The loop that, starting from Passo Gobbera, runs the complete tour of Mount Totóga (La Totóga in local dialect), is a rather not popular route, almost immersed in the forest in its entirety. Developing on easy paths, this itinerary is ideal for families and it is capable of combining the naturalistic beauty and panoramas with a little bit of history, thanks to the numerous remains of the Great War.
The hike, which leads to the top of Mount Totóga (1,705 m asl), starts from Passo Gòbbera (989 m asl), with the possibility of parking and a water pipe for supply.
From Passo Gòbbera, the route initially takes the easy gravel road towards the W (marked its very first stretch as Signpost No. 345), climbing slightly along the N side of Monte Totóga. In this first section, you can take a look at the remains of a so-called Calchèra, a kiln used for the production of lime and active until 1950. From here, the trail continues heading W, towards the location of Còl de la Crós. The road continues on a slight slope towards Còl de la Crós (1,083 m asl), which can be reached shortly while joining back the Signpost No. 345, climbing from the hamlet of Lausén to the top of Mount Totóga.
The walk follows the road of the Signpost No. 345 which develops on the W slope of the mountain. While crossing some valleys, the road features a couple of exposed and suggestive stretches on the rocks, which can be easily overcome thanks to the protections. After such stretches, the steeper section of the itinerary begins, leading to the area of the remains of the hamlet of Masi de Totóga (1,376 m asl), once immersed in their open pastures and today are reduced to ruins. After climbing a little further up, the trail leads to the meadows of Pradi de Totóga Alta (1,402 m asl), also reached by a gravel road that climbs up from Val di Schenèr, widely known for mountain biking thanks to its 48 (!) hairpin bends. From the crossroads on the meadows, the route proceeds by climbing towards Monte Totóga (NW) along the path of the Signpost No. 345B which crosses up the location of Pradi de Totóga Alta until getting by the bivouac San Giovanni Gualberto (1,570 m asl), with its side structure (casa forestale) always open and excellent for a stop before the final stretch of ascent.
From the casa forestale you can reach in a few meters the military outposts of the Great War, called Stóli di Totóga (1,586 m asl), a system of artificial tunnels built by the Italian army during the First World War with the purpose of protecting from a possible descent of the Austro-Hungarian troops from the Valley of Vanoi. The tunnels can be visited. They are built on two levels, with seven main rooms that directly overlook the Valley of Vanoi and the peak of Cauriòl and four smaller internal rooms. There is a suggestive vertical connection passage, which may require particular attention.
From the casa forestale, the last short section of ascent proceeds along the Signpost No. 345A, which narrows and enters the forest before reaching Cima Totóga (1,705 m asl) with its cross, where a small clearing allows you to admire the landscape, with the Primiero Valley and Mount Vederna on one side, the Valley of Vanoi and Lagorai on the other side, separated by the deep ravine of Val di Schenèr.
From Cima Totóga the return to Passo Gobbera initially follows the same path (Signpost No. 345A), passing once again near the bivouac San Giovanni Gualberto and reaching the crossroads by the location of Le Monde (1,499 m asl), where you continue to the left, towards SE, always following the Signpost No. 345A towards Passo Gobbera. The route chosen for the return is more direct and descends at times quite steep towards the mountain pass on the E slopes of Mount Totóga. Once you reach the crossroads in the location of El Ram (1,384 m asl), you will get back to the main path (Signpost No. 345) which continues to the left towards Passo Gobbera. After another nice steep descent, at the crossroads named Bivio de le Doi Strade (1,045 m asl) the path turns into a nice gravel road, softening the slope. Right at the crossroads you find yourself above the picturesque church of San Silvestro, which the itinerary does not touch but which can be glimpsed on your right (towards E) beyond the forest. Continuing along the road and passing again by the Calchèra met in the very beginning, the trail gently returns to Passo Gobbera.
- From Passo Gòbbera (989 m asl), take the gravel road towards the W (marked iinitially as Signpost No. 345), up to the crossroads at the old Calchèra (furnace),
- From the crossroads, continue keeping the direction on the road towards Còl de la Crós (1,083 m asl), reached shortly and where the road joins back the Signpost No. 345, which you shall keep following up until reaching first the hamlet of Masi de Totóga (1,376 m asl) ) then the meadows of Pradi de Totóga Alta,
- From the crossroads at Pradi de Totóga Alta (1,402 m asl), go up towards the summit of Monte Totóga along the path of the Signpost No. 345B, passing by the bivouac of San Giovanni Gualberto (1,570 m asl), until you reach the summit called Cima Totóga,
- From Cima Totóga (1,705 m asl), descend along the Signpost No. 345A to the junction by the location of Le Monde (1,499 m asl), then proceed on the path of the Signpost No. 345A towards Passo Gobbera up to the crossroads with the main Signpost No. 345 (Bivio de le Doi Strade – 1,045 m asl),
- Take the road of the Signpost No. 345 towards Passo Gobbera, until getting back at the starting point. ✓
Despite the fact that WWI started on the 18th of July, 1914 when Italy was part of the Triple Alliance together with the Central Powers, Italy entered the war on the 23rd of May, 1915 declaring war to Austria-Hungary. At that time, Primiero and Vanoi valleys were part of the Empire of Austria-Hungary, which immediately decided for strategic reasons to leave the two valleys in the hands of the Italian army, in order to be able to reallocate the troops and hold the front line right behind Rolle Pass and Cauriòl. The Totóga was then occupied by the Italians in the very early stage of the war. Given the geographical position of Monte Totóga, during the Summer of 1915 military outposts with a second line artillery support and trenches were built on Monte Totóga and on Monte Vedèrna. Four 149 G and four 75 A cannons were placed in Monte Totóga, while four 75 A cannons were placed on Monte Vedèrna.
During the first half of the conflict the outposts were not used, since the Southern front remained rather static. With the Central Forces offensive in the end of October 1917 breaking through the Italian lines in the upper Isonzo, and the Italian troops forced to retreating and chaotically re-establishing a stop line along the Piave river, Autrian troops occupied Mezzano and Canal San Bovo on the 7th of November. The Austrian infantry was stopped by the artillery pieces firing from Totóga and Vedèrna. After 3 days of fighting, the troops of the Keisershützen of Vanoi strike on Totóga forced the Italians to abandon the outpost and destroy the artillery pieces. The Italian troops of IV/84 battalion belonging to the 9th mountain brigade were able to escape.
- Zagonel, F. E. (2008). Storia e ricordi della Prima Guerra mondiale in Primiero. Feltre, Italy: Beato Bernardino.
- Cima, P. (1987). Pale di S. Martino-Valle di Primiero. Passeggiate ed escursioni. Tassotti Editore.