There’s nothing quite like a hut experience in the Heart of the Dolomites. In fact, hut doesn’t really do it justice. Even Rifugio seems to undercut the experience. Perhaps a mountain palace? A fairytale castle? Whatever you want to call it, the Rifugios in the Heart of the Dolomites are a sight to be seen and should not be missed.
There are many Rifugios to choose from when planning your holiday in the Heart of the Dolomites but my number one Rifugio recommendation has to be Rifugio Tissi.
Rifugio Tissi sits at the base of everyone’s favorite mountain, Monte Civetta. This stunning mountain is a dominate vision in the Dolomite skyline, towering high above the quaint villages below. Monte Civetta offers some of the best climbing and via ferratas in the area and of course, some of the best hiking too.
If you want to plan a trip to Rifugio Tissi, don’t expect to have the trail all to yourself. This is a popular hike and for good reason. Many visitors flock to the area to get a sight of the mighty Monte Civetta and the beautiful mountain palace that lies underneath it. Nevertheless, the number of people should not deter you from making this trip a priority for your holiday.
This hike is unique in that you can do the entire trip in a straight line without having to go back the way you came. This means every kilometer there is something new to see and the views the first day are different than the first. We started this hike at the trailhead between Taibon Agordino and Alleghe. The trail was a modest uphill that quietly meandered up the valley.
The first stop we made was at Rifugio Mario Vazzoler al Col Negro di Pelsa. After a few easy hours of walking, we arrived at this Rifugio just in time for lunch. We treated ourselves to a quick sandwich and an Aperol Spritz to give us a boost, we continued up the path coming into the valley below Monte Civetta. We were greeted with alpine fields, wildflowers, roaming cows and breathtaking views around every corner.
Finally, we arrived at Rifugio Tissi in the later afternoon. The last stretch to the hut is steep and unrelenting but the effort is well worth it! Finally, after an afternoon of hiking up, we were rewarded with some of the most spectacular views of Monte Civetta and the town of Alleghe below.
The Rifugio itself was a feat to behold. It’s a large rifugio capable of housing a lot of weary hikers. The dining room has large windows that give you a panorama view of the famous Monte Civetta and you could easily spend a few days just gazing at the views.
As if that wasn’t enough, the Rifugio provides you with an alpine feast too! You get to choose your dinner complete with salad and dessert and, of course, wine. I promise you will never have a better view of your dinner than you will on a clear night at Rifugio Tissi. Finish off the night with coffee, some grappa and perhaps even a hot shower if you’re feeling fancy.
The next day we continued walking towards Alleghe. The weather was a little colder and cloudier but the views were still impressive. We passed beautiful alpine ponds and meandered down the trail to the last Rifugio of the trip where we indulged in one final coffee for the last push.
The hike ends with a scenic ride down the cable cars into Alleghe, perhaps one of the most beautiful towns in the area. The trip to Rifugio Tissi was one of the highlights of my experience in the Heart of the Dolomites and I still dream of waking up with the view of Monte Civetta.
Photo credits: Heart of the Dolomites, Erica Clapp Young Adventuress