Valle dell’Ardo and Case Bortot

Today we accompany you on a 5km stroll from the historical center of Belluno to the edge of the alluring valley of Ardo: Bortot Houses and surroundings, just above Bolzano Bellunese. 

Bolzano Bellunese rises to the north of Belluno, at the foothills of the mountains. It’s a very typical place, studded with small hamlets made up of small houses that maintain the shapes of nature.

After passing the first part of the town, crossing the community of Gioz, one scrambles up a steep yet paved street in a fairy-tale like atmosphere thanks to the silence of the street, lined with a courtyard of hop-hornbeams and hazelnut trees.

This is how one arrives at the Bortot Houses, a village suspended on the side of the valley of Ardo and characterized by the presence of houses in an ancient style, surrounded by barns and stables in natural stone and their typical metal sheet roofs. Consider that one of the smallest houses is not even reachable from a road, something that seems very strange if you think about how we are just a few kilometers from the historical center of Belluno. It is certainly a fascinating place where one can also relish a beautiful view on top of the Valbelluna.

The Bortot Houses are surely known by those who love Alpine excursions: in fact, it’s from here that begins (or finishes, depending on the point of view) the CAI path no. 501 of Rifugio Settimo Alpini, the cabin perhaps most loved by the Bellunese, that stands at 1500m above sea level in a splendid place, in the middle of an amphitheater of dolomite walls, representing the base for the most difficult excursions on top of Mount Schiara. To reach it one must hike 3 and a half hours, which we will tell you right away, is fairly challenging, but believe us, it’s worth it and above all, in the summer.

Settimo Alpini

But the Bortot Houses also represent the point of departure for going on hikes entering in the valley of Ardo: a journey through wild land, marked by hard rocks hollowed out by the water, cauldrons, fossils and still intact vegetation.

In particular we point you to the Pont de la Mortis, a small harrowing bridge that crosses the deep and enchanting gorge of Ardo, at 520m depth, and the Bus del Buson, a gorge cut by a subglacial cascade and then abandoned by the Ardo river with the retreat of the glaciers, often used as a theater for concerts or readings because it is an optimal harmonious speaker. To reach it one needs to cross a fairly steep path, so we do not recommend attempting it when it rains or is an icy period.


For more detailing information on the hikes, we invite you to look at this page… and don’t forget to let us know when you go to visit the places of the Ardo!

Source: Belluno, storia architettura arte, by Gigetto De Bortoli, Andrea Moro and Flavio Vizzuti.