The Way of the Popes

The Way of the Popes is an itinerary that leads to the places that have been in connection with four great Popes of the last three centuries. A route that touches some of the most charming and evocative corners of the province of Belluno, making threads of the faith testimonies that often coincide with the most important art and culture treasures, in a wonderful setting, the Dolomites, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site on June 26, 2009.

This route has two starting points, with two different directions: Canale d'Agordo, birth place of Pope John Paul I, born Albino Luciani, and Lorenzago di Cadore, summer holiday location for six times of Saint Pope Wojtyla, John Paul II and in 2007 of Pope Benedict XVI. From the town of Canale d'Agordo, you will follow the Cordevole stream passing through Agordo and Valle Imperina, important outdoor museum with the historical mines inside the Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park. You will then reach the “Certosa di Vedana” (charter house) in the municipality of Sospirolo, built from the fifteenth century along the historic Way of the Hospices, and then descend towards Belluno. At the gates of Belluno, there is the locality of Mussoi, birthplace of Gregory XVI. The other itinerary starts from Lorenzago di Cadore and runs along the Piave river, crossing Pieve di Cadore, birthplace of Titian, and Longarone, living witness of the tragedy of the Vajont dam. You will then cross the town of Ponte nelle Alpi and finally reach the city of Belluno.

Belluno tells with its many churches, among all the Cathedral, and its streets and squares, the places lived by Pope Gregory XVI between the late eighteenth and the early nineteenth century. From here the itinerary continues along the right bank of the Piave river in the territory of the Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park, through the towns of Sedico, Sospirolo, Santa Giustina, San Gregorio nelle Alpi, Cesiomaggiore reaching the City of Feltre and the ancient Sanctuary of the Saints Vittore and Corona in Anzù on Mount Miesna. From Feltre and crossing the Piave river, you will walk along the left side of the Piave river towards the towns of Lentiai and Mel, featuring the majestic Zumelle Castle and from here, crossing the Praderadego mountain pass, historic linking route between Belluno and Treviso you will finally reach Vittorio Veneto.

An itinerary that from the highest peaks of the Dolomites reaches the entrance of the plain, to discover on foot or bike riding, enjoying the magnificent natural landscapes and the rich history of the ancient territory of Belluno.

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