To commemorate the centenary of the beginning of World War I, Dolomite Mountains Ltd. will lead three eight-day tours during 2014 exploring the via ferrata, or iron path, the network of lines and metal ladders built to aid soldiers as they fought in and around the steep Dolomite peaks of northern Italy.
The set departures of the Via Ferrata of WWI and trekking the Alta Via (high routes) are 5th July , 2nd August and 6th September 2014.
Guides will immerse participants in the stories, ruins and remnants of this historic route on this, the centennial year commemorating the start of the “war to end all wars.”
In the Dolomites from 1915-1918, WWI raged across the peaks and valleys, with Austrian and Italian soldiers, often friends from neighbouring villages, fighting each other. Italy faced the German and Austro-Hungarian armies on alpine battlefields and the soldiers tried to make their lives in the mountains as easy as possible. Soldiers here (and in other regions) dug long tunnels inside the mountains with dynamite and picks, built suspension bridges across deep chasms, iron paths and refuges (mountain shelters) that literally hung on sheer cliffs.
Some vestiges of this history are in their original state; others have been renovated and transformed into open air museums on the mountains of Lagazuoi, Marmolada, Tofane and Col di Lana.
“The iron paths that have been opened originally had nothing to with the true spirit of mountaineering or the passion for the mountains. But today these paths stand as silent witnesses of some of the most tragic and memorable events of WWI. This itinerary can make us stop and consider the horrors of all wars, while admiring a breath-taking panorama. The consciousness of what happened in this incredibly beautiful area can give a small contribution to the cause of Peace,” said Agustina Lagos Marmol, Dolomite Mountains owner.
Prices for Via Ferrata in the Dolomites
From £1670 (pp/2 sharing) including mountain guide, half board, luggage transfers, via ferrata equipment, lifts used. 5th July, 2nd August, 6th September and bespoke tours to suit. Flights to Venice on British Airways and Easyjet.
00 39 0471 840005