The Belluno Dolomites National Park was established in 1990 to protect an area of extraordinary landscape and natural value; covers about 32000 hectares, with high and medium mountain environments. The Vette di Feltre and Monte Serva were already very famous for their flora since the 18th century. The presence of rare species and an exceptional variety of environments is due primarily to the geographical location. It is located on the edge of the south-eastern Alps, in very inaccessible areas.
Different environments and cultures gravitate on the Park area. The hamlets located on the slopes overlooking the Valle del Piave (Feltrino and Bellunese), certainly stand out from the Agordini or Val di Zoldo centers situated on slopes with completely different climatic and geological features.
The areas of maximum naturalistic interest are located in the higher areas, in the highlands, in the buse of glacial origin, but there are also stations of considerable importance also near the valley floors and the most frequented accesses. The great variety of environments and landscapes is the most evident characteristic, particularly noticeable in the summer season, characterized by bursting blooms.
A considerable number of sites of the greatest naturalistic interest is located at high altitudes and requires, in the absence of convenient motorized accesses (it is a fortune and a peculiarity of this Park), a good physical training. There are easy and well-marked paths and itineraries in the Park which, however, require a minimum amount of hiking practice.
To visit the Park, the hiker can take advantage of the dense network of CAI trails, all regularly reported. Next to these there is also a series of routes created by the Park Authority: thematic itineraries and nature trails:
They investigate specific topics and are described in detailed guides, available in the main bookstores or in the Park Information Points, and in synthetic leaflets, distributed free of charge.
Those that can be followed today are:
1. The Cadini del Brenton;
2. The Circhi delle Vette;
3. Pedemontane churches;
4. Covoli in Val di Lamen;
5. The forgotten mountain;
6. The Via degli Ospizi.
They are short itineraries, accessible to all, equipped with multi-thematic educational panels that illustrate the environmental realities crossed. In addition to the explanatory tables along the path, synthetic leaflets are available for the visitor on the individual routes for free distribution at the Park headquarters, the Pedavena Visitor Center and the Seravella Information Point.
The nature trails that can be followed today are those of:
· Val Falcina;
· Val di Canzoi;
· Val di San Martino.
Flora and fauna
There is no doubt that one of the main scientific reasons for the birth of the Park lies in the great richness and rarity of the flora. Since 1700 the Vette di Feltre, and also the M. Serva, enjoyed a well-deserved reputation and were visited by some of the greatest botanists of the time.
The vascular flora (plants with flowers and others, such as ferns, with roots, stems and leaves) has a consistency of over 1,600 entities and among these are not few those that deserve to be remembered because they are endemic, rare, or of high value fitogeografico. the southernmost part is also richer as it is less devastated by glaciations and therefore ancient species could have survived. The Dolomite area is not rich in endemic species like some pre-Alpine areas but there are very many localized presence of rare species or those found here at the border of their range. The types best represented are those of the Alpine contingent proper (and in particular of the eastern one), boreal and Eurasian-temperate. While the presence of Mediterranean and Atlantic entities is scarce, the eastern gravitational species (Illyrian, Pontic, South-European) and those of the circummediterranean mountains (Mediterranean-mountain) deserve to be underlined.
Limiting the citations to some rarities we point out:
Delphinium dubium (Delphinium).
Ranuncolacea that blooms in some localities of the Vette, in full summer, on the consolidated scree.
Beautiful primulaceae, widespread in the western part, from the Vette to the basin of the Mis, which prefers shady, cool, long snow-covered stations rich in nutrients.
Relatively common spiny astragalus in the Western Alps. It grows (here is the only station of the Eastern Alps) in the area of Forcella La Varetta, Vescovà, Pian de Fontata, on very arid rock slopes.
Illyrian species; form, thanks to a formidable root system, extensive colonies that cover with yellow long, snow-covered debris, but hot in summer. It is exclusive to Pavione and Busa delle Vette, in the Feltrino area, and to M. Serva.
Small crucifera with white flowers; also vegeta on long snow-covered debris, only in the westernmost part from Vallazza to Val Canzoi. It was first discovered here in 1763.
Splendid lily located on the grassy-rocky slopes of the mountain range facing south, only in the westernmost part. It is an Illyrian plant, located here at the western end of its range.
Dolomitic endemism, it is frequent in the whole territory of the park on the humid cliffs at altitudes higher than 1000 - 1200 meters, where it blooms in full summer. Often accompanied by another endemic dolomitic species, Primula tyrolensis, which blooms early.
The Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park is in Veneto, in the southern sector of the province of Belluno, less than a hundred kilometers from Venice.
The main cities of entry to the park are Belluno and Feltre.
Belluno can be reached from Mestre and Venice, via the A27 motorway (exit Pian di Vedtia) and then along a short stretch, before the main road 51 to Ponte nelle Alpi and then the main road 50.
For those coming from Padua it is advisable to continue along the A4 motorway (Milan-Venice) to the Mestre tollbooth and from this, reach Belluno via the A27 motorway.
Feltre can be reached from Vicenza along the Val d'Astico A31 motorway (Dueville exit), then continuing along the SS 47 (Val Sugana) almost to Primolano, and then a section of the 50 bis state road, then 50.
From the north the main access routes to Feltre are: for those coming from Trento the state 47 (Val Sugana highway) to Primolano, and the state 50 for those crossing the Passo Rolle; and in Belluno, for those coming from Cortina d'Ampezzo and from the Austrian border, there is the statale 51 (of Alemagna).
From Friuli Venezia Giulia, for those coming from Gorizia, Trieste and from the Slovenian border, it is preferable to take the A4 motorway and take, before Mestre, the A27 motorway for Belluno; while those coming from Udine and Pordenone can follow the SS 13 to Vittorio Veneto and then the SS 51 to Ponte nelle Alpi and from here a short section of the SS 50 to Belluno.
The surface of the Park is intersected by two road arteries: the provincial road No. 2 of the Valle del Mis and the state road Agordina No. 203 in the section that runs through the lower Val Cordйvole. They have an almost parallel path, they are separated from each other by the Monti del Sole Group, and they connect the Val Belluna average with the Agordino.
Except for state road 203 Agordina, which climbs the Cordevole valley, and the roads of the Val Canzoi and Valle del Mis, there are no other routes to penetrate the Park area. Roads and forest tracks are strictly closed to vehicular transit.
On the train
Feltre and Belluno are served by the Padua-Montebelluna-Feltre-Belluno-Calalzo railway line also with bicycle transport service (Padova-Feltre 83 Km in about 1 hour and 30 minutes, Feltre-Belluno 31 Km in 30 minutes). Direct trains from Venice to Belluno are conveyed on the Venice-Treviso-Conegliano-Ponte line in the Alps-Belluno (160 km in about 2 hours).
We list only a few, referring to the park site and the specialized bibliography for a much more complete list
With the Mich
Reachable from Zorzoi (Sovramonte), it is a location outside the Park but represents the "historic" ascent route to Vallazza, the Pavione and the Vette. It is situated between cultivated terraces and coppice woods. Of exceptional floristic and vegetational value the ascent towards Le Prese and from here to Vallazza.
Located along the state road that connects Pedavena to Croce d'Aune, it is a plateau with an area equipped for picnics and a CTA Station Command for the Park surveillance service.
Location suitable for short and comfortable walks for families and children.
Several roads and paths lead towards Soladen, Caloneghe, Paradisi di Norcen and a dense network of casere still partly used and frequented in the good season. The prevailing interest is historical-anthropic.
Valley of Lamen
Reachable from the homonymous village in the Municipality of Feltre. The park starts where the rocks are, but the landscape with meadows and woods is particularly attractive. For hikers who love difficult and solitary routes (and only for them) there are impervious paths that allow to reach the Busa delle Vette through steep ridges and small valleys of great floristic interest.
Lasen - Arson
Fractions on the slopes of Monte San Mauro and Monte Grave. Despite the abandonment of the last decades, a dense network of paths (with routes suitable also for mountain-bikes) is particularly suitable for winter walks. The floristic interest along the paths leading to the small church of San Mauro and to Al Pos, an excellent vantage point, is remarkable.
It is one of the main entrances to the Park. On summer Sundays and in August, car traffic risks compromising its delicate balance. It is a long, deep and very spectacular landscape valley. In the dam of the lake of La Stua branch the most classic paths to reach the Bivouac Feltre in Cimonega or the homonymous casera,
Valle del Mis
the Valle del Mis represents a key area of the Park system.
It is a valley of extraordinary environmental value with multiple possibilities to appreciate environmental phenomena (in addition to the artificial lake itself, the Soffia waterfall, the Brentтn ponds or potholes). The Park Authority has carried out the first interventions here (paths and equipped areas) to favor the correct fruition of excursions.
Charterhouse of Vedana
Complex of significant historical and architectural value, not open to the inside. Nearby other interesting biotopes are the Lake and the Masiere, the latter subject to mining activities that have reduced the surface area and landscape value.
Valle Imperina mines
Location located in a shady area at the mouth of the homonymous stream on the Cordevole.
Ancient mining center that has marked the Agordo economy for centuries. The mining village, the major European center for copper extraction, has a centuries-old history, having remained active from the 1400s to 1962. All mining facilities, tunnels and melting furnaces are today the subject of a massive recovery intervention to work of the Park and the Agordina mountain community.
The main access is from Col di Roanza. Extraordinary are the blooms of the extensive meadows that characterize this grassy peak with its characteristic profile. On the ridge there are exceptional floristic peculiarities. The itinerary, up to the Casìra Pian dei Fioch (sheep pasture), is very popular.
Parco delle Dolomiti Bellunesi: Useful information
Currently the Park facilities to support visitors are:
the Pedavena visitor center
the Seravella information point
the Valle Imperina visitor center (under construction)
Within the Park territory it is possible to find every kind of accommodation, from the farm to the simple Trattoria, for information it is advisable to contact the Tourist Promotion Agency of the area, or access the site of the Park.
Tourist Promotion Company n. 2 Belluno, Feltre Alpago
Via R. Psaro, 21 32100 Belluno, tel 0437 940084, fax 0437 940073
e-mail [email protected]
Information offices and tourist assistance (I.A.T.)
Belluno, piazza dei Martiri 8, tel 0437 940083, fax 0437 940073
Feltre, piazzetta Trento and Trieste 9, tel 0439 2540, fax 0439 2839
Forno di Zoldo, via Roma 10 / a, tel 0437 787349, fax 0437 787340
Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park
Headquarters in Piazzale Zancanaro, 1
32032 Feltre (BL)
This article was written thanks to the kind cooperation of the Dolomiti Bellunesi Park Authority; the information and photographs have been taken from the www.dolomitipark.it site on which it is possible to find further information, certainly more complete than those reported here, and constantly updated.