What it is and where it is
Cansiglio is a vast plateau that characterizes the prealpine arc on the border between Veneto and Friuli. Shared by the provinces of Treviso, Belluno and Pordenone, it has as its main crossing route the Strada dell'Alpago e del Cansiglio (Sp 422), which from Vittorio Veneto climbs to Fregona (m 292), crosses the threshold of Crosetta (m 1120) and descends into the wide basin of Pian del Cansiglio (m 1028), continuing to Tambre (m 922) before facing the descent to Ponte nelle Alpi (m 397), in the upper Belluna Valley.
Why it is special
Cansiglio's most characteristichabitat is forest, mostly dominated by beech, a resource that has been the subject of farsighted forestry over the centuries. The fauna is also remarkable, with the deer as the most easily spotted species: by sight, throughout the year, but also by ear, when the bellowing of the males, during the mating season, becomes a real attraction. This, against the backdrop of a wildlife review that includes all the noblest alpine species, from grouse to bear.
In the locality of Pian Osteria is a small ethnographic museum that focuses on the history of the Cimbri, the community of mountaineers of Bavarian origin called in the Middle Ages to colonize the plateau. The main activity involved the management of the forest to obtain timber for construction, but also significant was the working of beech wood to produce, starting from hot-bent laths, various objects of daily use, but above all those cylindrical containers that earned them the nickname 'boxmakers.
A bit of history
The Cimbri are a population of Bavarian origin who, in the Middle Ages, were called to colonize the Asiago plateau in the Alto Vicentino, later expanding into the Lessinia Veronese and then into Cansiglio. It will be from 1404, with the dedication of Belluno to the Venetian Republic, that the Cansiglio will go down in history as the 'bosco da reme,' that is, for the supply of those long beech logs from which the infinite number of oars destined for the galleys of the Serenissima were made.
Of the Cimbrian presence on the Cansiglio remains traces mostly in the names of certain families in the area, who have almost completely lost the German-speaking language, while preserving certain food and folkloric customs of their ancestors. Then there are the names of various localities, starting with that of Mount Pizzoch (actualization of the Cimbrian Spitz Hoch, 'high peak'), to which one ascends from Crosetta to reach the "City of Vittorio Veneto" refuge (m. 1565), with views from the Dolomites to the Venice lagoon via the Prosecco hills.
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