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 The Fanes' places: the Croda Vanna (Sass dla Crusc)

One of the mountains on the edge of the alpe di Fanes piccola; its main summit is also named Sasso Cavallo (Horse's Rock) (Ciaval, m 2907) for the equally spaced vertical humidity strips that simulate a horse's mane. Its awesome wall dominates Pedraces; at its feet a place, sacred since immemorial times, is today the site of a small abbey (Dlija dla Santa Crusc) with an annexed hut - hospice, open since 1718.

The cliff, a part of the huge drop which abruptly terminates the basin of the alpe di Fanes piccola , is composed by thick layers of Main Dolomite.

The first climber to "officially" top the Sasso Cavallo was P.Grohmann in 1860, but the peak had certainly been already attained since undetermined times.

The ancient "Croda Vanna" is the Fanes' sacred mountain, linked to the myth of the "variul de la flüta", i.e. the Flame Vulture. Very probably originally linked to the cult of deads, it later became the memory pledge of the vanished people.

The feet of the Croda Vanna are also the site of a Middle-Ages legend, according to which the lord of Brach (the "gran Bracun") (Brach being an ancient manor in the valley: the "gran Bracun" is a historical personage who lived in the XVIth Century) slays a fearful dragon that had his den there.


Well visible from: the whole upper Badia valley up to La Villa, Pralongià, Sella Group...




Photo: the top of Sasso Cavallo and the awesome drop on the Badia valley
(photo Max -

Excursions: the Dlija, m 2045, can be reached with an easy walk from San Leonardo (2.5 hs.; may be shortened to 1/2 hs. by chairlift), or also from La Villa or San Cassiano, among magnificent woods.

From the Dlija, an alpinistic partially-aided path crosses the whole imposing wall and reaches the highlands at the forcella dla Crusc m 2612 (2 hs.; rock climbing difficulties). From the saddle, the top of Sasso Cavallo can be reached in 1 h. with no further difficulties. Alternatively, one can walk down to the Lavarella hut, across the whole alpe di Fanes piccola.