Beauty and charm at the foot of Mount Civetta
Alleghe (979 m. above sea level) is a charming mountain village located in the geographic heart of Dolomites UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site. The center of the village of Alleghe lies below the imposing northern wall of Mount Civetta (one of the most popular and beloved peaks of the Dolomites) and on the fascinating lakeshore of the namesake lake. The Lake of Alleghe is of quite recent formation (it was originated in 1771 from a massive landslide of Mount Piz, still visible nowadays); this lake is characterized by its still, emerald-green waters which gives the village a mysterious, attractive touch, making of Alleghe one of the beloved tourist resorts of the Dolomites both in Summer and in Winter.
Alleghe | Origin of the name
Although it is just a hypothesis, the toponym “Alleghe” could reveal the Roman origin of the village (this thesis is also supported by the presence of some Roman rock inscription on Mount Civetta, dated 1st Century A.D.). In line with the discovery of many Roman tombs in the Conca Agordina, that show that these places were permanently inhabited already in the late Roman era, Alleghe could have been a Roman outpost in the Alps. According to some recent linguistic theories, “Alleghe” could derive from the Roman terms “alica” or “alicarius”, this is to say “granary”; Alleghe could have been indeed, before the formation of the lake, a place suitable for the grain cultivation.
Alleghe | Historic background
During the mining era (5th – 20th Century A.D.), Alleghe was specialized in the production of cutlery, surgical instruments and blades; these items were mainly produced with the iron extracted from Mount Pore in Colle Santa Lucia, from the Tyrolean desposits known as Fursil Mines. The iron manufacturing became almost a trademark for Alleghe, exactly as stonecutting for Cencenighe, nail manufacturing for the Val di Zoldo, wrought iron for Sottoguda, chair making for the Conca Agordina. Of this Centuries-old tradition, all that’s left is the memory, since Alleghe has discovered in recent time a much more profitable resource: tourism.
Alleghe has been among the pioniers and the main protagonists of the development of tourism in the Dolomites: from the beginning of the 19th Century, Alleghe has started to deal with tourism with the opening of the first hotels of the whole area. At that time, most of the guests were young noblemen on the Grand Tour (like the famnous English writer Amelia B. Edwards, that described Alleghe in her book “Untrodden Peaks and Unfrequented Valleys”) or pioneers of the mountaineering exploration of the nearby peaks (Civetta and Marmolada). Alleghe boasts thus almost two Centuries of experience in tourist reception and it is definitely one of the must-see places in the Dolomites UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site.
Alleghe | The village center
Piazza Kennedy is the small but charming core of Alleghe; located a few steps far from the Lake of Alleghe, the town center is characterized by many hotels, stores, cozy bars and pubs and ski & bike rental shops. Piazza Kennedy houses also the nice San Biagio church, a perfect example of the so-called “Alpine Gothic style”, characterized by the fresco of the Saint on the bell tower.
Alleghe | Ski Civetta
Alleghe is one of the accesses to the Ski Civetta ski area (Dolomiti Superski); guests of Alleghe can quickly enter the Ski Civetta with the new Alleghe – Piani di Pezzè cable car, whose departure is located a few steps far from the town square. Although unfortunately separated from the other 11 ski areas of the Dolomiti Superski (bus and taxi connections with the nearby areas are anyway guaranteed in Winter), Ski Civetta offers 80 kilometers of always perfectly-groomed ski slopes as well as an astonishingly beautiful landscape that attracts every year ski enthusiasts from all over the world. This ski area is very active and full of marvelous proposals, a mix that assure to Ski Civetta excellent results in terms of tourist presences every winter.
Alleghe | Winter activities
For some years now, an amusing, fast gokart race track is at the guests’ disposal; it is the Ice Kart Civetta, a very nice activity for the whole family located a few steps far from the village center (further information at the local Tourist Office – contacts below).
Alleghe has also an illuminated cross-country skiing slopes that connects the hamlet of Caprile to Santa Maria delle Grazie (4 kilometers). The slope is free for all the guests.
Alleghe | Events
Alleghe offers a wide variety of cultural and sporting events throughout the years; among the most important ones we cite the Craft Bike Transalp (one of the biggest multy-day MTB races of the Alps), the Alleghe Splash Party, Barche Illuminate, the Kamikazen and BaiteAperte. For some years now, Alleghe offers also the nice Alleghe Beach on the lakeshore.
Alleghe | Summer tourism
Most of the ski lifts of the Ski Civetta are open also during summer; from Alleghe, guests can reach Col dei Baldi in a few minutes and enjoy a marvelous net of paths suitable both for hiking and for mountain biking. The famous Alta Via delle Dolomiti 1 can also be reached in a few minutes from the mountain station of the cable car, and Piani di Pezzè is becoming more and more suitable for families every year thanks to the Civetta Adventure Park (further information at the local Tourist office – contacts below), many cozy restaurants and a couple of nature Kindergartens. From Col dei Baldi, one of the beloved destination for families is the Coldai Lake, a marvelous lake located between Mount Coldai and the northern wall of the Civetta. For well-trained hikers, Alleghe offers many challenging path, like the CAI path that reaches Rifugio Tissi from Masarè di Alleghe, a hard trail with a remarkable altitude gap. As said above, Civetta is also very famous for some of the hardest climbing routes of the Dolomites.
There are three ways to reach the top of Mount Civetta without climbing: the Via Ferrata Alleghesi, the Via Ferrata Tissi and the Via Ferrata Normale. Each of them needs prudence and good physical preparation, but being at least one time on the roof of the Dolomites is something that is definitely worth it.
The Lake of Alleghe is also a beloved tourist attraction, suitable for the whole family. Boats and pedal boats can be rent on the lakeshore; the tour of the lake is a very popular walk for the whole family, accessible for the whole year.
Alleghe | The hamlet of Caprile
Caprile is an historic hamlet of Alleghe which was actually an independent village until the second Post War period. Located at the confluence of the rivers Cordevole, Pettorina and Fiorentina, almost 4 kilometers far from the center of Alleghe towards the Municipalities of Rocca Pietore and Livinallongo del Col di Lana, Caprile has held for Centuries the role of customs and last bulwark of Venice before the boundary with Tyrol. On Piazza San Marco, in the center of the hamlet, a stone colomn with Saint Mark’s lion (symbol of Venice) reminds us of those ancient times.
The area of Caprile was rather inhospitable in the past: being located on the confluence of three mountain rivers, Caprile was often destroyed by the autumnal floods. Huge fires often brought the village to its knees, requiring the intervention of the nearby villages to quench the fury of the fire (the volunteer firefighters of Livinallongo, even if belonging to a foreing Nation, came often to the aid of the inhabitants of Caprile). Furthermore, the meager amount of cultivable land was often washed away by the floods, and Venice was compelled more than a dozen of times to go to the aid of its citizens with major water containment works. After the terrible 1966 flood, a huge work was carried out in order to fixed the riverbeds, eventually putting an end to the annual floods that threatened the village.
Caprile is famous for having been one of the first tourist destination in the Dolomites; Caprile boasts more than 20 decades of experience in tourist reception, with dozens of famous explorer that have been guests of this village during the exploration era of the Dolomites. Nowadays, Caprile is a cozy hamlet that offers many facilities for families; some of the hotels inaugurated in the 19th Century are still open to tourists from all over the world.
Alleghe | Ice skating & hockey
Alleghe is furthermore a land of ice hockey enthusiasts: the local team, housed in the Alvise De Toni Ice Arena in the center of Alleghe, has taken part for decades in the Italian A Series championship and recorded excellent results also in Europe (Alleghe was the Alpenliga champion for the edition 1992-93). The Alleghe Ice Arena is often open also to ice skaters and some courses are offered by the management of the facility throughout the year.
Alleghe | The Mysteries of Alleghe
Lovers of the noire find in Alleghe their cup of tea: Alleghe is also famous for a series of gory crimes, known as “the Mysteries of Alleghe”, that took place during the 30s, 40s and 50s. The story of these murders as well as the narration of the events related to the investigations are told in the book “The Mysteries of Alleghe” by Sergio Saviane (1964). The 1984 TV series “Il Buio nella Valle” (“Darkness in the Valley”) has been inspired by this series of crimes.
Tourist information office:
Ufficio Turistico del Consorzio Alleghe-Caprile
Tel.+39 0437 523333