The most beautiful alpine huts at over 3,000 meters

Rifugio Capanna Piz Fassa

Alpine huts are a relatively new concept, stemming from the 19th-century novelty of mountain tourism.

In the 1800s, in addition to traditional high-altitude shelters constructed by natives for agro-pastoral reasons, a new type of building started to appear, designed by city architects who created hotels either in the valley or halfway up the slopes, inspired by Savoy-Swiss chalets in the north-western Alps, and by Bavarian-Tyrolean chalets for the Eastern Alps.

Later, shelters started to “climb” higher and higher – and along their ascent started looking more austere and minimalist, turning into simple stations where alpinists could recover their strength before reaching the summit.

Today – and since the 1960s and 1970s – the situation is quite different. Technology has facilitated mass-tourism even in the mountains, and some shelters have been designed to be like real five-star hotels at high altitude.

Luckily, the charm of these places remains intact, as well as the landscapes that surround them of course.

We have selected eight of the most beautiful mountain huts in Italy, all above 3,000 meters. Here they are in all of their splendor.

We start in Trentino, at 3,152 meters above sea level, from Rifugio Capanna Piz Fassa, on Piz Boè. It has been enjoying a view of the wonderful Dolomites since the 1960s.

Rifugio Capanna Piz Fassa
Località Piz Boè, Canazei (Trento)
Tel.: +39 0462 601723 (dal 20 giugno al 27 settembre)
Tel.: +39 336 452523 (tutto l’anno)
info@rifugiocapannapizfassa.com
www.rifugiocapannapizfassa.com
Open from June 20th to September 27th.

Rifugio Capanna Piz Fassa

Rifugio Capanna Piz Fassa

Without leaving Trentino Alto Adige, we move west to Rifugio Biasi al Bicchiere, at 3,195 meters above sea level. It is located in the Ridnauntal, in the north of the Eisack Valley, over the Malavalle glacier. It was built in 1894.

Rifugio Biasi al Bicchiere (Becherhaus)
Ridanna (Bolzano)
Tel.: +39 0472 656377 / +39 348 6005734
e.pichler@becherhaus.com
www.becherhaus.com

Rifugio Biasi al Bicchiere

Rifugio Biasi al Bicchiere

Rifugio Biasi al Bicchiere

Rifugio Biasi al Bicchiere

Continue further west and enter Lombardy, reaching the municipality of Santa Caterina Valfurva. Here you can find the Rifugio Casati al Cevedale, at 3,269 meters in the Ortles-Cevedale Alps: a wonderful location offering a panoramic view of the Martell Valley, Solda and Cedec Valley.

Rifugio Casati al Cevedale
Santa Caterina Valfurva (Sondrio)
Tel.: +39 0342 935507 / +39 339 4889791
casati@quipo.it
www.rifugiocasati.it

Rifugio Casati al Cevedale

Rifugio Casati al Cevedale

Rifugio Casati al Cevedale

Rifugio Casati al Cevedale

The next stop requires a little more effort. The highest alpine hut in Europe is in Piedmont: Capanna Regina Margherita. On the summit of Punta Gnifetti (4,554 meters), it is located on the Monte Rosa massif near the border with Switzerland. Opened in 1893, it was rebuilt in 1980. The hut has a library and is home to the highest weather station in the continent.

Capanna Regina Margherita
Alagna Valsesia (Vercelli)
Tel.: +39 348 1415490 / +39 348 1415491
info@rifugimonterosa.it
www.rifugimonterosa.it

Capanna Regina Margherita

Capanna Regina Margherita

Capanna Regina Margherita

Capanna Regina Margherita

In Gressoney-La-Trinité, Aosta Valley, we suggest also visiting Rifugio Città di Mantova, on the Garstelet glacier at 3,498 meters above sea level. Set off from here to climb the most beautiful mountains in the Monte Rosa massif, such as the Vincent Pyramid and Lyskamm. Don’t miss the Christ of the Summits, on the top of the Balmenhorn.

Rifugio Città di Mantova
Gressoney-La-Trinité (Aosta)
Tel.: +39 0163 78150 / +39 347 0802910
info@rifugiomantova.it
www.rifugiomantova.it
Open in the spring from March 19th to May 8th, 2016.
Open in the summer from June 18th to September 11th, 2016.

Rifugio Città di Mantova

Rifugio Città di Mantova

Rifugio Città di Mantova

Rifugio Città di Mantova

Just 150 meters higher up than Città di Mantova, at 3,647 meters above sea level, a historical hut was built on the slopes of Mount Rosa: Capanna Giovanni Gnifetti. The shelter was named after the priest and mountain climber who in 1842 first summited what would since then be known as Punta Gnifetti (4,554 meters high). Although renovated and rebuilt a few times, it originally inaugurated in 1876.

Capanna Giovanni Gnifetti
Gressoney-La-Trinité (Aosta)
Tel.: +39 348 1415490 / +39 348 1415491
info@rifugimonterosa.it
www.rifugimonterosa.it
Open in the spring from March 19th to May 8th, 2016.
Open in the summer from June 18th to September 11th, 2016.

Capanna Giovanni Gnifetti

Capanna Giovanni Gnifetti

Let’s stay in the Aosta Valley, and on the Monte Rosa massif, for another hut above 3,000 meters: the Quintino Sella al Felik was built at 3,585 meters above sea level, and has become a beacon for excursions in the valleys around Ayas and Gressoney, as well as for mountaineers attempting a tour of the Monte Rosa massif summits, a high-altitude itinerary that develops all around the range.

Rifugio Quintino Sella al Felik
Ghiacciaio del Felik, Valle di Gressoney (Aosta)
Tel.: +39 0125 366113 / +39 348 8107793
info@rifugioquintinosella.com
www.rifugioquintinosella.com
The hut is open for the summer of 2016 from June 18th to September 11th.

Rifugio Quintino Sella al Felik

Rifugio Quintino Sella al Felik

Rifugio Quintino Sella al Felik

Rifugio Quintino Sella al Felik

Here we are at the last stop in our alpine journey, 3,000 meters high: still in the Aosta Valley, at the edge of the Plateau Rosa glacier, the Rifugio Teodulo towers over the mountain of the same name, at 3,317 meters. It’s the ideal starting point to reach a number of summits in the Monte Rosa massif, such as the Breithorn, Castor and Pollux, and the Black Rock.

Rifugio Teodulo
Valtournenche (Aosta)
Tel.: +39 0166 949400 / +39 335 63 46 403
info@rifugioteodulo.it
www.rifugioteodulo.it

Rifugio Teodulo

Rifugio Teodulo

Rifugio Teodulo

Rifugio Teodulo

Photos via: ©tom turcan, ©superale76, ©Andrea Palazzi

June 22, 2016