Saturday: Villages, city, more mountains, and almost no rain!

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September 7th 2019
Published: September 7th 2019
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Monte PelmoMonte PelmoMonte Pelmo

"With its unmistakable and imposing form "a throne" and its over 3,000 m in height and the position detached from the other peaks make it distinguish and appreciate from true mountain lovers and who know how to deal with due respect."
It seems like no matter what we do, we get home at 5:30 every day. Today I thought that I could skip taking a nap when we got home...but fell into a deep sleep, and I'm now fixing dinner of pasta, butter, and cheese at 7:45....I'll be so glad when jet lag is over....

Since the rain was not supposed to start until nearly noon today, we went for a long walk around the local villages: Villa, Torch, Garna and Shiucaz. We walked past fields of wildflowers, past churches, homes, and farms, and down to a river, where the road was closed due a landslide. There was a wedding in Garna, and the church bells rung loudly across the mountainside. On the way back, two paragliders landed at the local club right next to us!

We decided to skip making brunch at home, and head for Belluno before the rain came. It sprinkled on the way there, but stopped before we arrived in this very pretty town. We drove directly to the center of town and found free parking! We discovered later that there is large parking lot below the old town and an escalator that you ride up...oh well..

"The 16th century Belluno cathedral di San Martino dominates the square and the cathedral belltower also dominates views of the town from the surrounding mountains. The cathedral is a pleasing if unexceptional building in the yellow stone that characterizes the buildings in the region.'

The two main plazas were closed to cars, and were hosting a market. We walked around, and stopped at a cafe in the Plaza of the Martyrs, where Italian partisans were executed in WW2. After a light lunch, eaten outside in the weak sunlight, we strolled some more, and watched a wedding party exit the town hall.

Since it was still early afternoon, and not really raining, we decided to go up into the mountains again, on a different route. We headed for Passo Staulanza, a high mountain pass, a destination that we just picked from the map on the back of a Belluno tourist packet. It was a great choice! We drove for an hour on a windy mountain road along a deep river gorge, through small villages, and ski resorts. At the top of the pass is the impressive Monte Pelmo, We stopped and I hiked the trail that goes around the mountain for about 15 minutes, leaving Bill at the "refuge" since his knees were hurting.

'The Staulanza pass , also known as Forcella Staulanza (1,783 m), is an Alpine pass of the Dolomites that connects the Val di Zoldo with the Val Fiorentina through the SP 251 ( province of Belluno ). The fork is located between the slopes of Mount Crot and Pelmo . At the pass there is the Passo Staulanza refuge (1,766 m), with a restaurant and 25 beds, a convenient starting point for excursions on the Pelmo massif."

This area is home to the Ladin culture and all the village name signs are in both Ladin and Italian.

"The Dolomite mountain range has revealed many of its geological secrets but the origins of an ancient tribe remain shrouded in mystery. The Ladin people, who still live in the area, have their own language, their own culture, their own traditions.One of the most widespread theories is that people living in Alpine areas in today's Switzerland and the Italian Friuli region once had a single language and culture. When invasions from the north brought Germanic influences to the valleys the Ladin people retreated to the highest, most inaccessible areas."

"Ladin culture blends aspects of northern and southern European heritage, of the Germanic and Latin worlds, and this is evident in its myths and legends, where ancient Amazon goddesses reminiscent of Greek Artemis and Roman Diana meet Alpine totemic marmot tribes, as well as kings and dwarves from Germanic mythology. The same can be said about Ladin cuisine, which features dishes and products typical of Middle-Europa, such as hearty meat dishes, Knödel, Gulasch, Speck, Wurst and potatoes, as well as more Mediterranean dishes such as cajincí (a local kind of ravioli) and pasta courses. A typical blend of these origins can be seen in the Ladin dish par exellence: the turtra, a delicious deep-fried doughnut filled with spinach and curd."

We turned around at the pass and drove back home the way we came.

Additional photos below
Photos: 24, Displayed: 24



La basilica cattedrale di San Martino
Belluno Post OfficeBelluno Post Office
Belluno Post Office

"Built in 1936-38 following a project of the architect Alberto Alpago-Novello, it rose on the site where in the past thousand years there was the city castle, almost abandoned already during the last centuries of Venetian rule and completely dismantled after 1806, when the city Jail was built on the same place, while the stones of the castle were used to build new XIX century private buildings. Some ruins of the old castle can still be seen in the garden beside the palace. The central Post Office certainly is the best and most impressive example of the fascist architecture still visible in Belluno."

City Gates
Old and newOld and new
Old and new

We ate a light lunch at Manin, right next to a 14th century church

"The most imposing palazzo in Belluno is also on the cathedral square: called the Palazzo dei Rettori . It dates from the 15th century and was the Town Hall in medieval times."

Another wedding today: at the city hall

An elegant wedding guest

Wedding flowers
The DolomitesThe Dolomites
The Dolomites

Venice is on the water at the bottom right. You can see how the mountains rise right up from the plains. We are staying directly north of Venice.
On the trail around Monte PelmoOn the trail around Monte Pelmo
On the trail around Monte Pelmo

I only went for about 15 minutes...It had just stopped raining and the trail was wet and slippery. Bill's knees were sore, so I was alone.
Bill waiting for me to return from my hike on the porch of the Rifugio Passo StaulanzaBill waiting for me to return from my hike on the porch of the Rifugio Passo Staulanza
Bill waiting for me to return from my hike on the porch of the Rifugio Passo Staulanza

This mountain refuge has a bar, and what looked like great food! A group of American hikers had just come off the mountain.

8th September 2019

what fun.
You are giving us plenty of ideas for out trip - staying in Bolzano for a couple days and possibly more. We are totally unplanned as the weather may be horrid. We will stretch it out if it is nice. Hope you go to Bolzano to give us a preview. We loved your post about forgetting everything. ha! that be me! We get there to that there on early november - when it could be horrid or pretty. We will be there when a friend who tuned us into the Dolomites will be having his memorial. We hope to be posting that day. Gray here today.

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