With these words Gunther Langes, one of the most important Alpine Guides, defined at the beginning of the twentieth century our Pale di San Martino, the most extended mountain range of Dolomites, which became part of the Unesco World Heritage in 2009.
San Martino di Castrozza is a little alpine town nestled in the eastern Dolomites: the majestic Pala Group, with its peaks and pinnacles, dominates the village and with its colors and turns on every day at sunset during the Enrosadira, a unique natural phenomenon; the wild landscape, with the dense spruce forest and the wide meadows, becomes the most magical scenario also during the Winter, after the first snow.
This small town has been since the end of the Nineteenth century the favourite tourist destination in every season for hikers and mountain lovers from all over Europe, but also for all the guests who were looking for a charming location for their holidays in the Alps.
The amazing scenario which surrounds the village is preserved by the institution of the Parco Naturale Paneveggio – Pale di San Martino, which also works all over the year to organise outdoor workshops and activities to discover the area and its wildlife. In Summer or Winter, several happenings like cultural sport and events enliven San Martino di Castrozza and its guests, and make this little town the best location for mountain holidays. Download here the Guide to discover the beauty of this alpine resort!
Our region is part of a priceless natural heritage, which has been recognised by the Unesco Foundation in 2009. Moreover, the 200 km² area of our Pale di San Martino and the surrounding lands are protected and preserved by the institution of the natural park Parco Paneveggio – Pale di San Martino, which includes Val Canali, a part of the Val Venegia, the Paneveggio forest, and the eastern part of the large porphyry chain of Lagorai.
The entire park and its wildlife are constantly monitored, to safeguard the local ecosystem: 4 different visitors centers (Paneveggio, Villa Welsperg, San Martino di Castrozza and the House of ethnographic trail in the Vanoi valley) give the possibility to visit the wild landscape and meet its inhabitants all over the year.
Passo Rolle (1989 m) is a mountain pass which lies at the foot of the Cimon della Pala massif, and connects the two valleys of Primiero and Fiemme. The peak of the Cimon towers on the beautiful Baita Segantini, one of the most fascinating spot of the Dolomites. The nearby Val Venegia, an uncontaminated valley amazing to discover by walk, with its lush meadows and pastures is one of the place not to miss to visit especially during the Summer.
The Primiero Valley is located in Eastern Trentino: a wide open green basin, where in the middle the Cismon river flows with its fresh water. The particular position, embedded in three different mountain ranges makes this valley a very special one: the dolomitic groups of Pale di San Martino and Lagorai dominates the Northern and Western sides of the area, while the mountain range of Vette Feltrine embraces the Southern side.
The rocky throat of the Schenèr represents the main access from South, and the area of Belluno. The nearby Vanoi valley is connected to the area of Tesino and Valsugana through the Broccon pass, and the Cereda pass permits to reach the area of Agordino, while the Rolle pass connects the two valleys of Primiero and Fiemme.
This fascinating scenario in Paneveggio, covered by forests of spruce firs, is named after this particular and valuable kind of wood which has been appreciated and used by the master liuthers for centuries to produce the best quality of violins. According to the legend, even the talented Stradivari came up here to see the magnificence of the highest firs of these forests.
Two charming alpine ponds on an altitude of 2000 meters, very easy to reach with a 40 minutes walk on a level path from Passo Rolle, or from San Martino with a little bit demanding trail. In the Seventies, this little lakes became quite famous because of the discovery of several Mesolithic hunters’ artifacts, which demonstrate that this site was part of the hunting tracks of some ancient wandering folks.
The fascinating Val Venegia is one of the most lovely scenario of Parco Paneveggio – Pale di San Martino and of the entire dolomitic area. The valley lies at the bottom of the Pale di San Martino, dominated by the peaks of cima Mulaz and Cimon della Pala. The name Venegia refers to Venice and the ancient activity of selling to the Queen of Adriatic the precious wood of these forests, which floated along several rivers and finally reached the beautiful city of the Serenissima. With its pastures and the beautiful meadows, Val Venegia is still one the most fascinating locations of the entire park to visit on foot or by bike.
The Pale di San Martino plateau is part of the Strict Nature Reserve of the park: this 50 km² area of pure dolostone rock constitutes a unique scenario in the Dolomites. On an altitude of 2500 meters, this rocky plateau is surrounded by several peaks: a wild moon landscape which can be easily explored through the many paths and trails that lead to different alpine huts opened all over the Summer. The Rosetta cable-car permits every visitor to reach the plateau also during the Winter.
This dolomitic glacier lies on the plateau of the Pale di San Martino, on an altitude of 2600 meters, and was once one of the biggest glaciers of the Dolomites, but because of global warming its withdrawal to a rocky glacier seems to be permanent.
The area of the glacier in the middle of this dolomitic landscape and the nearby peak of Cima Fradusta (2939 m) are very interesting to visit with a walk from the Rosetta plateau. On very clear and sunny days, from the summit of Cima Fradusta it is possible to catch the sight of the Venice lagoon.
This beautiful alpine lake in the charming Valle del Lozen, in the nearby Valle del Vanoi, lies on an altitude of 1600 meters. This wonderful landscape, with the ancient pastures and the dense forests, is amazing to discover in every season of the year – as a matter of fact, this uncontaminated area was chosen by the french director Jean Jacque Annaud to shoot several scenes of The Bear, a 1988 movie which won several awards and nominations. A suggestive path in the woods leads from this beautiful lake to San Martino di Castrozza in about 2 hours.
Via Passo Rolle 74, 38054
San Martino di Castrozza TN
Dolomites – Italy
GPS: 46.261766, 11.800790