Col di Lana
The Col di Lana is a mountain of the Fanes Group in the Italian Dolomites
The Dolomites are a mountain range located in north-eastern Italy. It is a part of Southern Limestone Alps and extends from the River Adige in the west to the Piave Valley in the east. The northern and southern borders are defined by the Puster Valley and the Sugana Valley...

, situated in Livinallongo del Col di Lana
Livinallongo del Col di Lana
Livinallongo del Col di Lana is a comune in the Province of Belluno in the Italian region Veneto, located about 120 km north of Venice and about 45 km northwest of Belluno....

 (German: Buchenstein), a municipality of the Province of Belluno
Province of Belluno
TheThe Province of Belluno is a province in the Veneto region of Italy. Its capital is the city of Belluno.It has an area of 3,678 km², and a total population of 214,026 .-Geography:...

, in the Italian region of Veneto
Veneto is one of the 20 regions of Italy. Its population is about 5 million, ranking 5th in Italy.Veneto had been for more than a millennium an independent state, the Republic of Venice, until it was eventually annexed by Italy in 1866 after brief Austrian and French rule...


During World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 the mountain, alongside the neighbouring Monte Sief, was the scene of heavy fighting between Austria and Italy. It is now a memorial to the War in the Dolomites
Italian Campaign (World War I)
The Italian campaign refers to a series of battles fought between the armies of Austria-Hungary and Italy, along with their allies, in northern Italy between 1915 and 1918. Italy hoped that by joining the countries of the Triple Entente against the Central Powers it would gain Cisalpine Tyrol , the...


During the years of 1915/16, Italian troops from the 12th Infantry and the 14th Alpine Companies repeatedly attempted to storm the peak, defended first by the German Alpenkorps
Alpenkorps (German Empire)
The Alpenkorps was a provisional mountain unit of division size formed by the Imperial German Army during World War I. It was considered by the Allies to be one of the best units of the German Army.-Formation:...

 and later by Austrian regiments. These attempts resulted in heavy losses; 278 Italians died due to avalanches alone. However this is not the only reason that the Italians dubbed it "Col di Sangue", "Blood Mountain". Like all sides in the First World War, the Italian Army sought to conquer the summit with relatively large forces, paying a high price in casualties.

Lieutenant Caetani
Don Gelasio Caetani
Don Gelasio dei Principe di Caetani was an Italian mining engineer, WW I army officer, and diplomat. He belonged to the noble Caetani family of Pope Gelasius II and Pope Boniface VIII.-Life and career:...

 of the Italian engineers
Military engineer
In military science, engineering refers to the practice of designing, building, maintaining and dismantling military works, including offensive, defensive and logistical structures, to shape the physical operating environment in war...

 developed a plan for mining the peak, which was executed silently using hand-operating drilling machines and chisels. At the start of 1916, the Austrians learned through an artillery observer on Pordoi Pass that the summit had been mined. The Austrians began a counter mine, and exploded this on 5 April 1916. The counter mine was, however, too far away from the Italian explosive tunnel. This was laid with five tonnes of blasting gelatin. On the night of 16/17 April 1916, the 5th Company of the 2nd Tyrolean Kaiserjäger regiment was relieved by the 6th Company, under Oberleutnant Anton von Tschurtschenthaler. The struggle reached its zenith on the night of 17/18 April 1916, when at around 23:30 the summit was blasted. The Austrians under Tschurtschenthaler then had to surrender the mountain; however they were able to maintain a position on Monte Sief, which is linked to Col di Lana by a ridge, thereby obstructing the Italian breakthrough in the area.

In 1932, the architect Kuno Krissler (from South Tyrol
South Tyrol
South Tyrol , also known by its Italian name Alto Adige, is an autonomous province in northern Italy. It is one of the two autonomous provinces that make up the autonomous region of Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol. The province has an area of and a total population of more than 500,000 inhabitants...

) planned a memorial that would have restored the contour of the summit, but it was never constructed. Today a chapel stands on the summit as a memorial to the soldiers that fell in battle. The remains of a barracks and decaying gun and communications trenches have been left behind from the war. There is also a small war museum on the mountain.

The route is from Pieve di Livinallongo (1,465 m) via the Rifugio Pian della Lasta (1,835 m); there is a road as far as the hut.
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