If we would have been asked to pick specific location within the plateau of the Pale di San Martino thinking about the place that inspired the writer Dino Buzzati, also renamed as “the Italian Kafka”, for his book “The Tartar Steppe”, the choice would almost certainly fall on Riviera di Manna. In fact, the Riviera di Manna lies in a deserted, unpopular yet very central part of the plateau, in an extremely suggestive land made up of deserted moors and lunar landscapes. Thus, the features offered by Riviera di Manna can surely recall the landscapes described in the famous Buzzati’s novel.
This high-altitude route, suitable for everyone and without particularly technical stretches, starts from the hut of Rifugio Rosetta (2,578 m asl), easily reachable either on foot or by cable car from the village of San Martino di Castrozza. The trail – which develops entirely on the plateau -, full of ups and downs, does not have excessive ramps and the climbs are well distributed along the entire itinerary; however, it requires a certain physical effort which should not be underestimated.
From Rifugio Rosetta, the route begins heading eastwards, following the path of the Signpost No. 707 / 709 towards Passo Canali / Passo Pradidali. After a couple of kilometers there is a first crossroads; from here, always keeping to the east, the trail proceeds on the path to the left (Signpost No. 707) towards Passo Canali, which crosses the undulating land called Riviera di Manna. The path of the Signpost No. 707 gradually climbs the Riviera di Manna until reaching the crossroads with the Signpost No. 711B. It’s worth mentioning that, shortly before reaching the crossroads, turning north for about 300 meters, it is possible to reach the mountain lake called Lago di Manna (2,591 m asl), located in a small karst basin and often dried up during the summer season.
From the crossroads, the track proceeds by taking the Signpost No. 711B towards Passo Fradusta; the route winds through the heart of the plateau, crossing from north to south the unique and wild stony desert – between the Riviera di Manna, the Passo Fradusta and the gap of Passo delle Léde – of the moraine expanse deposited by the Glacier of Fradusta. After passing the crossing on Signpost No. 711B, it is possible, with a small detour, to reach the three beautiful lakes called Laghetti Riviera di Manna (2,629 m asl, 2,630 m asl, 2,634 m asl), fed by water deriving from the melting snow; the small lakes are extremely suggestive, because the surrounding peaks are reflected on the crystal clear water, creating beautiful shades. Depending on the season, the small lakes’ surface and appearance might vary.
From the gap of Passo Fradusta (2,680 m asl), located north-west of the peak of Fradusta (2,939 m asl) and the Glacier of Fradusta, the return to Rifugio Rosetta proceeds for an initial stretch along the Signpost No. 708, which leads to the gap of Passo Pradidali Basso (2,658 m above sea level), then along the Signpost No. 709, connecting the huts of Rifugio Pradidali with the one of Rosetta.
- From the hut of Rifugio Rosetta (2,578 m asl), head east, along the Signpost No. 707 / 709 towards Passo Canali / Passo Pradidali,
- Continue along the Signport No. 707 towards Passo Canali until reaching the crossroads with the Signpost No. 711B,
- Follow the Signpost No. 711B towards Passo Fradusta,
- From the gap of Passo Fradusta (2,680 m asl), proceed along the Signpost No. 708 towards Passo Pradidali Basso,
- From the gap of Passo Pradidali Basso (2,658 m asl), return to Rifugio Rosetta following the Signpost No. 709. ✓
RIFUGIO PEDROTTI ALLA ROSETTA
- Located on the plateau of the Pala Group (Pale di San Martino), at 2,358 meters of altitude, the hut of Rifugio Giovanni Pedrotti alla Rosetta, also called Rifugio Pedrotti or Rifugio Rosetta, was built in 1889, based on a design by the engineer Annibale. The hut is one of the oldest Rifugio owned by SAT (club of alpinists from the area of Trento).
- As early as 1896, given the growing interest around the Dolomites of the Pala Group, the hut was enlarged. Together with the expansion project, the SAT also decided to build a second building, used as a hotel, at the gap of Passo della Rosetta, overlooking the basin where the village of San Martino di Castrozza stands. However, the initiative was trashed away due to the outbreak of the First World War.
- After the Great War, which left only a few walls standing, Rifugio Rosetta was restored and subsequently enlarged in 1931. The Second World War, however, reserved a similar fate to the hut, which was set on fire by the Nazis.
- With the construction, in 1957, of the cable car that leads from Colverde to a few hundred meters from the hut, Rifugio Rosetta opened finally up to mass tourism of the Dolomites.
- The Fradusta glacier, located on the Pale di San Martino plateau, at an altitude of approximately 2,600 m a.s.l., at the end of the 1800s was ranked as the second biggest glacier of the Dolomites, after the one on the Marmolada.
- The beginning of the glacier’ agony took place during the extraordinarily hot summer of 2003. In 2003, the mantle of the glacier broke down into two parts, showing both its precariousness and its weakness. At that time, the experts predicted that it would have been disappeared by 2015.
- Not far from the glacier, it is located the famous Busa di Manna, a depression in the heart of the Pale di San Martino plateau. In the middle of the depression, the historically lowest temperature in Italy has been recorded: -49.6 Celsius degrees.