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Rifugio Casera Mela

In a fascinating landscape

About this place

To visit Refugio Casera Mela is to discover a refuge that is very different from others, scenically, in terms of its history, and in terms of the uniqueness of the casera itself. Casera Mela is located at the beginning of Val Zemola, at 1178 m. From 1200 m this valley is no longer inhabited and, exploring it from the hut via the Zemola Valley Ring, there are no settlements to be found, but only huts and other shelters. Against the backdrop of this unspoiled valley stands Casera Mela, with its long family history, having been the first dairy to be built there. The Corona family, which has been caring for and preserving it for over 200 years, bears living testimony to this history.

This is precisely the family atmosphere that immediately stands out, that of someone who grew up in the mountains, choosing to share this experience with those who want to explore the area and Friuli Venezia Giulia and to welcome them into what, before being a refuge, is home.

Why visit


The landscape and the view

Casera Mela stands isolated among the mountains and seems carved into the rock. It rises in an alpine valley, the Zemola Valley, unspoiled and enchanting to explore. The refuge is surrounded by mountains, among which the Duranno peak stands out at 2668 m.



Casera Mela is a very special refuge unlike any other. The facility is extremely well-kept, with wooden furniture and incredible and vivid sculptures created by Mauro Corona, a writer, sculptor, and mountaineer. The building stands out and almost seems to emerge from the rock wall behind it.



The Zemola Valley is an untouched and wild alpine area where, from 1200 m, there are no villages or towns. The casera is located at the beginning of this valley and is one of the last inhabited bastions. Having lunch or staying overnight at this shelter allows you to enjoy the silence of this place nestled among the rocks.


Casera Mela stands out against a vertical wall of rock in the setting of the Friulian Dolomites. From its terrace, the view is breathtaking. The view sweeps over the Col Nudo valley on one side and the Duranno peak on the other. The panorama is gentle on one side, rugged on the opposite, where Duranno rises at 2668 m, climbed by, among others, writer and mountaineer Mauro Corona, who loved the Zemola Valley so much and who contributes to the beauty and distinctiveness of this refuge with the amazing sculptures he makes.

Itineraries and routes

Casera Mela is the starting point for numerous hiking trails that explore the Zemola Valley and reach, for mountaineers, to the summit of Duranno. Of these, the best known is theZemola Valley Ring, which allows you to pass through several cheese factories and the Maniago refuge at 1730 m. Among the many other viable hikes are: the Duranno massif, Cima Frati and Cima Preti, Monte Borgà and the San Daniele books, Monte Zita, Palazza, and Monte Buscada with its marble quarry.

For canyoneers, the Zemola Valley is full of opportunities; the most sought-after is the Rotating Puddle, in which the water rotates counterclockwise.


Casera Mela offers a catering service with indoor seating, in an intimate setting with the fireplace always burning, and outdoor seating, under the pergola and on the panoramic terrace.

Casera Mela also serves as a lodge, with 10 beds in the dormitory in the main structure and another 5 in the independent lodging next door. The accommodation also has a kitchenette.

Opening period

Casera Mela is open daily from June 1 to September 30. In April, May, October and November only on weekends or by reservation.

Interiors and the art of wood

At Casera Mela, the warmth of wood dominates all rooms. This casera is finely furnished, with unique handmade pieces depicting recurring themes about the natural environment or others full of irony. Many of the furnishings and all the sculptures are made by Mauro Corona, the writer and mountaineer, who is related to the owners. The arbor and terrace area are also dominated by these particular representations, and even a bench here at Casera Mela is a work of art.

Getting there and parking

From Erto and Casso in the Vajont Valley, follow the signs to the Zemola Valley and continue on this road, which is partly paved, partly dirt. After 3.5 kilometers you arrive at Casera Mela, via Val Zemola.

Park in one of the paid plots, at a cost of 3 euros per day, or continue on the road just beyond the hut to park for free and walk to the casera.


Parking in the parking area below the casera is at a cost of 3 euros per day, except for those staying overnight. Continuing along the road are free pitches.

Casera Mela is very close to Erto and Casso, you can get there in less than half an hour.

Casera Mela has been lovingly managed by the Corona family since 1800.

Contact Casera Mela

Through this section you can contact Casera Mela directly. Use it to request information on services, rates, meal and overnight reservations, weather and trail status information, and trails. Remember that with this form you will contact the activity managers directly. Explorer FVG is only an intermediary and does not handle the responses, nor is it responsible for the information exchanged in these conversations.

Contact information:
Apple Cottage
Zemola Valley
33080 Erto and Casso (PN)

Manager: Davide Corona

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