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51,6 km - Altitude gain 1650mt

Belluno - Val di Zoldo

Belluno -

Val di Zoldo

Thursday 25  May 2023 51,6km Altitude gain 1650mt
Stage suitable for: Experts

Withdrawals: 0

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Belluno, the shining city! This is how the Celts called it: about an hour from Venice, perched on a promontory and lapped by the Piave River and the Ardo creek, Belluno is the capital city of a natural heritage that has no equal in the world, the UNESCO Dolomites. Steeped in history and naturally devoted to nature, our territory can give unique experiences and emotions.
In Belluno nature meets the city: on the one side the Pre-Alps with their gentle slopes and their bright green, on the other the UNESCO Dolomites, a unique scenery made of majestic rocky walls and monumental peaks stretched towards the sky. Through the valley flows the river Piave, iconic World War I battlefield. A historical city center skimmed by waters and crowned by mountains.
An open-air gym: this is what the Belluno area turns into during summer. Trails through the mountains surrounding the city, some of the most challenging vie ferrate and the iconic Alta Via delle Dolomiti n.1, and plenty of cycling routes for the two wheels enthusiasts, and also downhill slopes in Nevegal hill, which in winter turns perfect for winter sports enthusiasts.


The traditional cuisine is very tasty: the pastin, for example, is the king of our barbecue and it is made of spicy beef and pork minced meat. From the rich dairy tradition comes schiz, a first salt cheese best baked in the oven. Dessert addicted need to try giuseppine during Carnival or the spicy Pan de Belun, but if you prefer a healthy but tasty snack kodinžon, a dried apple stick, is the one for you. Obviously, all soaked by a classic ombra of wine or a handcrafted local beer.

Point of interest

The city center of Belluno will surprise you: immerse yourself in the old town, going down to Rugo gate and then coming up to Dojona gate or Dante gate, from which Martiri Square will open up with its gardens and its porticoes full of shops and cafes. You can then proceed towards Santo Stefano Square and its gothic church, which is definitely worth a visit.
Martiri Square, once called Campedel, is the main meeting point for locals, whereas the solemn heart of Belluno beats in Duomo Square with the Cathedral, the Rettori Palace and the town tower dominating the scene. A short distance away, in Castello Square, you’ll find the overlook on the river Piave from where you can admire the birth home of Dino Buzzati in the background: he was a famous journalist and writer and his love for the Dolomites is traceable throughout his whole literary production. Unmissable are also the art treasures of the town museum, Fulcis Palace, one of the most beautiful and elegant buildings in town.
The city is rich of fountains, and the small villages in the surroundings are also enriched by fountains and stone wash houses. On the bank of the river Piave rises Borgo Piave, foothold for the rafts that used to provide wood for
the Republic of Venice. In Borgo Pra, instead, the energy produced by the Ardo creek made the fortune of the small workshops that grinded cereals, kneaded wool, tanned leather, cut wood and produced the famous swords that during the 16th and 17th centuries were well known throughout Europe.
Belluno is a town rich of history and culture and the town museum is the perfect witness of such a heritage: one of the most beautiful buildings in Belluno where you can admire the pieces of the most eminent local artists, from Andrea Brustolon to Sebastiano Ricci. Belluno was a land of migration and the memories of those who had to leave their country are collected at the Migrations Museum.
Belluno is also nature: just outside the city, towards Bolzano Bellunese, you’ll find Case Bortot, starting point of several trails. Don’t miss the one to the Bus del Buson, a spectacular canyon engraved the Ardo creek.
Belluno is the only Province Capital whose land is part of a National Park: the Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park. The highest peak of the Park and one of the symbols of Belluno is Mount Schiara (2565 mt). Next to it, you can admire the Gusela del Vescovà, a 40 mt high rocky spur that stands out in vertical.



Val di Zoldo is an unspoiled valley located in the heart of the Dolomiti Bellunesi. Guarded by the two iconic summits of Monte Pelmo and Monte Civetta, its authentic nature makes it a well appreciated tourist destination among Italian and foreigner travellers.
Val di Zoldo extends at the Northern gate of the National Park of Dolomiti Bellunesi, a unique place, rich in extraordinarily important values in terms of scenery and natural habitat. On the other side, the valley is delimited by the Ski Civetta ski resort, which offers no less than 72 km of skiing slopes, part of the bigger carousel of Dolomiti Superski.

Since time immemorial, the entire territory of Val di Zoldo has always been coupled by the iron and steel extraction as well as the mining activity. However, the part of history thanks to which Val di Zoldo is renowned as the “Land of ice cream makers” started in the end of the 19th century. By that period, people from Zoldo had already reached several corners of the world, disseminating the passion and the art of artisanal ice cream throughout the whole European continent and even overseas.

Nowadays, Val di Zoldo is the ultimate destination for mountain and outdoor adventure enthusiasts. From winter sports, such as downhill skiing (also at night-time), ski mountaineering, biathlon and nordic skiing or the less demanding snowshoe walks, to summer activities, simple walks and trekkings, via ferratas, climbing on the dolomitic rocky walls and finally the grand tours of the Dolomites.

No lack of ancient traditions, culture and of a profound past, which history can be deeply breathed among the alleys of the many hamlets dotted by the typical “tabià” (wooden barns).


Val di Zoldo is dotted with restaurants, the traditional “malghe” or “rifugi”, where you can taste the typical dishes and cuisine of the Dolomites, or the ice cream and pastry shops where you can eat artisanal ice cream and delicacies.


The casonziei, or casunziei in some local dialects, are typical staffed dumplings, very common in many cuisines of the Dolomiti Bellunesi. A soft dough, carefully handmade filled with vegetables or other ingredients, such as ricotta and spinach, beet, or with pumpkin and cinnamon and served with beurre fondu, as in the original recipe of Val di Zoldo.


A break in a typical cottage, the so called “malga”, a moment of relaxation and a mixed cheese platter. A simple circumstance can turn into a real surprise, revealing the scents and tastes of the authentic mountain, still loyal to its nature. Every sample reminds of flowery meadows, where the cows and goats enjoy the grazing.
When being in Val di Zoldo as visitors, this is a must!


In Val di Zoldo, there are many farms dedicated to the cultivation of Earth products: 0 km beans and potatoes, but also saffron, the so called “red gold”.

Some take advantage of the rich biodiversity and of the peculiar flora of the Dolomiti Bellunesi to produce the Dolomiti Bellunesi Honey, recognised with the PDO label. Besides being a genuine and completely natural products it has also special therapeutical properties.


The protagonist of the gastronomic tradition of Val di Zoldo is unquestionably the artisanal ice cream.

Still nowadays, the real origins of ice cream and the reason why it influenced the history of many dolomitic valleys are a mystery.
What’s sure is the fact that Zoldo’s ice cream makers, worldwide known, spread the art of ice cream all over Europe and South America with an innate passion.
This is a long story of success, built from one generation to the other since the end of the 19th century, when the great emigration from Italy to the northern Europe took place.

There is nothing as natural and healthy as the artisan variety, made with carefully selected, fresh, genuine ingredients such as cocoa, vanilla pods, milk, eggs, sugar and fresh fruit. Close attention to the quality of the raw materials, teamed with an ability to dose the ingredients carefully and to stick to traditional ice cream making times and methods is able to turn a simple food into a delight for the palate.

If you are in Val di Zoldo do not forget to stop by an ice cream shop for a delicious break. Plus, if you’re lucky arriving in the right moment, you may have the chance to attend a demonstration by Zoldo’s ice cream makers, showing how ice cream was produced more than a century ago, using original tools and machineries.

Points of Interest


Val di Zoldo is an interesting destination for art and culture devotees. It was the birthplace of the local artist Andrea Brustolon (1662-1732), also known as “the Michelangelo of wood”, for being a talented engraver. The artist donated to his hometown art treasures of rare beauty. An example amongst the other worth of mentioning is his juvenile work “the altar of the souls in purgatory”, a fine representation of “Memento mori”, scrupulously shielded in the diocesan district church of San Floriano, located in Pieve di Zoldo.

The church built with a peculiar gothic taste has very ancient origins. It was raised already during the Xth century on an extraordinarily fascinating and strategic location dominating the so called Canale di Zoldo and it was solemnly ordained in 1487. In 1912 it entered the catalogue of monumental historical buildings of the Province of Belluno.



For centuries, iron has been a protagonist in Val di Zoldo’s history. The workings on the slopes, the sound of the sledge hammers and the smell of charcoal smoke have marked the passage through these mountains for a very long time.
It is precisely through the individual and collective memories that the Zoldo community wanted to initiate the reconstruction of the hundreds years of work of the blast furnaces. The Iron and Nail Museum is spread over two floors in Palazzo del Capitaniato, in Forno di Zoldo.

The exhibition is composed of various sections: images, written reports, objects besides a great array of gears and nails produced by the nail makers of Val di Zoldo. Every piece describes the nail production activity and the related daily routine of the community.
The museum is open during summer months, or upon reques.



Each little village in Val di Zoldo has a fascinating story to tell, which remains virtually intact in its traditional architectures, historical buildings and churches, authentic treasure chests of art.

Among the others, Coi, the highest in altitude and the most panoramic hamlet of the valley. Located at 1500 meters, it is one of the most charming and picturesque spots of Dolomiti Bellunesi, surrounded by and incredible panorama over Mount Pelmo and the Mount Civetta chain.
While exploring the small alleys dotted with ancient houses and the typical tabià, its visitors experience a real throwback to the past. This is a true paradise for photographers as well as for architecture and nature lovers.

Another gem of Val di Zoldo is Fornesighe. Legend has it, it never burned. Nestled on a gentle slope completely exposed to the sunlight, Fornesighe relishes of a splendid view on the dolomitic group of Tamer San Sebastiano and on the Spiz di Mezzodì. Strolling around the narrow streets running between long-standing buildings, one can breathe a special timeless atmosphere. In fact, the village presents architectural elements of the past, still perfectly preserved.
Must-see in Fornesighe: the alpine carnival La Gnaga taking place during the first weekend of February.



Val di Zoldo is one of the Ski Civetta ski resorts. Thanks to the connections among the different areas (Val di Zoldo, Palafavera, Selva di Cadore and Alleghe), one can skiing down over 72 km of slopes with one single ski ticket. If we add fresh snow, a clear-blue sky and sunny days it can be told it’s a true winter paradise!

In Val di Zoldo the adventure doesn’t end when the sun goes down. The meeting point for the “tireless skiers” is in Pecol after the sunset on the slopes Foppe and Cristelin, perfectly lit to ski also at night-time. 5 km of runs served by the fabulous 12 seat cable car and open mountain huts on the top… an unmissable experience!



Val di Zoldo with the splendid Pramper valley is the northern gate to the National Park of Dolomiti Bellunesi. The Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park was born in order to protect a territory of extraordinary value on account of its scenery and natural habitat, as well as rare species of flora and fauna.

The lord of the landscape is the group represented by the Pramper and the Mezzodì. The scene of the summits of the Moschesin/Gardesana completes the picture. The high plateau of Pramperet and Prà della Vedova are particularly beautiful but so are the nearby valleys which are evidence of natural balance almost without pollution.
Many trails run in this green paradise. Trekking paths of various levels of difficulty and also the itineraries of well-known multi-day routes, such as Alta Via n. 1, Alta Via delle Dolomiti Bellunesi and the local Anello Zoldano.



Many are unaware that the Pelmo, emblematic summit of Val di Zoldo was the first peak of the Dolomites to be climbed: on 19 September 1857, the Englishman John Ball reached the summit along what would later become known as Ball ledge.

However, the history of Mount Pelmo is much more than this. Pelmo with its youngest sibling Mount Pelmetto can offer a throwback in a deeper past: at the basis of Pelmo rocky wall, at 2050 metres a stone with dino’s print was found, dating back to the Triassic period.

The one of Pelmetto was the first archaeological site in the Dolomites of its kind. The rediscover suggests that the prints formed around 225 million years ago.
The stone can be reached on foot with a medium-difficulty excursion starting from Passo Staulanza and following the path CAI 472 in the direction of Rifugio Venezia. After some time walking, a well visible deviation on the left leads to the site.

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