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South TyrolAlta PusteriaSesto


Sesto village of the Three Peaks or Sixth Heaven.

The name Sesto appeared in written documents for the first time in the Year 965 to indicate a mountain dairy. As is almost universally accepted today, it was the Brothers of the Franciscan Order of San Candido who first made Sesto Valley accessible by draining the marshes and consolidating the ground; various wetlands and swampy areas still remaining today in the hamlet of Moso (the name used to define the place) lead us to believe that the entire valley was once merely a reservoir for melting water from snow on the circle of peaks known as the Sesto Sundial.

The origin of the name Sesto has been the subject of much speculation; the three most popular theories regard the following:
1.  the sixth Roman milestone was found in Moso, near Sesto. Sesto might therefore be derived from the Latin word for sixth;
2.  there are six farmstead foundation walls near the Lanzinger sawmill at the entrance to the village where the first 6 families built their homes;
3.  the sixth hour was when the San Candido Collegiate monks began their daily work; six hours later at noon the sun seen from San Candido stands exactly over Valle di Sesto.

Valle di Sesto runs from the Lanzinger sawmill now known as Klauss Trattoria to Monte Croce Comelico Pass (Albergo Monte Croce) and extends in width from Cresta Carnica Hill where the former Austrian boundary stones stand (near the Monte Elmo barracks, once the Customs office between Austria and Italia) to the Locatelli Mountain Hut across from the Three Peaks (Tre Cime) of Lavaredo.

Tre Cime

Sesto has long been considered one of the most famous and beautiful villages in the Dolomiti Alps, not only thanks to the renowned Three Peaks mentioned above but especially for its two stupendous branch valleys: Val Fiscalina, with the marvelous setting of the worlds largest natural sundial (made by peaks Cima Nove, Cima Dieci, Cima Undici, Cima Dodici and Cima Una) rising above, and Val Campo di Dentro with its splendid pastures and spruce woods and the highest peak in the area, Punta dei Tre Scarperi at 3,152 m above sea level.

Sesto stood right on the Dolomiti Front and played a particularly important role during the First World War. These pleasant high mountain slopes and pastures are still scarred by the lines of trenches and bunkers (on Cresta Carnica Hill, Alpe di Nemes, and even more, on Croda Rossa, Cima Undici, and around Tre Cime and Fort Heideck, etc.) that continue to bear witness to one of the cruelest armed conflicts of all time.
Sepp Innerkofler was one tragic hero of WWI who proved his love for his country even more than his comrades in many acts of daring and bravery here on the front (during the attack on Mount Paterno, for example, where he died under mysterious circumstances). When hostilities broke out, the Tyrol was allied with Germany and Italy as part of the Austro-Hungaric Empire, but when Italy changed sides in 1915, the Tyrol faced her Italian enemy all along a line in Dolomiti Alps that was regularly pounded by artillery because both sides needed to control the village of Sesto. The Axis powers lost the war in 1918, even if this amounted to merely an administrative act for the Sesto Dolomiti Front, which was undefeated and remained unbroken until the Armistice. Sesto, in fact, has always been on the border, first with Italy (near Monte Croce Pass on the way to the famous Meridiana or Sundial and the Upper Comelico Valley), because it was once part of Austria, and then on the border with Austria, which became a foreign country in 1920 when Sesto and the rest of South Tyrol was ceded to Italy as a war prize.
When the new national borers (with all Upper Adige/South Tyrol part of Italy as above) were drawn in 1918, rivers and mountain peaks were used as markers, such as the Rienza River in Dobbbiaco, where Italian territory once came to an end. Sesto, San Candido, Monte San Candido, Versciaco and Prato alla Drava were annexed to Italy only two years later in 1920. This decision was almost certainly made by the mayors and town councils of these 5 municipalities during the horrible post-war famine, who decided that help would more probably be received from the wars winner (Rome) than its loser (Vienna).
The St. Germain Peace Treaty signed in France on September 12, 1919 sealed the future of Alto Adige, and from that moment on, Italian became the official language at the expense of German, the peoples mother tongue. Many unknown heroes kept the use of the forbidden German language alive, however, and some paid for this service with their lives. Today, the Sesto Sch├╝tzen (a special branch of military sharpshooters) proudly and courageously upholds the areas original traditions and culture which we hope will both continue for a long time to come.

Sesto has always been and will always be a coveted destination for mountain climbers and trekkers thanks to its excellent circuit of hiking trails at every level of difficulty that range from pleasant hikes to the most challenging climbs, from easy strolls between pasture dairies to fixed-aid climbing routes that offer something for everyone. Especially and above all, thanks to truly spectacular panorama and landscape, from the peaks in Carnia to the pale rock of the Dolomite Alps, that bring the greatest of thrill to the chest of every lover of the mountains.

On June 26, 2009 the DOLOMITI ALPS were designated WORLD NATURAL HERITAGE by UNESCO our deepest thanks go to everyone we may have forgotten to mention whose efforts and far sightedness were instrumental in ensuring this honor and future protection for our most precious asset.

Speck Sesto
Tadition Sesto