The iron route: Strada de la Vena

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On this trip to discover the history of Colle Santa Lucia and Fodom, history and nature are combined, to a explore a route through the woods, ancient mines and a castle.<br /> In the Middle Ages, The Strada de la Vena was one of the most important trade routes in the area, allowing iron ore to be transported from the Fursil Mines, at the foot of Mount Pore, up to the melting furnaces in Andraz Castle along the Valparola pass, in the land of Tyrol until the Great War.

We begin in Colle Santa Lucia’s main square, where you can still visit the ancient headquarters of the mines; Palazzo Chizzali-Bonfadini, or Cesa de Jan in Ladin.

Following the signs, we go up towards the hamlet of Posalz where we come across the first mine tunnel. Then we continue into the woods, accompanied by chirping birds and rustling leaves until we reach the villages of Costauta and Ru, where there are more entrances to the mines.

Along a slight slope at high altitude, we can see the villages in the neighbouring valleys, among which Laste di Rocca Pietore stands out.

Along the way, we pass through the beautiful villages of Canazei, Colcuc and Larzonei, with their typical stone and wood houses. It’s easy to imagine what life was like here in the past, characterised by work in the fields and stables … a simple but rich life.

We then cross another stretch of more dense woodland, at the end of which we see impressive Andraz Castle, the ancient seat of the person who managed the Fursil Mines and the Castle.

Eleonora, the guardian of the Castle today, awaits us with curiosity and anecdotes about the Fodom fortress.


Photo credits: Heart of the Dolomites

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