marmots and other animals live undisturbed, woods and open Alpine meadows dominated by Dolomites massives: Zoldo is an authentic valley, partly still wild. 

If you approach you to these mountains, you will penetrate into spaces among majestic rocks, or bump into large openings, with distant massives which can make you feel a wide breath.

In Summer, the valley turns into a fascinating destination for  excursions at high altitudes, on Mount Pelmo, the Civetta or the Moiazza groups. Among the many possible itineraries, the footprints of dinosaurs at the foot of  Mount Pelmetto. footprints of prehistoric animals dating back to 250 million years ago.

In Winter, Zoldo is the perfect place for skiers, or to practice ski mountaineering, cross-country skiing, and biathlon. A paradise of fresh and powdered snow, to enjoy with snowshoes walking together on the most beautiful paths, or just close to the fire in a warm mountain hut.  



Val di Zoldo and the Dolomites Unesco


Val di Zoldo is one of the most emblematic areas of the Dolomites Unesco World Heritage for geological and landscape reasons. Inside the soul of its surrounding mountains, there are rocks which can project its visitors through time, in a journey of almost 150 million years. This extraordinary geological heritage has created the framework of the present landscape.

Val di Zoldo is located between the Unesco system 1 (Mount Pelmo - Croda da Lago) and Unesco system 3 (Pale di San Martino, San Lucano, Dolomites Belluno, Vette Feltrine).

A valley between Pelmo and the Civetta

The Civetta - the great wall
A valley between Pelmo and the Civetta

It separates Val di Zoldo from the Agordino area and acts as a beautiful frame to the town of Alleghe. The north-west face is characterised by an impressive wall, with a vertical height gain of 1200 m and is 4 km long, situated between Cima Su Alto and Torre Coldai. In the mountaineering world it is called “the wall of walls” and along it there are many climbing itineraries. Among these: Solleder-Lettembauer, Philipp-Flamm, the routes Aste and Andrich on Punta Civetta, the Carlesso route on Torre di Valgrande, Bellenzier on Torre d'Alleghe and many other very difficult routes. The small Torrani hut is on the less steep side facing Zoldo. To the north of the group near Mount Coldai is the Rifugio Sonino al Coldai, and in the middle, on the side facing Alleghe, you will find the Tissi hut.

The Civetta was mentioned for the first time in a document dating back to 1665 as Zuita, while it is mentioned in the official cartography from 1774. The origins of its name are debatable. There are two main theories: the first comes from the Latin name ‘civitas’, in that the side facing Alleghe looks like a fortified city; others observe that the mountain is called Civetta (Zuita) even in the Zoldano area, where the characteristic rock face is not visible, due to the nocturnal bird of prey (‘civetta’ in Italian: owl) perhaps because in the past the mountain was considered cursed and brought bad luck.
(source Wikipedia)

Mount Pelmo - the God's Throne

Mount Pelmo is 3.169 m high and separates Val di Zoldo from the Boite valley. The mountain has a particular shape since it has two main summits which are Pelmo to the north, and Pelmetto to the south 2990m. The mountain’s eastern face is very characteristic where the wide glacial cirque looks like a chair, and this is why it is locally called “el Caregon del Padreterno” (God’s Throne). At its base there are three mountain huts: Rifugio Venezia-Alba Maria De Luca 1.947m to the east, Rifugio Città di Fiume 1.918 m on the north-west and Rifugio Passo Staulanza 1.766 m to the west. Mount Pelmo is also famous paleontologically speaking: at its base, at an altitude of 2.050 m, not far from Rifugio Staulanza, a stone with dinosaur footprints was found.

Mount Pelmo was the first summit of the Dolomites to be climbed: on 19th September 1857, the Englishman John Ball reached the summit along what would later become known as Ball ledge. He climbed the mountain with a local guide who did not reach the summit. Ball wrote that he chose Mount Pelmo for his first ascent because it was according to him the most beautiful mountain among the ones he had seen in the Dolomites. Mount Pelmetto was instead reached in 1896 by the mountain guides Clemente Callegari and Angelo Panciera.

The mountain’s name in dialect (Pelf) means hairy or covered with trees. A Val di Zoldo legend narrates that once upon a time mount Pelmo was a very green mountain and on top, where today the glacial cirque lies, was a large meadow used by shepherds. Then a catastrophic event caused a rock slide uncovering the naked rock and giving the mountain its current imposing appearance. The tale seems to have some element of truth: two large steep slopes, now hidden by vegetation, bring to mind a huge landslide: this would have blocked the course of the torrent Maè, forming a large lake which dried up leaving the plateau on which Mareson, a village of Zoldo Alto, is today. (Source Wikipedia)