The Passo Falzarego derives its name from Falza Rego which is Latin for False King and refers to a king of the Fanes who was apparently turned to stone for betraying his people. Connecting the territory of Agordo and Cortina d’Ampezzo the summit sits at the convergence of three routes, the two that make up the Passo Falzarego and joining from the north the Passo Valparola. Sitting above the summit is Mount Lagazuoi which has been described as a castle of rock after both Italian and Austrian armies dug tunnels and shelters in it during WW1, turning it into an impenetrable fortress.
A key feature of the Maratona dles Dolomites, this ascent of the pass is the last major climb on the medium route for those entrants who took the wise decision to avoid the Passo Giau on the longer route.
- From Andraz-Cernadoi -
The start point of this side of the Falzarego isn’t as obvious as the beginning of many climbs so to complete the full distance the best place to begin is on the SR48 at the junction with the SR563. From here the road soon begins to rise as it passes through Andraz and heads up to Cernadoi on a modest 6% slope. Just before entering the village is the point where the long Maratona route splits from the medium route with the later following the bend round to the left. The remaining journey to the summit hovers around a 7% gradient and is interspersed with a total of 16 hairpins from here to the end. As you encroach on the finale the road dives into two tunnels, the second of which is unlit and lined with exposed rock to add that little extra drama to the end of your ascent.
Points of interest
If you are in desperate need of refreshment the last place to stop before the top is Pian Falzarego just three kilometres from the summit.
Maratona dles Dolomites
This side of the Passo Falzarego features in the medium (106km) route of the Maratona dles Dolomites and the other route up from Pocol stars on the longer (138km) route.
Just off the climb sits the Castello di Andraz, a medieval fortress which together with a series of other forts was constructed to control the traffic over the surrounding passes.
At the top sits the open air museum of Mount Lagazuoi with its restored tunnels, trenches and machine gun posts where you can earn about the high altitude battles of WW1.
From the shops and cafés at the summit of the Falzarego you can take the Lagazuoi cable car to reach the Rifugio Lagazuoi at an altitude of 2732m sitting just below Mount Lagazuoi.
The pass is named after a king of the Fanes, who was supposedly turned to stone for betraying his people.
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