They have spectacular views and food: the mountain huts of the Alps and Dolomites of Italy should definitely be a part of your hiking experience in the area. Use them as rest points on a day hike, or sleep overnight if you’re planning on a wild adventure.
Here are some of the best mountain huts in the Italian Alps and Dolomites. Always check that the huts (called rifugi in Italian) are open by phoning in before departing for your excursion or asking the staff at your hotel.
Tuckett Mountain Hut (photo above)
The Tuckett mountain hut is located at 2,272 meters of altitude in a spectacular position surrounded by the sheer peaks of the Brenta Dolomites. It consists of two buildings: the first was built in 1905 by the Società Alpinisti Tridentini (SAT) and named after the founder of the Italian Alpine Club, Quintino Sella. A year later, just a week after the Sella hut was inaugurated, climbers of the German-Austrian alpine club built another structure 20 meters from the SAT building and named it after British mountaineer and explorer Francis Fox Tuckett – an example of the tensions between German-speaking and Trentino mountaineers at the beginning of the 20th century.
The Tuckett mountain hut is open from June to September and has 112 beds; it also has a smaller place with eight beds open year-round.
Its central location makes it an ideal base for hikes and climbs into the Brenta Dolomites, especially for those arriving from Madonna di Campiglio.
You can reach Rifugio Tuckett in two ways: from the Grostè Pass (reached via the cable car from Madonna di Campiglio), take trail 316 (easy), it takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes; from the Vallesinella Hut in Madonna di Campiglio via trail 317 (medium difficulty) in 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Ai Brentei Mountain Hut
The Brentei mountain hut (2182m – full name Rifugio Maria e Alberto ai Brentei) is in the higher Val Brenta, right in front of the bulky northern wall of the Crozzon del Brenta. It is a popular hut, due to its ease of access and its strategic position for hikes, climbs and via ferrata routes, traversing the Brenta Dolomites.
Inside, black and white photos on the wall tell the story of this area of the Dolomites, while the small chapel nearby is a memorial to those who lost their life in the mountains.
For decades, rifugio Brentei was managed by the famous mountaineer Bruno Detassis, who opened more than 200 climbing routes between the 1930s and 1960s; at least 70 were in the Brenta Dolomites; among them, the famous Via delle Bocchette.
The hut has 90 beds and is open June 20-September 20. The most direct route to reach it begins at Rifugio Vallesinella (paths 317 and 318), which is served by shuttles in summer departing from Madonna di Campiglio (private cars are only allowed before 7 am and after 7 pm).
Angelo Alimonta Mountain Hut
Located in the heart of the Brenta Dolomites, by the so-called Sfulmini group, the Angelo Alimonta mountain hut (2580m) can be reached via different paths from Madonna di Campiglio; the main route departs at Rifugio Vallesinella and passes by the rifugio Brentei (paths 317 and 318). It is the highest hut in the Brenta Dolomites.
Privately owned, it’s open from mid-June to September, depending on snow conditions; being so close to the glaciers, snowfalls are usually abundant. The location is simply spectacular, surrounded as it is by massive rock walls, pinnacles and spires. It offers 94 beds.
Alimonta is the only rest point along the Via delle Bocchette, a famous aided climbing route that develops at more than 2500m high with breathtaking views of the Brenta Dolomites. (Only for expert hikers, requires equipment for via ferrata.)
Silvio Agostini Mountain Hut
The Silvio Agostini mountain hut (2405m) is located in Val d’Ambiez in the Brenta Dolomites, and is dedicated to the memory of Alpine guide Silvio Agostini, who lost his life during the ascent of the Campanile del Brentei peak. Owned by SAT (the largest section of the Italian Alpine Club) and family-run, the hut has 56 beds and is open approximately from June 20-September 20.
There are several excursions departing from the hut, including the one leading to the highest peak of the group, Cima Tosa (3173m), which offers a 360° view over most of Trentino. Climbers will find plenty of options, with the Cima d’Ambiez, a 20-minute walk away, one of the most popular climbs for its solid rock.
The hut is accessed from San Lorenzo in Banale in about four hours and 30 minutes.
Graffer al Grostè
The Graffer al Grostè hut (2261m) is in the western section of the Brenta Dolomites. Open mid-June to mid-September, it has 70 beds; because it’s located in the Madonna di Campiglio ski area, its bar and restaurant remain open from December to April 25.
You can access the hut from the Carlo Magno pass in about two hours; or by taking the Grostè cable car from Carlo Magno up to the Grostè pass, and then it’s only a 20-minute walk.
Many beautiful hikes can be taken from the hut, including to the splendid Tovel Lake, the Vallesinella waterfalls, the malga Spora through a panoramic trail. Ascents to the Cima Falkner, Cima Grostè and Corno di Flavona are also made from the hut.
Silvio Dorigoni Hut
Located in Val Saent, one of the most untouched valleys of the National Park of the Stelvio, in the Ortles-Cevedale group, the Silvio Dorigoni hut opened in 1903 and is dedicated to one of the first presidents of the SAT. Immersed in the typical Alpine environment, with woods, pastures, glaciers and small lakes, it’s positioned among peaks higher than 3,000m and therefore is used as a starting point for many climbing ascents.
The hut has 80 beds. You can access it via path n. 106, departing at the parking lot in Coler. It’s a beautiful hike which passes through Malga Stablasolo, Malga Stablet and Malga Vecla, and taking a short detour, brings to the Saent waterfalls. Watch out for marmots!
Vioz Mountain Hut
The Vioz mountain hut, the highest of the eastern Alps (3535m), is found in the Val di Peio, inside the National Park of the Stelvio, below the peak by the same name. It has 57 beds, and is open for the summer season, from around June 20.
Given the altitude you’ll find a snowy and icy environment, with breathtaking views over the peaks of the Ortles-Cevedale group.
The path that leads to Monte Vioz (3645 m) runs through a rocky environment, typical of the high-altitude habitats of the Alpine territory. You’ll likely come across ibex and chamois.
The hut is accessed via the Peio 3000 cable car, then the chair lift to Doss dei Cembri, with a 1330 m climb, which takes about seven hours.
Marino Pederiva Hut
The Marino Pederiva Hut (2.275 m) is a small Alpine hut at the southern end of the Catinaccio group, in a position that makes it an excellent starting point for many hikes and ascents in what is a popular mountain group of the Dolomites.
Just a few meters away is the more popular Rifugio Roda di Vaèl.
Marino Pederiva is reached from the Passo di Costalunga in about an hour and a half, or from Vigo di Fassa in about three.
Peller Mountain Hut
The Peller hut (2022 m) is the northernmost of the Brenta Dolomites huts. It’s located on a ridge overlooking the Durigal Lakes, to the east of the mountain by the same name. It’s a good base for hikes along the northern crest of the Brenta, reaching all the way to Tovel Lake, and in the marvelous Pian della Nana.
Some of the most popular hikes include:
- To malga Tassulla (2087 m);
- To Tovel Lake
- To the Costanzi bivouac crossing Pian della Nana
- To all the malghe (high altitude summer farms) in the area, including Clesera, Tuena, and the Salare lake;
- The northern group of the Brenta to the Stoppani and Graffer al Grostè huts
The Peller hut has 40 beds and is open in the summer season, like most huts from mid-June to mid-September. When the hut isn’t functioning, the adjacent unmanned hut Juffman is always open.
The Malga Tassulla (2087 m) is a hut located at the beginning of the Val Nana that can be reached from Cles or Tuenno via paved and dirt roads. It’s made up of three buildings.
Park your car in the parking lot of Lake Durigal, then continue south along the road. After a steep initial climb, the path flattens out on the pasture that bypasses the cross on top of Mount Peller cross. From here you have a view of the Val di Non and the peaks that surround it. Along the way you can see the Val di Tovel with the Lago di Tovel below and, in the background, the peaks of the northern Brenta group.
The Malga Tassulla only has a bivouac with eight beds. There’s no restaurant, but you can buy the cheese, butter and ricotta that are produced there. Open mid-June to mid-September.
Silvia Donati, bolognauncovered.com