In this page we'll describe a short, but really beautiful, hike from "Piè Tofana" to "Cianderou", walking through the Montanelli path, to the amazing panorama from the "Crépe de Cianderou".
This hike can be found on the Tabacco Map 003 - Cortina d'Ampezzo e Dolomiti Ampezzane and it goes through paths 410 and 409.
This walk is very pleasant and is suitable for everyone, even untrained people and children, as it does not have major differences in height, except for a final climb, which is optional and still quite easy.
Path of the hike
The walk towards "Cianderou" starts in the nearby of the Restaurant "Piè Tofana" and is indicated by a wood sing, that is located exactly here. If you have no idea of how to reach this destination, we will discuss it deeply in the last part of this page, in the chapter "how to get there".
The first part of the walk is along the dirt road that leads to Col Drusciè, which is open to traffic, you should stay on the edge of the road, to not disturb the vehicles.
Once you have walked for a few hundred meters, a second sign board will invite you to continue to the left, towards Lake Ghedina. The panorama has not been the best for now, but don't worry, it will get way better.
After a few meters inside the woods, on your left, a small lake will appear. It is perfectly regular, with a nice "heart" shape, this artificial lake is called "Po' Drusciè" used for snowmaking on the ski slopes. Although on the hottest days the temptation to take a dip is strong, keep in mind that the water is very cold and, above all, swimming is prohibited. After visiting this peculiar lake, you shall return to the main path and continue into the woods for another 15 minutes.
You will reach a crossing called "Ra Forzèla", that is clearly identifiable by a bench and the vertical sign boards. Leave the Path 410 and take the direction "Cianderou", along Path 409.
From here the panorama begins to show up, offering splendid views of Cortina. The walk continues for about 10 minutes, always flat and on a very comfortable gravel road.
Once you reach the wooden sign board of the Natural Park of the Ampezzo Dolomites continue along Path 409, in the direction of "Tonde de Cianderou". Take the road to the left of the intersection, from here the slope changes, becoming a not too demanding climb.
After about 20 minutes of constant uphill walking, you will reach the panoramic point of the "Crépe de Cianderou", where a bench will allow you to enjoy a very impressive panoramic view.
From this observation point you can see Cortina, Mount Faloria, Mount Antelao, the hill of Col Drusciè and, in the distance, the town of San Vito di Cadore, about 13 kilometers away.
We really like doing this hike in autumn, when the trees turn orange, preparing for winter, but this walk is also very beautiful during both spring and summer. The photographs on this page were taken at the beginning of November, when the colors are amazing.
When you are rested, you can return to Piè Tofana, our starting point, along the same route you took to get there. If you think this walk has been too short, there are two very scenic detours you may take along the return.
First is the path to Lake Ghedina, a small and very suggestive mountain lake, where you can also find a restaurant of the same name. At the end of the descent from Cianderou, once you have found the intersection with the sign board of the "Dolomiti d'Ampezzo" Natural Park, you must continue to the left, along the path 410. The duration of the detour, there and back, is approximately 50 minutes.
The second possibility is to visit Col Drusciè, a small hill that you could have observed from the viewpoint of "Cianderou" Here are located the astronomical observatory and the arrival of the new "Tofana S.p.A." cableway. There is also a restaurant of the same name and one Wine Bar owned by Masi, a fine winery that wonderfully represents our region's wines. To reach Col Drusciè you will have to reach almost the beginning of the walk, near the Piè Tofana car park, and continue along the road indicated by the Col Drusciè - Path 411 sign. After about 15 minutes of walking uphill along you will reach the hill, where you can enjoy a beautiful panorama of Cortina, as well as drink or eat something.
If you don't want to walk more than you already have, you could also stop to eat at Piè Tofana, where there's a restaurant of the same name. It is known for its high-level cuisine, more information can be found on the official website of the Restaurant "Baita Piè Tofana".
The Path 410 is also known as "Montanelli Path", in honor of the Italian journalist of the same name, who loved walking along this route during his summer holidays in Cortina. He was well known and respected in Italy.
If you have decided to visit "Col Drusciè" you may have seen the Astronomical Observatory named after Helmut Ullrich. The structure is managed by amateur astronomers and it boasts the discovery of 40 supernovae and a small planet, called Cortina d'Ampezzo.
There's also a more demanding variant of this hike, which allows you to reach "Cianderou" starting from Fiames, continuing beyond the panoramic point, up to Posporcora. In this case, however, the hike becomes almost 12 kilometers and is no more suitable for everyone. We have described this hike on the page:
The lake Po' Drusciè, with its depth of 10 meters and a volume of water of 96 thousand cubic metres, is the largest artificial lake in Ampezzo. It is used as a water reserve for making snow on the ski slopes during the winter season.
How to get there
The only way to get to "Piè Tofana", is to take the car, as the locality is not reached by buses. Once you reach the destination, you can park in the large free lot. It's usually not overly crowded, except during peak season, when it's advisable to arrive early in the morning. From the center of Cortina the car park is approximately fifteen minutes by car.
If you don't have a car the only other way to reach "Piè Tofana" is to take a taxi. From the center an estimated price should be around 30€, but ask before if you want to know the exact price. You can find a taxi both on Roma Square and Bus Station. You can also reach them on the Cortina's official taxi website, to ask for a specific pickup point.
The "Montanelli walk" is not ideal in winter, because it cuts through ski slopes that are prohibited for pedestrians. Usually, the most suitable months for this hike are those that go between May and November. This is a slightly conservative estimate, but unfortunately every season is different. It is not possible to know exactly when it will snow nor when the snow will melt.
If you plan to eat at one of the restaurants described above, they are usually open for most of the year. If you don't want to have bad surprises, in low season, it is always better to call to check the actual opening.
Even though this is a pretty easy walk, we suggest choosing appropriate clothing, starting with your shoes, which should be sturdy. Always carry a backpack with, at least, some water, a snack and a rain jacket. If you are new to hiking, we recommend you read the page we wrote on how to tackle a mountain outing:
We want to emphasize that, in the Dolomites, there are rules to be followed. The main ones are:
- It is strictly forbidden to light fires.
- It is strictly forbidden to pick plants and flowers.
- Free camping is prohibited.
- It is prohibited to abandon garbage.
- It is mandatory to keep pets on a leash.
We hope you liked this page on the walk "Montanelli", from "Piè Tofana" to "Cianderou". Before saying goodbye, we would suggest you read our home page, with all the articles we wrote about Cortina d'Ampezzo.
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