For the first excursion of 2022 I choose a non-demanding, simple route, also suitable for families with children, in the splendid scenery of the Eastern Dolomites.
Departure from Domegge di Cadore: from the state road you go down towards the lake of Centro Cadore, pass the capital of the Vergine del Suffragio which anticipates the bridge that allows you to cross the Piave and leads to the car park in Navarre at an altitude of 700m. The temperature is just below freezing as we are in a shady area in the morning. The CAI 347 path starts from here and winds its way into the verdant Val Saceido.
A wooden sign with all the information necessary for the excursion, and for a possible snowshoe hike, indicates the correct way to the hermitage. The path climbs gently, a wooden bridge allows you to cross a stream that descends from the Montanel that dominates this valley. You soon arrive at a crossroads: to the left you continue along the carriageway, while to the right you go up into the woods, continuing the CAI path. For the ascent I opt for this second route.
The path climbs into the woods in a slightly more pronounced way, but without any difficulty. Only in this period pay attention to the center of the track which may still have some frozen pieces. The climb is made more interesting by the presence of a Via Crucis with the 15 stations (there is also the resurrection) scattered on the trees, which allow you to catch your breath while admiring the paintings.
As you gain altitude you can admire the marvelous silhouette of Mount Antelao, majestic on the other peaks, towards the west and it is already beginning to create a noteworthy panorama. At the end of the Via Crucis you come to a crossroads where on the left you can see a small chapel dedicated to the Resurrection of Jesus with beautiful paintings inside. In less than an hour you will reach an altitude of 1100m where you can glimpse a lonely church that stands out on a summit: here is the hermitage of the Romiti!
Domegge di Cadore, Veneto, Italy
Rifugio Eremo dei Romiti
The historian-geographer Ottobe Brentari in his Cadore Historical-Alpine Guide of 1886 writes as follows: “… Più a N. E., always on the s. del Piave, on M. Froppa (not to be confused with Froppa delle Marmarole) between the valleys of Peron and Saicedo, there is, in the middle of the fir trees, a fairly preserved church and a hermitage, now in ruins, in a beautiful position . Here in 1720 a Giovanni Maria Pinazza founded a hermitage, with the small church dedicated to San G. B.; and the small house then enlarged by a second floor, and comprising eight cells, housed as many friars or hermits, who however, for the winter season, had also built a house in Domegge. This convent (the only one built in Cadore) was suppressed for the first time by the Venetian republic, and a second time by Napoleon in 1810. ... ".
The acute Brentari is not mistaken in saying "in a beautiful position", in fact from here you have a spectacular view of Domegge, Pieve di Cadore and Calalzo, dominated by the undisputed King of the Dolomites: Antelao. You can also see Mount Rite and, in the background, you can see the Zoldo peaks with the unmistakable Civetta! The hermitage has now become a beautiful and comfortable refuge that takes the same name as the hermitage. Here you can stay overnight and enjoy wonderful mountain dishes.
For the descent I choose the dirt road where the managers of the refuge can access in comfort with off-road vehicles and snowmobiles. The route is wide and comfortable, but unfortunately due to the conditions this season it is very, very icy. I recommend taking it with snowshoes if it had snowed in the previous days. If, on the other hand, as in this case, the snow has not fallen recently, you risk running into frozen ground where at least crampons are required. The road is a little longer than the climb in the woods but allows you to enjoy very beautiful snowy views. In addition, you also arrive at the Malga or Casera Malauce (closed this season) where beautiful brown horses live. In just over an hour from the hermitage you will reach the crossroads of the outward journey that leads to the CAI path 347 and soon to the parking lot.
A short excursion but full of history, culture and tradition. Path suitable for everyone (subject to the use of equipment suitable for the season), recommended for those who want to treat themselves to a moment of relaxation from the daily frenzy identifying themselves with the hermits who lived centuries ago in these once uncontaminated places.
Tourist - Itinerary on narrow streets, mule tracks or wide paths. The routes are generally not long, do not present any orientation problems and do not require specific training if not the typical one of the walk.