The Centuries-old wood
- Difficulty: Easy, for families
- Length: 4.350 m
- Precision time: 1 h 30 min.
This is an easy itinerary, almost flat, along a nice path through the woods just below Col de Salèra (Monte Punta), with panoramic views over Mezzodì, Tamer-S.Sebastiano and Moiazza. The villages of Astragal and Villa are very interesting.
A steep road reaches Astragal, an enviable panoramic position on the southern slopes of Mount Punta. The little church of Fabiano and Sebastiano and an ancient elegant building overlook the village square. Just before Valentino, the birthplace of Panciera Besarèl, the famous sculptor from Zoldo, is situated, and in front is the house with the botanic gardens owned by the Angelini family, which made the first fundamental description of the Zoldo mountains. From the small square continue towards Col, at the bottom of the village, and level with a bend to the right follow the trail which is almost flat and goes into the woods to the west.
The road stops level with Gaf de Malvarè, which is a small stream which carved out a striking canyon, and then continues on the opposite side. No problem: the short path is wide and the stream can be passed using a small and solid bridge. With a short and steep downhill section pass along Pratoran, with De Fanti’s isolated house, where there is a refreshing fountain, then climb up reaching Villa (1014 m, 40 mins). From the village square which is surrounded by old houses and by the small church it is possible to enjoy a view over Mezzodì and Goima’s Valley; there is also a large, ancient fountain, the “brent grant”, near the square which is also delightful.
Before returning to Astragàl, in fifteen minutes you can head downhill to Dont (926m) along the main road. The village, at the start of the valley where the Duram stream flows, once was important for smelting and iron work: here you will find many blast furnaces and on Mount Canazé there were iron and lead mines. At Dont it is possible to visit the church of Santa Caterina where the works of art of Brustolon and Besarèl are kept and afterwards you can enjoy an original Zoldo ice cream at the Bar Pelmo near the playground. Alternatively you can return to Astragal from the square in Villa and walk uphill along via Nosgièda, go along it, cross the recent Villa dei De Rocco and from there a very steep path sets off which leads to a water hydrant and then continues along an easy mule track to join up with the forestry road which takes you in the direction of Col de Salera.
Valentino Panciera Besarel
Valentino Panciera Besarèl was born in 1829 in Astragàl to a family of decorators and carpenters (his grandfather worked for the Counts of Collalto, and the Madonna del Caravaggio in the church of Astragàl, the high altar and the statue of the Madonna della Salute in the church of Dont are works by his father). Valentino found fame in Venice, where he opened a studio in San Barnaba and his works won prizes at the World Exhibitions of Vienna in 1873 and Paris in 1878. His works are to be found in almost all the churches of the Zoldo Valley, in Cadore, Agordo, Val Belluna; one of his most beautiful works preserved in the Zoldo Valley is the altar of the Virgin of the Rosary in the Pieve di S. Floriano. He died in Venice in 1902.
[contents: Unione montana Longaronese Cadore Zoldo]