Useful tips for an excursion that will make you relive important events of the Great War: how to gear up and how to reach the Lagazuoi.
Italy e Austria very close, but never so far: excursion inside the Lagazuoi Galleries dating back to the First World War.
If you love mountain walks, the Alps they are an almost obligatory stop; if you also like to discover the places where the most important events of the Great War took place, the The Dolomites they are the perfect place to spend a pleasant holiday.
Origins of the Lagazuoi Galleries
Now known above all for the spectacle of their peaks and valleys, for the green woods in strong contrast with the white rocks, we must not forget that one of the most bloody and exhausting wars in history took place precisely between the rugged peaks of Trentino and Veneto, a hundred years ago.
In fact, right between the rocks or within them, they were very long complexes of trenches and tunnels built by Italians and Austrians to fight and repel each other.
The Fanis mountain range
The places that bear the marks of this past are numerous, some mostly forgotten, others instead real open-air museums. One of the most famous and most evocative is that of the Lagazuoi Galleries within the Fanis mountain range.
These tunnels will allow you to reach the top and the neighbor Lagazuoi Refuge starting from Falzarego Pass (or vice versa) along the roads carved into the rock by Italian soldiers.
I would like to underline that this route, which is not very long and not particularly demanding on a technical level for mountain lovers, is not for everyone.
In fact, you will find yourself walking inside the rock for a long time with virtually no light and almost 100% humidity (the walls literally drip), so if you suffer from claustrophobia, I advise you not to take the path inside the tunnels, but to tackle the variant that goes up to the ski slopes.
The route has some slightly exposed sections; however, in these, as for the entire length of the tunnel, there is a steel cord to attach to, if you have a via ferrata harness, or to use to help yourself.
What is needed for the route
Essential or highly recommended material for visiting the tunnels: waterproof hiking shoes with a good sole, k-way, rock helmet, front torch.
At the base of the ski lift it is possible to rent a helmet, a torch and a via ferrata harness (the latter recommended especially for children and for those who feel more insecure in the mountains).
How to reach us
Reaching the trails is very simple, in fact at the base of the mountain group is the Falzarego Pass and a large free parking area attached to the ski lift.
I advise you to arrive at the pass not too late in the morning or the risk is to find the parking lot full. The trails start right at the bottom of the parking lot.
The tunnel excursion can be tackled both uphill (in my opinion recommended given the slipperiness of the ground) and downhill; many people with children decide to go downhill by taking the cable car.
Starting from the parking lot, we started the ascent along the well-marked path that leads to the Lagazuoi Gallery. After a stretch of approaching the rock in the open air you finally find yourself in front of the entrance to the tunnels.
From here you can choose whether to take the path of the main gallery directly or make a short stop at the Ledge Martini: a very suggestive place of great historical interest, but recommended only for those who have a steady step and do not suffer from vertigo as it is a little exposed.
The main gallery, or Galleria del Lagazuoi, has a length of over a kilometer and inside is dark and damp. In fact, except for some slits here and there in the rock, there are no openings to the outside or interruptions.
Through this tunnel you will directly reach the top of the mountain.
An interesting and challenging path
Personally I found this path psychologically very tiring but extremely interesting, as it makes clear the conditions in which soldiers were forced to live during the war and allows you to experience them firsthand.
Once at the top I recommend you enjoy it breathtaking view of the surrounding peaks and, after having refreshed yourself (perhaps at the refuge), to take the path that runs along the ski slopes to go down. This path also allows you to pass through trenches and barracks dating back to the war, but without going through tunnels.