Prague, Czech Republic
A hot-pink confection of Bohemian Neo-Renaissance style, the Hotel Opera stands in the less touristy Nové Město, or “New Town,” quarter of storied Prague.
Deep within the wild Val Veny in western Italy, this charming Alpine mountain hut has welcomed travellers passing through the region for decades. Situated near the border of France and Italy near the Mont Blanc Massif, the Rifugio serves as a resting stop for walkers and skiers on the Tour du Mont Blanc – one of the most popular long distance walks in Europe covering 110 miles through Switzerland, Italy, and France.
Opened in 1953, this Rifugio located in the snowy Alps actually had fiery beginnings. For years, rest stops in the Val Veny valley were common as mountaineers traveling through the area needed places to recharge. In 1952, a popular Val Veny cabin caught fire which tore through the area, destroying a nearby campsite and its equipment. The next year, construction on the Rifugio began on the cabin’s ruins.
Since its opening, the Rifugio has welcomed travellers through the seasons. In 1990, a storm wrecked havoc through the valley, causing considerable damage to the Rifugio and destroying its roof. However, after a major renovation, the Rifugio was back in tip-shop shape with its original 1950s hall remaining intact.
Currently, the Rifugio is maintained by an illustrious team of two: Alex Campedlli and Franco Perlotto. Campedelli is a certified Alpine Guide and is celebrated as the youngest President of the French Società Guide di Courmayeur (Courmayeur Guide Company). Perlotto is an accomplished mountaineer, journalist, and photographer who’s served military duty and as an international emergency mission expert.
Today, Campedelli and Perlotto lend their years of mountaineering expertise to the Mont Blanc Massif mountain range and those traversing it – especially those along the epically long journey of the Tour du Mont Blanc.
Written By: Kelly Murray
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