During the First World War, there was bitter fighting here in this rugged, rocky mountains between the Austrians and Italians. Soon after war was declared, the more inferior Austro-Hungarian troop retreated into this part of the Dolomiti mountains to wage a high-altitude war at almost 3,000 meters. It soon turned into a tunnel war as both sides dug, in abandoning frontal assaults which was useless in the mountains. So the aim was to blast off the enemy from the peaks with the one occupying the higher elevation having the advantage. It must’ve been hellish for the soldiers of both sides who fought not only the enemy but also the cold, hunger and altitude sickness.
Today, Lagazuoi is one of the most popular places to visit in the Dolomites with hikers from all over the globe coming to enjoy the numerous hiking trails with stupendous views all around the soaring peaks. The extensive tunnels and trenches are still there preserved for posterity and some even still have gun emplacements. We took the cable car up 2,750 meters to Rifugio Lagazuoi which had a lovely terrace outside the large restaurant. The views right there and then were already pretty awesome and they got better as you walked by sheer, vertigo-inducing rocky ridges that skirted the faces of the different mountains.