They all had the face of the Christ,
in the livid halo of the helmet.
They all carried the mark of the torment
in the cross of the bayonet,
and in the pockets
the bread of the last supper,
and in the throat
the tears of the last goodbye.

(Poem found in the pocket of a soldier died in the Dolomites)


   The chain of Costabella, stretching from Passo delle Selle to Passo delle Cirelle, was the theatre of hardest combat between Italians and Austrians during the First World War.

   Between 1915 and 1917, the well positioned Austrian army on Passo delle Selle - a key position at the south-western end of the Marmolada front, giving access to Val Monzoni and hence to Valle dell' Avisio - built a small village of shacks to give shelter to persons and ammunitions here.







Near the Pass, where the ruins of the barracks can still be observed, lies the start of the Alta Via Bepi Zac (a well equipped alpine path), that goes along the route of the White War through trenches dug in the earth and the rocks, galleries, mine tunnels, wooden stairs and footways, between shelters in caves, emplacements, remains of projectiles …

The owner of the Refuge Passo delle Selle, always fond of the history of the Great War, has an immense constantly updated collection of documents and historical photos which he plans to collect in an historical museum of certain interest.