The Great War

Monte Zugna

At the beginning of the 1900s the Austrians designed a fort on the top of the Zugna: they built the road to access, the barracks and an impluvium for collecting rainwater. When Italy entered the war, the lines were pulled back to Rovereto. In May-June 1915 it was occupied by the Italian army which built its own trenches, roads, barracks, cableways and aqueducts. In the spring of 1916 the Austro-Hungarians launched an offensive in the direction of the Veneto and tried to take over Vallarsa. The Italians stopped them right on the Zugna which is one of them slopes: despite repeated and bloody assaults, the Austro-Hungarians were unable to overcome the Italian resistance at Passo Buole and at the “Trincerone”, the barrier made in the narrowest point of the ridge. From that moment, until the end of the conflict, the two armies wore each other out in a long war of position. The cemeteries and the numerous lines of trenches bear witness to this. The war took on characteristics typical of mountain warfare: armies built roads, dug trenches and walkways, they built barracks and shelters.

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Mount Zugna is located south of Rovereto and is a mountain of great historical, geological and naturalistic interest. In fact, on its slopes it preserves the largest deposit of dinosaur fossil footprints ever found in Italy, with traces of carnivorous and herbivorous dinosaurs from the Jurassic period. Near the Refuge there is an important astronomical observatory; of considerable interest also for the botanical and faunal aspects. From a historical point of view, it played a fundamental role in the history of the First World War on the Italian-Austrian front.

Distance - 3 km from Refuge, even by car
Il Trincerone - Kopfstellung

Climbing from Rovereto to Coni Zugna, a few kilometers after Albaredo, you will come across the front line. Just a few steps from the Austrian line, stands the imposing wall of the “Trincerone”, which has been partly reconstructed. Here, during the spring of 1916 the attacks of the Strafexpedition broke through. All around there are remains of trenches, walkways, observatories, machine-gun posts and war cemeteries.

Distance - 1,3 km from Refuge on foot
Parco della Pace

Theen proceed to the Refuge Coni Zugna, where you will leave your car to continue by foot along the Path of Peace (Trail 115). After 20 minutes you will reach the “Park of Peace”, where the Austrians had planned to build a fortress and had built a series of artifacts, among which a watershed for gathering the rain water and some barracks. The area was abandoned at the outbreak of hostilities and then occupied by the Italian military, who in turn built trenches, dug shelters in the rock, artillery posts and a hospital.

Rifuge-Passo Buole - 5 hour excursion
Sentiero della Pace

From the summit of Zugna with a mule track you can reach Passo Buole. This place was called “Termopylae of Italy” due to the extreme resistance by the Italian Army to the Austro-Hungarian offensive in May 1916, which intended to break through the front in Vallarsa to take the first line from behind the “Trincerone”. A chapel was erected in remembrance of the fallen soldiers.


It is advisable to park at the refuge and to follow itineraries around the structure which vary from 30 minutes to 2 hours of walking on simple paths. Forest road suitable for strollers, you can reach the top with a walk of about 50 minutes.


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