Situated at 2400m above sea level, high in the mountains above the Italian village Canezei is a great little Rifugio that ticks all the boxes – cosy in winter, relaxing in Summer, great food & incredible views over the Dolomites.
Cycling and the Dolomites are terms that go hand in hand. I've encountered some of the best cycling in the world in this small area, so if you haven't yet made it there on your bike, book in a trip ASAP.
My husband and I came across Rifugio Fredarola when we were on a cycling rest day. We were hiking over towards the Passo Pordoi and came across a deserted looking rifugio set right on the mountain ridge-line
Image: Brandon Heng
We popped in for a hot chocolate and were welcomed by a roaring fire & the smell of meat roasting on an open spit (look away vegetarians!) The place was pretty much empty as we’d missed the lunch rush, which meant we had our pick of tables that looked out over the mountain line to the Marmolada - The Queen of the Dolomites standing at 3343m.
The interiors of the rifugio were admittedly a bit kitsch – it's a traditional wooden style lodge with tyrolean interiors (you know...the odd love heart carved out of your wooden table), but that added to the warmth of the place & when you’re on holidays it all seems rather quaint. We were so impressed, particularly by the great hot chocolate and the smell of pizzas that we returned the following day with a bunch of friends for lunch.
FOOD WITH A VIEW
You can catch a chair lift up from Canezei, then it is a 10 -15 minute walk up to the Rifugio. On our second visit we chose to sit outside. Our table had the best view I've ever experienced at a restaurant. This magical spot felt like it was on the edge of infinity. We had a 360 degree view of craggy snowcapped mountains and green rolling plains covered in families of marmots – it sounds cliched, but seriously this place was incredible!
The atmosphere was lively with great music. A bunch of deck chairs were scattered around the building that you could loll in after lunch, soaking in the sunshine. I’m partial to a weissbier, and luckily for me it was flowing freely that afternoon, so we spent a blissful afternoon munching on delicious wood-fired pizza with nothing to worry about other than how we would get back to the chair lift after a litre of beer.
If you are interested in doing some walking, you could pop in for an espresso early then continue on to a beautiful trail that follows the ridge line. Find out more about walking trails in the area here: http://www.canazei.com/en/Walking-In-Val-Di-Fassa
I’d love to go back in Winter, as i’m sure it would be a gem of a place to ski up to & warm yourself with a homemade goulash.