Before any excursion, always check the snow and avalanche bulletin.
This beautiful snowshoe walk takes you up to the 'Eremo dei Romiti' retreat, 1,167 metres above sea level, almost at the summit of Mount Froppa. This retreat has a very intriguing history, as it was converted from a small monastery built back in 1720; for many years, the monastery was home to a small community of Franciscan friars, whom the local people in the valley referred to as "Romiti" (hermits) because they lived in isolation.
During the winter, you can reach the retreat by following trail CAI 347 (medium difficulty); this route starts from the shores of Lake Centro Cadore (in Navare) and will take you through magnificent conifer woods.
How to get here: by car, from Domegge di Cadore: drive down towards the lake, cross the bridge and follow the signs for the 'Padova', 'Cercenà' and 'Eremo dei Romiti' lodges; then carry straight on, following the sign for the retreat. Park your car and continue on foot; at a certain point, the road will become a dirt track and you'll enter the woods. At the crossroads, you can decide whether to continue along the cart track or take the steep path also known as the "Via Crucis", where you'll find the 15 scenes from the Passion of Christ carved and decorated in wood.
This walk will take you around three hours there and back, covering a difference in altitude of over 460 metres.
The Romiti friars were lay penitents and were part of a branch of the Third Franciscan Order. They lived in poverty and prayer, growing mainly potatoes, and were famous for producing honey.