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The Road of 52 Tunnels in Pasubio

A visit to Rifugio Achille Papa and the Sacred Area of Pasubio, passing through the spectacular Strada delle 52 Gallerie
7:00 h


Mount Pasubio is a true open-air museum of the Great War: its underground galleries, trenches, and commemorative monuments tell of clashes and battles on an important border line between Italy and Austria, in an atmosphere of somber sacredness.

From a hiking perspective, the most interesting elements are the three roads (two of which are accessible by off-road vehicles) that ascend to the battle lines, located between 1900 and 2200 meters: these are the Heroes' Road (which ascends from Pian delle Fugazze and crosses the famous General d'Havet Gallery), the Scarrubbi Road, and the famous Road of 52 Galleries (both starting from Bocchetta Campiglia). The proposed itinerary follows these last two routes.

We park the car at Bocchetta Campiglia (1216m) and then take the Road of 52 Galleries. Within minutes, we reach the first gallery, then the second, third, fourth, and fifth. As we proceed, the path becomes increasingly airy and panoramic, offering us suggestive views. The route presents no difficulties or dangers, as even in the steepest sections, it measures no less than a meter in width; a torch is useful, especially on cloudy days. Travel times vary (from 2 to 3 hours) depending on the attention given to the numerous explanatory signs encountered along the way. Finally, having traveled the most impressive section of the route, adorned with spectacular karst balconies and towering structures, we reach the General Achille Papa Refuge of the CAI in Schio (1928m, 2.30 hours), located in a favorable position near the Gates of Pasubio, where the 3 roads meet.

The area richest in signs and images of the First World War is the "Sacred Zone of Pasubio," delimited by Palon, the Italian Tooth, and the Austrian Tooth, behind the Achille Papa refuge.

Leaving the refuge, we climb on a trail towards the ruined barracks located on the sub-peak of Palon, then reach the unsightly cross at the top of Palon (2232m, 45 minutes), paying attention to the collapses in the ceilings of the rooms below (!!). The view from here is exceptional: we see the white expanses of Adamello, the typical shapes of the Dolomites, and a large portion of the Venetian plain. We now continue on the wide karst ridge, crossing trenches and tunnels carved with dynamite into the rock. We arrive at the Italian Tooth, then, after crossing a depression, at the Austrian Tooth (2127m, 30 minutes). The traces gradually fade: from here, we tend slightly to the right, descending slowly through grassy mounds until we spot the Seven Crosses. From here, on level ground, we head back towards the refuge, passing by a picturesque little church near the Selletta del Comando, then by the Roman Arch (built between the two wars) and the inscription "Di qui non si passa" (1928m, 40 minutes).

For the descent, we can choose the Scarrubbi Road (or retrace the path of the 52 galleries); the route, initially too flat and then too steep, is not as spectacular as the gallery road; we follow it in its entirety until we return to Bocchetta Campiglia (1216m, 2 hours).






The mountains are a dangerous environment: make sure you always have the right equipment — hiking or trail shoes, warm clothes and waterproofs in case of unexpected changes in weather conditions, a small emergency kit.


I've made an Amazon "shopping note" to make sure you have everything — ps if you buy from these links, 3% goes to support the development and maintenance of Hikes of the World 🙏.


  • Breathable t-shirt ( example )

  • Sweatshirt, fleece, or light jacket

  • Waterproof windbreaker (for example: men / women )

  • Gloves and hat (you never know)

  • Backpack with rain cover

  • Trekking poles (not essential, but they help to unload the weight of the backpack and ease the impact on the joints)

  • Trekking or trail running shoes (in great vogue lately because they are lightweight. These Salomon ones - for men and women - are an excellent entry-level, preferably Gore-Tex)

  • For via ferratas: complete via ferrata kit (I have this one , very light and compact, with this harness and helmet — or you can buy complete kits ). Buy in store to receive ad hoc support

  • To sleep a night in a refuge: sheet or light sleeping bag

  • Water bottle or thermos

  • Light crampons if you think you will find ice or snow on the route

  • Power bank or cell phone charger

  • Camera

  • Drone, for those who love to "fly" (used in moderation and at a distance from other people. I have had the DJI Mini 2 for over 2 years and have found myself very happy with it. The DJI Mini 3 also allows you to take vertical photographs)

  • Small emergency kit ( example )

  • Sun cream (essential)

  • Sunglasses


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