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August 13-17th, 2007

First search on the ground for the Fanes' stronghold, with the decisive help of Club Speleologico Proteo of Vicenza and with the Camminare sui Monti Society of Trieste

We tried. I insisted teasing everyone until I succeeded taking a handful of clever people to assault the ledges of the Büsc da Slü, on the Cunturines, in the hope to collect archaeological evidence that the Fanes' stronghold really was located up there.

I was obviously perfectly aware that:

- the Fanes might well never have existed;
- even if they did, their stronghold might have been placed elsewhere;
- even if it had just been there, erosion might have swept everything away.

Logic indicated me those ledges anyway, why then not to go and see?

My calculations were clearly wrong somewhere, as the most promising ledges have been attained, but at a closer look they resulted unsuitable to host and shelter any relevant number of people. And, obviously, no traces of the Fanes have been found.

Therefore, I'm thanking here the Club Speleologico Proteo and the Camminare sui Monti Society for their decisive contribution (I proved unable even to get close myself); better, I'm apologyzing to them for having wasted their time after what proved to be just a fancy of mine..

I'm specially grateful to my friends of the Proteo, whose generous, frank and open-minded availability made everything possible, and together with whom we spent a few unforgettable days in a wonderful area in an atmosphere of warm friendship and cooperation.

And now? The chase for the stronghold is not officially closed yet . We must think better and then, maybe, try again...

I'm enclosing a few snapshots taken in the area.

Click on the images to enlarge (return with backspace; for maximum enlargement, click on the box appearing at lower right after a while)

The rifugio Fanes at the Alpe di Fanes piccola
Luca Dal Molin and Francesco Coccimiglio (Club Speleologico Proteo ["Proteus" Caving Club] of Vicenza) in front of the terrace at Rifugio Fanes
I Detail of the so-called "Marmots' Parliament" at the Alpe di Fanes piccola
The Lago Verde (Green Lake) , Alpe di Fanes piccola, related to the legend of the bewitched mirror ("Donna Dindia")
A typical stonefield at the Alpe di Fanes piccola, with a marmot
The Furcia dai Fers, according to tradition the site of Fanes' final battle and massacre, as seen from the Alpe di Fanes piccola
The Alpe di Fanes grande: on the way to the Büsc da Slü
The wall of the Piz Parom, interrupted by wide ledges with some rock overhangs
(photo C.S. Proteo - Vicenza)
One of the ledges that have been investigated
(photo C.S. Proteo - Vicenza)
Under the ledges
(photo C.S. Proteo - Vicenza)