We woke up the next day feeling relaxed and full of energy, ready for some real action up in the Dolomiti. After a complete breakfast with fruit, yogurt and nuts we all put on our hiking boots, got our bags ready, and set off for the adventure.
The Cinque Torri (literally the 5 Towers) are a group of mountains overlooking Cortina d’Ampezzo, some 10km north of San Vito di Cadore. They are surrounded by many paths and walks up and down, to and from the different Rifugi (mountain huts, usually comprising top restaurants) which vary in difficulty. We took one of the paths which surrounded the mountain of Nuvolau, and ran through grass fields with cows suntanning themselves.
Moreover the Cinque Torri were used as a fortification during WWI. Kilometers of tunnels and trenches were carved in the stone, cannons and machine guns are still there for the curious hikers to see an open air museum. In fact the whole region of the Dolomites was the main theatre of the fighting between Italians and Austrians during the conflict. They say that, in the most remote glaciers, during the last summers in which the weather has been specially hot, the ice in the peaks has melted exposing soldiers who were frozen to death.
It is incredible that such peaceful mountains could hold such terrifying memories.
After a good 3 hour hike it was finally the time to turn towards the Rifugio Averau, with a breathtaking view over two valleys, and most famous for its handmade pastas, gnocchi and desserts. The Rifugio Averau is also open in the winter, with ski slopes departing from it and a chairlift for those of you who dont feel like walking, but are up for a little air and some great food.
The sun made its appearance just as we were told to wait a few minutes for our table. We all sat outside on the terrace, wine glass in hand and made the most of it.
We finally sat down to lunch. Rifugio Averau is all I dreamt of. As a foreigner going native, I got to pick my wine and let the others choose the menu, always the best decision.
Here are Arturo and Elena, looking great and fresh on top of the mountain. I was slightly less together at this point but managed to recompose myself by the end of the meal.
We started off with fried Porcini mushrooms,with basil and a hint of lemon. The day’s special.
Followed by the most extenuating pasta…
Red Pappardelle with wild mushrooms and Speck…
and “Cappelli di Alpino” with a tomato and thyme sauce…The “Alpini” are the italian military force for the mountains, and wear green hats with a feather.
And then the time came for dessert…
The house’s Tiramisù, with a drop of baileys for an extra push to walk down the mountain (very much needed!)
Frozen yogurt cream with warm blueberries
Prosecco and Amaretti cake
Grano Saraceno cake, with a layer of berry jam.
my personal favorite, and today’s post recommendation!
We then ran down as the rain approached, going down is far more difficult than going up… don’t you think?
We got back to San Vito just in time for a spritz… I just love holidays !!