An impressive sight to behold is an isolated refuge built directly into a sheer rock face on a mountain peak in the Italian Dolomites. The only way to access it is by hiking a perilous path on foot or by helicopter. Once a military supply store and shelter from the elements during World War One, the refuge has since been restored and is now back on the map as a unique building.
The Buffa di Perrero shelter located in the heart of the Dolomite Mountains on the Mount Cristallo massif was first established as a refuge for the Alpine soldiers who battled against Austrian troops during World War I.
The shelter is named after Colonel Carlo Buffa di Perrero, who led the Cadore battalion. It is seamlessly integrated into the mountainside, sitting at an elevation of 2,760 meters. The design is such that it blends in with the surroundings and is only visible from the front.
The structure is made up of sturdy walls made from bricks, topped by a sloping roof. It has two entrances and four windows that can be covered by shutters. The location of the building offers a great view of the valley below, but it’s important to be cautious when approaching the entryway because of the steep drop-off nearby.
In 2022, the Alpini 6th Regiment successfully repaired a refuge that had suffered roof collapse due to snowfall eighteen months prior.
Matteo Peroni, a mountain enthusiast and YouTube content creator, embarked on a 12-mile (approximately 20-kilometer) circular route with two of his friends and a GoPro. They hiked to the refuge and recorded their adventure, which was uploaded on YouTube on the same day.
After trekking through snowy mountain paths and past scenic peaks, the group finally arrived at their destination. They spent the night at a refuge with a cozy wood-burning stove and wooden bunk beds, to give their bodies a much-needed rest and celebrate their achievement. They returned to their starting point 13 hours later, victorious and fulfilled.
Buffa di Perrero is truly an amazing sanctuary that may be a thrilling travel destination to explore. However, it’s not for the faint-hearted as it offers a unique and adventurous experience.