On the top of the Pizzoc among greenery, stones and clouds
In the Treviso area, above the Cansiglio plain.
A place of the soul a stone’s throw from the city, chasing legends of gnomes, witches and elves
TREVISO – The balcony overlooks the world. Up here clouds and stones. Over there the galaxy of the North East, Marco Paolini would say. The wind brushes the peaks, donkeys roam the meadows, the Cansiglio plain remains in the shade, visitors on bicycles finally catch their breath. Pizzoc is a place for passionate walkers. You can walk there in a couple of hours, as if it were a pilgrimage, a challenge, a cheat. Those coming from Fregona meet up with friends who come up from Valscura. Then the path becomes only one and runs towards an altitude of 1540 above sea level. About ten kilometers with a difference in height of one thousand meters. Up here the infinite, over there the world. This Pizzoc is just a balcony hanging over nothing.
A destination loved by those Treviso people who do not aspire to the overly tame green of the Cansiglio plain, who prefer the subdued scream of the stones, the silence of the wind, tiring walks, the breath of the forest that descends quickly, the foxes crossing the road, the roar of deer in love when it is autumn.
At night it seems to be on a plane landing on the thousand lights of the city. During the day you are confronted with the local geography. With your back to the refuge, on the right you have the Visentin, even higher, unreachable for those who are out of breath. Behind you can imagine the Fadalto and Alpago. Under you Vittorio Veneto. A little further on Conegliano and Treviso. Towards the southeast you can see Marghera and the lagoon. To the east the glow of the sea. At the bottom the Euganean Hills, closer to those of Collalto, Pieve di Soligo, Cison and so on running up to Asolo gliding with your gaze on the Revine lakes.
Some swear that after a day of clear bora you can see the lighthouse of Trieste and the coast of Istria. When the weather is not good on the plains, coming to Pizzoc you risk piercing the clouds, crossing them holding your breath and finally watching them navigate the hills below. Getting out of breath. In this Veneto poised between past and future, the mountain seems to be the only place still able to preserve itself.
Both the sea has sold out and the mountains are defending the last bastion of the savage with gritted teeth. Pizzoc and Cansiglio are still today a place of the soul a stone’s throw from the city. You can also get there by car. The whole road, even the last few meters leading to the refuge, has been paved. It is said why Luca Zaia bought a small dairy up here.
In any case, the laziest can go up from Fregona and, before reaching the plain, follow the road on the left towards the Vittorio Veneto refuge (tel. 368.3708978 open from June to mid-September). There they will find a group of young people from Mestre, Vittorio Veneto and Fregona led by Berto from the Controvento cooperative which manages the old house a couple of years ago acquired by the Municipality of Fregona. Polentina never fails. Homemade gnocchi either. Goat cheese is also on sale. Irish, a hairy wolf, wanders around the tables for a few stolen bites.
And if you really don’t want to go back, for 10 euros (including breakfast) you can find a bed in the dormitory. Seeing the sunrise over the distant distant sea is an adventure that will make you face the winter to come. If you want to discover the whole of Cansiglio, however, you have to look for Vittorio De Savorgnani who works in Veneto Agriculture and who is at home here. It is he who guides in the forest (0438-581757), who tells legends of gnomes and witches, who accompanies you on the discovery of deer. He is the soul of a group of environmentalists who would like to present the candidacy of the Cansiglio as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Vittorio is a mountaineer and a true mountain man. Half is Cimbrian: his maternal grandfather came from the village of Vallorch, his grandmother from Pich, just over a kilometer away. The mountain fairy soul soon entered his blood. From the serenissima forest to Asia, up and down the Himalayas, and back: “Thin threads bind the Cansiglio to other mountains. This is a generous and maternal place that welcomes rainwater within itself to give it to the plain which, like water, is pervaded with a feminine spirit. The Serenissima Republic of Venice had intuited it when it was called Cansseia on an ancient map “.