This stage was documented thanks to the contribution of Pizzeria Mason.
Mainly downhill stage, where an initial steep and critical stretch is followed by easy and panoramic kilometers, in front of the group of the Catinaccio amphitheaters, the face of Roda de Vaèl (2,806 m) and finally the marvelous bell towers of the Latemar (2,799 m).
The highlight of the day is undoubtedly Lake Carezza: one of the most famous postcards of the Dolomites.
This section is a variation of the Sentiero Italia (which remains on the western slopes of the Catinaccio, up to Carezza). It was preferred for the extreme beauty of the Catinaccio mountain range.
The first section (from Rifugio Re Alberto to Rifugio Vajolet, where you retrace the last part of the previous stage downhill) has a considerable slope and several equipped sections, which require caution and experience. The stretch can be very busy and it is, therefore, good to pay attention.
Some sections are slightly exposed in the cross path from Rifugio Negritella to Rifugio Roda di Vael, due to some landslides that must be bypassed with caution.
In the last stretch towards the road that descends from the Carezza pass, be careful not to enter private properties: residents would not take it well.
We leave Re Alberto mountain lodge and go back to the last stretch of the previous stage, with a steep and equipped descent up to Rifugio Vajolet (approximately 400 m drop). From there we pass on a wide carriage road and continue on a comfortable descent (approximately 300 m drop) to the valley floor, from where we pass Rifugio Stella (followed by other mountain lodges). In gentle ups and downs, we reach Rifugio Negritella, located on the watershed overlooking Val di Fassa. Behind us, we admire for the last time Catinaccio di Antermoia (3,002 m), east of the Sella and Marmolada groups.
We proceed westwards and take the path on the hillside that develops under the eastern wall of the Roda de Vaèl. Rifugio Roda di Vael offers a water point and is an excellent place to have lunch (those who are tired can interrupt the stage here).
We continue sideways going around southward Roda de Vaèl and we reach the great monumental eagle dedicated to Theodor Christomannos (Austro-Hungarian lawyer, in love with these places and pioneer of tourism in the Dolomites): the view opens up on the north face of Latemar (2,799 m ), with its pointed bell towers. The scenery of the valley below is quite sad: the green meadows are interrupted by "holes" in the forest, with thousands of spruce trees on the ground.
Once we reach Rifugio Paolina, we begin the descent (approximately 500 m drop) that quickly leads us to the town of Carezza.
In German Catinaccio is called Rosengarten, the "rose garden": it owes its name to the saga of King Laurino.
There are thousands of versions of the legend, but all of them want to explain the phenomenon of the alpenglow, the pink color that the Dolomites take on at sunrise and sunset.
King Laurino, angry or sad depending on the version, decided to make invisible by day and night the beautiful rose garden that covered the Catinaccio group. For this reason, he cast the spell but forgot about sunrise and sunset so today we can still enjoy the wonderful show of the mountain painted with pink, at sunrise, and sunset.
The Grand Hotel Karesse is a huge building whose decadent charm takes you back to the time of the Empire in South Tyrol. Like many places in Trentino Alto Adige, the Grand Hotel is also linked to Princess Sissi, an iconic figure of the Habsburgs: it was one of her summer residences. The princess was very attached to these places and is said to have loved to contemplate the sunset on the walls of the Catinaccio.
Lake Carezza (despite the many tourists and the nearby road) is truly enchanting: surrounded by larch forests, the reflection of the Latemar bell towers on its waters is one of the wonders of the Dolomites. At the bottom of the lake lies the bronze statue of the nymph Ondina.
For those wishing to escape the crowds, another 20 minutes walk away, there is a smaller but equally enchanting lake, nestled in the woods.
From Campedie (near Rifugio Negritella) it is possible to easily descend to Pozza di Fassa. There is the Ladin Museum of Fassa, established in 1975 by the Ladin cultural institute "Majon di Fascegn", whose purpose is to preserve the Ladin culture. The Ladin language, local customs, and traditions represent the soul of the Dolomites.
For more info, timetables and tickets, follow the LINK.
Strudel is a classic dessert of the South Tyrolean and Austrian tradition, which seems to have very ancient origins: its recipe was already popular among the ancient Assyrians and it seems that sultan Suleiman brought it to Europe when he invaded what is now Hungary, in the 16th century.
It is a rolled dough, stuffed with apples, pine nuts, and raisins; the name means "whirlwind" due to its particular shape.
Rifugio Roda di Vael, underlying the homonymous peak. Tel. +39 0462 764450
Rifugio Paolina, underlying the Roda di Vael peak (on the opposite side from the previous mountain lodge). Tel. +39 0471 612008
Villa San Pio X, in Carezza. Tel. +39 349 185 0806
In Carezza there are numerous accommodation facilities.
Starting point NOT reachable by car.
The nearest location reachable by car is Rifugio Gardeccia.
Starting point NOT reachable by bus.
The nearest location reachable by bus is Pera, departing from Trento with a change in Cavalese.
Here the LINK to check the timetables.
Starting point NOT reachable by train.
Va' Sentiero is a grassroot project, thanks to the spontaneous contribution oft housands of people.
Even the most complicated dream, a 7,000km uphill dream,
can be achieved... together.