Thursday, August 8, 2013

Castello di Zumelle

On the climb from Piave Valley up to Passo Praderadego I've noticed a turn marked Castello di Zumelle.  Clearly this needs to be investigated.  I started biking from Lago Revine a bit before 6 AM to avoid the heat and turned at Tovena toward Passo San Boldo.  Over the pass at 706 meters, and then down through beautiful rolling meadows to Trichiana.  Here you must ride briefly west on SP1, a busy road between Belluno and Feltre.  I exited as quickly as possible at Zottier, and started on a new route to Passo Praderadego.  It climbs across lovely meadowy uplands from Zottier to Pellegai, Samprogno, and then joins the usual route at Carve.  

After Carve and Valmaor I turned right at the aforementioned Castello di Zumelle sign and soon the little road turned to dirt, but rideable on road bike.  There was an unmarked intersection where I scratched my head awhile and then chose at random.  It turned to dirt again, then back to pavement.  This time I chose to descend a bit, reached a meadow, and luckily a castle on a hill.  There was a concrete walkway up to it so I rode up that.  Then I walked around taking pictures.  It was first built by the Romans around 40 AD as part of Via Claudia Augusta Altinate, a trade route from Italy to the Danube.  Later it was taken over by the barbarians, then local princes/dukes fighting one another.

I headed back the way I'd come till I reached the road for Praderadego.  Very steep and densely forested- this is a fun climb.  At the top (930 meters) are some places where people eat barbeque, drink wine, etc.    They have paved the section below the pass and it is beautiful.

The two passes are a great ride anytime and the castle makes a fun side trip.  I need to find out when they have events where they open the tower- I'd love to climb up there and check the view.
  
Wide meadows on north side of Passo San Boldo

Cliffs above the meadows

Church at Trichiana with Dolomiti Bellunese in background
I luckily guessed and turned right. 

First sighting of Castello di Zumelle

View from castle of Passo Praderadego

Castle parapets with arrow slits

The east-facing wall, in best restored conditioned

Dolomiti Bellunese from castle

The restored tower and ruins of west wall 

House at Passo Praderadego

View of the gorge down to Cison Valmareno

Dolomite towers above Praderadego road

Cliffs high above


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