The Giau Pass
The Giau Pass is one of the most scenic and spectacular mountain passes in the heart of the Dolomites. Surrounded by rolling meadows dotted with small chalets, the Dolomites soar upwards like rock cathedrals. In the midst of this magical scenery, roads with hairpin bends wind their way through this, one of the most beautiful passes in the Alps.
Just a couple of bends from the top of the pass, at an altitude of 2175 metres, is our restaurant Da Aurelio.
The view from up here is spectacular: from our terrace, a series of peaks stretch as far as the eye can see. From the winding slopes of Mount Pore to the sharp, pointed rocks of Setsass, the Marmolada, the Pale di San Martino, Sella and Lagazuoi.
Thanks to its breath-taking scenery, the Giau Pass is a popular location for films, TV programmes and ads. A favourite with cyclists, it has often provided the Giro d’Italia with one of its most spectacular stages. In July, amateur cyclists competing in the Maratona dles Dolomites, a road bike marathon through the Dolomites passes which starts in Alta Badia, race through the pass.
The beautiful Giau Pass connects Cortina d’Ampezzo with the Agordo area of the Belluno Dolomites.
Walkers flock to the Giau Pass because it is a strategic starting point for unforgettable hikes in the Ampezzo Dolomites, taking in peaks such as Averau, Nuvolau and the Cinque Torri. Just a bit further away are Croda da Lago, Lastoi de Formin, Cernera and Mondeval. These paths are also part of the Alta Via no. 1.
This area is popular with winter sports enthusiasts, offering some spectacular skiing in the 5 Torri – Lagazuoi ski area, which is now directly connected with the slopes in the Tofana area by the new Cortina Skyline cable car. The closest lift to us (and the only one in the Giau Pass) is the Fedare chairlift to the Averau Refuge, which is only a couple of minutes by car from our restaurant. If you book a table for lunch, you can use the shuttle service we put on specially for our guests. More than just skiing: the snowy slopes of the Giau Pass offer the perfect conditions for ski mountaineering and for experiencing the adrenaline rush of surfing over the snow with snowkiting.
For us, the Giau Pass is first and foremost our home.
During the day, the Pass is busy with bikers and tourists as they cross from one valley to another. It is a great starting point for outdoor adventures and many people just come here to experience its breath-taking views of the Dolomites. At lunchtime the atmosphere in the restaurant is informal and whether you are sitting inside or on the veranda, the large windows give you uninterrupted views of the mountains. When the weather is warm, the sunny terrace is the ideal venue for your gourmet meal.
In the evening, everything changes. Outside, darkness falls and the mountains rest like silent giants. Inside, as we start turning on the lights and the traditional ‘stube’ is lit to warm the rooms, the team gets busy in the kitchen, while the restaurant staff put the finishing touches to the tables for the evening meal. This magical refuge, set in one of the most stunning locations in the Dolomites, and its gourmet restaurant are ready to welcome you.