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The villages of Erto and Casso

Forged from history, tradition and stone

About this place

The villages of Erto and Casso are sadly known for one of the biggest disasters of the 1900s. In October ’63, a column of water of 50 million cubic meters, due to a landslide, overtopped the Vajont dam and partially washed away the two towns of Erto and Casso, then channeled into the Piave valley and finished its course destroying the town of Longarone. The story of this place and its inhabitants, however, is one of resilience, which led to the rebuilding of the two villages, which today testify to the strength of unity among people. Demonstrating this are the stone dwellings that were rebuilt on the foundations of their predecessors and stand leaning against each other, as if in an embrace.

Why visit them

01.

History of Vajont

Two thousand people were killed in the Vajont disaster, including 347 residents of Erto and Casso. These 2 countries, however, coped with adversity, and the municipality was awarded the Gold Medal of Civil Merit.

02.

Authentic villages

The two neighboring villages, partially spared by the 1963 tragedy, were restored in the years following the events, retaining their original charm.

03.

Among the rocks

Among the narrow cobblestone streets, stone houses seem to trace the same rocky landscape of the Dolomites that surround the valley. It is on these impervious walls that many great climbers have tried their hand.

DIFFERENCES AT A GLANCE

THE TWO BOROUGHS

CASSO

The small hamlet perched above the cliff retains signs of the great tragedy that struck it. The experience is very impressive because only a small part of the village has been restored, and you can still see the ruined houses or uncovered foundations.

ERTO

Erto is located on the main road, has more services, including restaurants and B&Bs, and has been rebuilt almost completely. The village is also well known because Mauro Corona’s workshop is located there.

CASSO

ERTO

The historical center of Casso

The hamlet of Casso, due to the immense tragedy and depopulation of the mountains, now has only about ten inhabitants. During the summer, however, the village is brought back to life by the setting up in stables and barns of a trail where artists and artisans display paintings and sculptures by placing them among the old work tools and cattle troughs. Alternatively, in Casso there is the possibility of walking through the streets accompanied by an audio guide who narrates the history, culture and traditions of the village. Disconcerting is the sight of the school, on the walls of which mud and stone marks have been deliberately left.

The historical center of Erto

The village of Erto is divided in two by the main road, downstream is the old town, upstream is the built-up area. Erto was completely rebuilt after the Vajont disaster, has several services and is more touristy. It also houses Mauro Corona’s workshop, which attracts many visitors. The village is very beautiful, the typical tower houses that characterize the area are leaning against each other, and the narrow streets are stepped and cobbled. Also an important stop is the Visitor Center of the Friulian Dolomites Natural Park, where the Vajont Museum is located.
HAMLET OF ERTO

Mauro Corona's workshop

In the new part of Erto is Mauro Corona’s workshop, recognizable by the large amount of wood, tools and sculptures stacked outside. It is very difficult for the artist to allow anyone to enter his studio, but, through the door, one can still observe the interior crammed with books, photographs and his intense and multifaceted works.

Routes and walks

In the municipality and throughout the surrounding area there are plenty of trails for all levels of difficulty, as well as climbing routes and rock gyms. Only a few are named here because of their distinctiveness.

COAL TRAIL

The Trui dal Sciarbòn, Sentiero del Carbone (Coal Trail), which connects Erto and Casso, is a mountain trail that offers splendid views of the Dolomites. Vajont Lake and the landslide can also be seen from the trail.

THE TOUR OF THE LAKE AND THE BIKE PATH

One of the best ways to observe the Vajont landslide is to take the Lake Tour, which can be done by car, on foot or by mountain bike. The 14-km loop passes over the bridge rebuilt after the disaster and allows views of the Vajont stream gorge, glimpses of the villages of Casso and Erto in the distance, and contemplation of the wild landscape of the Dolomite mountains. A bicycle path also passes along the route, and a running race called “The Paths of Memory” is held there once a year.

Source: ertoecasso.it

Explore more places nearby

How to get there, where to park

CASSO

From the Vajont Dam in the direction of Erto, a paved, well-marked small road branches off up to the village through a series of hairpin bends. Cars can be left at the beginning of the village because the center can only be visited on foot.

ERTO

Erto is easily reached by following the directions from the Vajont Dam. The road divides the village in two, on one side the built-up area, on the other the old town.

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