Published on: 17 March 2013 | Last updated: 29 March 2017
This section of the route in takes you from the Friulian Dolomites through the Val Pesarina and crosses into the Veneto over the Sella Ciampigotto (1790m). It’s a long, but not steep climb. The ride takes you through some lovely Friulian villages. The highlight is the village of Pesariis. For four centuries Pesariis has been a centre and the town is home to a museum and a fascinating collection of time-keeping devices which you can admire as you walk around.
After Pesariis the road is one of the wilder and quieter roads in the Dolomites with nothing until you reach the rifugio at the pass. The road that descends down from the past is one of the wildest I came across in the whole of the Dolomites.
At the bottom of the hill the route joins the Grande Strada delle Dolomiti. The road was built in the early twentieth century with the aim of opening the Dolomites for tourism. It heads through the lakeside resort of Auronzo di Cadore. There’s a steady 26-kilometre climb (altitude gain just over 1000 metres) through the woodlands from Auronzo to the Lago di Misurina. From Auronzo you could simply head straight on for Cortina via the Passo di Tre Croce, omitting the detour to the Lago di Misurina and the Tre Cime, but you really would be missing out.
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|Start to Pesariis||8 kms|
|Pesariis - Laggio di Cadore||34 kms|
|Laggio di Cadore - Auronzo di Cadore||9 kms|
|Auronzo di Cadore - Misurina||25 kms|
Misurina is a mini lakeside resort, and the lake is attractive, but the main reason for coming up here are the Tre Cime di Lavaredo (Three Peaks of Lavaredo). It’s a fairly challenging climb - in fact it will be a stage finish point in this year’s Giro d’Italia (2013). I’d suggest doing it as a day ride without luggage.
I’ve chosen this particular route because of the village of Pescaris, but there are a couple at least another couple of options:
- head via Forni Avoltri and the Cima Sappada and the village of Sappada. Sappada was settled by German-speaking settlers sometime in the 13th century and their language (Plodn) has survived as a distinctive dialect that preserves many features of the language spoken in the middle ages;
- via the village and lake at Sauris. This climb is included in the guide produced by the regional tourist authorities. Sauris, was also settled by the settlers from the same area as Sappada.
Places to stay
There are plenty of places to stay in Auronzo and a more limited selection of places at Misurina. I definitely recommend the Albergo Giannina in Laggio di Cadore at the bottom of the descent from the Sella di Ciampigotto - good quality and reasonably-priced with helpful owners.
Hotels and B&Bs
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Booking.com pages for places on this section of the route:
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If you use these links to book accommodation Booking.com will pay me a small part of their commission. This helps support the costs of producing this site.
I use Booking.com to find and book places to stay when there are no campsites in the area. The large majority of hotels and many hostels are now on ‘Booking’. I like it because it means that I can get almost-instant confirmation. The rating system is also a reliable guide to the quality of the accommodation.
I’ve never had a problem finding places to keep my bike —even if it’s a cupboard or store room. I always use the ‘special requests’ field on the booking form to tell the hotel that I’m travelling with a bike, which gives them the opportunity to let me know if there’s a problem.
Many properties offer free cancellation but it’s a good idea to check the conditions as these vary from property to property.
Hostels and rifugi
There’s a rifugio at the Sella di Ciampigotto (the Rifugio Ten Fabbro) and another at the foot of the Tre Cime (the Rifugio Auronzo), which would be a good base if you wanted to stay a day or two to go walking.
Transport and services
Places to eat
There’s a very nice agriturismo ("Sot la Napa") at Pesariis, after that there’s nothing until you get to the rifugio at the pass. So it might be worth carrying some food.
Articles in this series
- East to West through the Dolomites: Overview
- East to West through the Dolomites – Part 1
- East to West through the Dolomites – Part 2
- East to West through the Dolomites – Part 3
- East to West through the Dolomites – Part 4
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