At the beginning of the hike (Gobbera Pass – 989m a.s.l.), do not get scared by the sign indicating 8 hours as the duration of the loop. The sign is misleading, 5 hours are more than enough to complete the entire hike. The route develops entirely in a beech forest and it is completely shaded. However, once getting closer to the Totòga summit, at the edge of the path, there are a couple of natural terraces that allow to have a nice overview of both Primiero and Vanoi valleys. The path that leads to the top of Mt Totòga (1,705m a.s.l.) is very steep and well marked up to the San Giovanni Gualberto shelter and the famous WWI military outpost – stòli -. From that point on the path is lost, but the good news is that once you got there the peak will be near and already visible. The way back to Gobbera Pass is completely different and goes around the Mt Totòga. Just follow the signs pointing to Còl de la Crós and Passo Gobbera. The return path is narrow and few segments of it are exposed, so be careful.
The most characteristic and historically interesting point of the route is the Stóli. It is the system of artificial tunnels made by the Italian army during the Great War of 1914-1918. The military outpost galleries are built on two levels, with seven main rooms directly facing the Vanoi valley and Cauriòl and four smaller internal rooms. For a better experience, we strongly recommend to take a lamp with you.
- From Passo Gobbera, near the church, follow the signpost No. 345 ✓
Despite the fact that WWI started on the 18th of July, 1914 when Italy was part of the Triple Alliance together 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 strategical 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 Totoga was then occupied by the Italians in the very early stage of the war. Given the geographical position of Monte Totòga, during the Summer of 1915 military outposts with a second line artillery support and trenches were built on Monte Totòga and on Monte Vedèrna. Four 149 G and four 75 A cannons were placed in Monte Totòga, 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 Totòga and Vedèrna. After 3 days of fighting, Vanoi Keisershützen strike on Totòga 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.