The Heroes’ Road is an extraordinary excursion in Asiago, Italy, that takes you through breathtaking landscapes dating back to the time of the Great War. It stretches from the Pian delle Fugazze Pass to the Papa Mountain Hut (Rifugio in Italian), offering a journey rich in historical significance and natural beauty.
The Heroes’ Road owes its name to the commemorative plaques that adorn the path, which honor the 12 Gold Medals for Military Valor awarded to those who valiantly fought on these mountains. This road was commissioned by Colonel Giuseppe d’Havet to directly connect the Gates of Pasubio to the Pian delle Fugazze road. The 326th Zappatori Company of the 1st Engineer Regiment tirelessly carved out this audacious route among the rocks, excavating 11 tunnels and building bridges to cross rugged ravines. Metal railings have been installed to protect the path along the slope.
Let’s delve into the details of this fascinating journey.
Step by step into the Great War History
Located in the province of Vicenza, near Schio and Recoaro Terme in the Veneto region, the Heroes’ Road begins just a few meters from the Pian delle Fugazze Pass. This pass once marked the ancient border between the Kingdom of Italy and the Austro-Hungarian Empire of Franz Joseph. A symbolic representation of this border can still be found near the parking area where you leave your car.
The journey starts by following a dirt road that winds through the woods from the Fugazze Pass, marking the starting point of the Heroes’ Road. The duration of the trek can vary from 2 hours and 15 minutes to 3 hours, depending on your pace. With an elevation gain of 1100 meters, the ascents are moderate and manageable for most hikers.
Continuing along the Heroes’ Road, you reach the famous D’Havet Gallery, which serves as an entrance to the world of the Great War on Pasubio. Crossing this gallery, you are greeted by a rocky, almost lunar landscape that offers distant views of our final destination, the Papa Refuge. It is on this terrain that fierce battles were fought during the war.
Upon reaching the Papa Refuge, visitors can choose to continue the hike with an additional ascent to Cima Palon. This additional segment, which takes just over two hours to complete, offers the opportunity to further explore the area. Along the way, you can pass through the entrance of the Palon Gallery, a tunnel that leads to the summit. Weather permitting, you can climb to the highest point of Cima Palon, where the panoramic view embraces the mountains of Asiago, Alpe Cimbra, Lessinia, Monte Baldo, and the distant Dolomites of Madonna di Campiglio.
After the exploration, it’s time to descend back to the Papa Refuge. Following a trail along the mountain ridge, you will pass by the ruins of a former military shelter atop Cogolo Alto, until reaching a comfortable downhill path leading to the refuge bivouac.
Near the refuge, you can take a break to enjoy a great lunch while taking in the spectacular view of the Heroes’ Road.
The Heroes’ Road undoubtedly presents itself as a fascinating excursion. Although the initial section may be less captivating as it winds through the forest, the subsequent segments, especially after the D’Havet Gallery, showcase remarkable panoramic and historical charm.
Whether you are fascinated by the Great War or simply wish to immerse yourself in nature and experience a memorable hiking adventure, the Heroes’ Road offers breathtaking views and a unique encounter with the mountains. Embark on this extraordinary journey and enjoy the adventure along the Heroes’ Road!