Castello di Podestagno
Although the history of the ancient building at Podestagno is described on wooden boards throughout the walk, there are no documents that trace its true origins. It is believed that the first buildings were constructed in 600 by the Longobardi, probably to control the three valleys that lead to Cortina: Ospitale, Ra Stua and Val del Boite. The first certain record dates back to 1077 when Emperor Enrico IV donated the castle to the Patriarch of Aquilea. Nowadays little remains of the castle, demolished slowly but surely after the construction of the Alemagna road (1820 - 1832). In 1915 the Italian Army demolished what little was left to construct an artillery post higher up the valley.
Take the SS 51 from Cortina towards Dobbiaco.
Park close to the bridge Ponte Felizon (1367m), roughly 6 km. from Cortina.
This short but interesting excursion starts next to the large sign indicating the Natural park of the Dolomites of Ampezzo. A short ramp leads up to a gently sloping small road. Follow this to a bridge and admire the frozen waterfalls that lead all the way down to the river Felizon. In winter the local Cortina Mountain Guides take their clients ice climbing here.
Continue along the road slightly uphill to reach a field and the hut "Prà del Castel" (1463m). Walk past this leftwards to tree markers and on up to the top of the rocks, taking care on the last tricky moves beneath the “summit”. The view stretches down to the valley below and on to Monte Pelmo and Becco di Mezzodì to the left.
Descend along the line of ascent to path no. 201 for "Ponte Felizon". Follow this to the SS 51 and the car park.
Normal equipment for winter walking, snowshoes and poles.
No obvious danger.
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