First World War's Itineraries

Great War trails in Valtellina


The Great War also affected Valtellina, in particular Upper Valtellina. The region was of great strategic importance, having numerous mountain passes and border crossings between the Kingdom of Italy and the Austro-Hungarian Empire.


There are several Great War trails in Upper Valtellina, starting with the Stelvio Pass, which was a major strategic location. Between Monte Scorluzzo and the Filon del Mott the ruins of Austrian and Italian defensive structures can still be seen. The Rese Alte are still home to military emplacements, barracks, and, higher up, trenches. 

The Passo dell’Ablès was of fundamental importance, and several buildings used as refuges by Alpine troops on the border are still in place. The route from Gavia al Pizzo di Vallumbria to the Gaviola summit and the climb to Monte delle Scale are worthy of note, the latter featuring a small military fort that boasts impressive panoramic views. 

The Forte di Oga in Valdisotto should not be missed. Part of the fort has been converted into a museum and is without a doubt the most valuable record of the Great War in Valtellina.


In Aprica, you can follow the Monte della Croce trail, which was part of the Cadorna Line, the line of defensive fortifications devised by General Luigi Cadorna to protect the territory against possible attack by the Austrians via Poschiavo valley. 

At Verceia, in Valchiavenna, is the Galleria della Mina, a 200-m-long tunnel that the Italian military built during the Great War. Explosives were placed in deep flooded wells at various points in the tunnel with the potential to cut off road and rail access and prevent invasions from the north.