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Once upon a time...

Built with passion, run with love – traditionally good!

How it all began… the most important events in the history of the Fiscalina Valley's Talschlusshütte…

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Once upon a time... Built with passion, run with love – traditionally good!



1952 Siegfried Villgrater, who would later become the host of the Talschlusshütte, the Fondovalle Refuge, learned to love this area when he worked as a young shepherd in the Fiscalina Valley.
1953 May: a small “refreshment point” is built where the Fondovalle Refuge now stands. In the autumn of the same year the dormitory and kitchen are also added.
1954 The technical report on the “refreshment point” emphasizes the exemplary toilet: it is built 10 meters from the main structure and made entirely of wood.
1958 Anton and Siegfried Villgrater file a petition to obtain private ownership, and become the owners of the “refreshment point”. Their first initiative is to install a drinking water piping system. By hand, they dig a trench from a spring to the building, a distance of 300 meters.
1959 They submit new projects to the local Environmental Protection Commission: a storeroom is added to the existing outdoor toilet.
1960 Rosa, who is not a Villgrater yet, comes to work in the Fiscalina Valley.
1961 Siegfried Villgrater and Rosa get married.
1962 Birth of Herbert, the first of four children and current owner of the Fondovalle Refuge.
1963 The business grows rapidly. Towards the end of the sixties it is so well established that almost 200 cars can be seen in the parking lot at one time.
1971 Val Fiscalina is closed to traffic, campgrounds and tents are forbidden. Unfortunately, what is beneficial to nature is often detrimental to human activities: at first the local people, used to reaching the Fondovalle Refuge by car, stop coming here.
1974 Siegfried Villgrater purchases 608 m² of land for the then considerable amount of 3,040,000 Lire. The purchase is followed by a long bureaucratic ordeal to obtain the permit to enlarge the old Refuge. Success is only achieved after years of struggle and piles of paperwork.
1977 Inauguration of the new Fondovalle Refuge, but Siegfried Villgrater, the owner, is not completely satisfied. The many regulations and strictures imposed by the authorities have not allowed the project to be accomplished in the most satisfactory manner.
1983 The Sexten Dolomites Natural Park is established.
1984 The licence to run the Fondovalle Refuge is revoked.
1985 The former Refuge is transformed into a family run hotel.
1993 The hotel is equipped with a telephone line and sewer; the generating set, which is not ecological, is replaced with a power line from the town.
1995 Siegfried Villgrater, long-time manager of the Fondovalle Refuge, dies.
1996 Plans to enlarge the Fondovalle Refuge, which take a year to define, are eventually drawn up, and the sophisticated project is approved quickly and without a hitch by the Sexten Building Commission. But the work, scheduled to begin in the spring of 1998, is delayed by legal problems and bureaucratic red tape and will not start for another four years.
1998 Marriage of Herbert Villgrater and Maria, waitress at the Fondovalle Refuge since 1986. Two children are born, Armin and Julia.
2000 The preparations for the long-wished for redevelopment are completed; meantime, the spring water supply system is upgraded to meet modern standards.
2003 On March 17, the old Fondovalle Refuge is demolished. The expertise of architect Bernhard Lösch and the excellent coordination of the Unionbau firm that supervises the construction enable the work to proceed speedily and without a hitch: after only three months, on June 23, the new Fondovalle Refuge is inaugurated. The event is duly celebrated on October 12, with the inauguration ceremony and the celebration of the 50th anniversary of an inn that meantime has become an integral part of the Piano Fiscalino.
2004 On 19th August with heavy hearts we said goodbye to the hut-keeper, Herbert Villgrater, who passed away after a short illness.
2007 On the morning of 12th October there was a massive rock fall on the Einserkofel, which caused 60,000 m3 of scree to pour down into the Fiscalina Valley, covering the entire valley in a thick cloud of dust.
Video of the rock fall on Einserkofel Click here to see a video of the event
2008-2009 was a particularly snowy winter, with approx. 6 metres of new snow falling in the Fiscalina Valley.
2009 On 26th June 2009 in Seville, the Dolomites were elevated to world heritage site status by UNESCO.
2010 The regional government approved the nature reserve’s request to change its name from the "Sexten Dolomites Nature Reserve" to the "Drei Zinnen Nature Reserve”.

Illustrious guests - from the Fondovalle Refuge guest book:

Luis Trenker, Reinhold Messner, Hans Kammerlander, Christoph Hainz, Franz Klammer, Paul Breitner, Cardinal König, Silvius Magnago, former Head of the Provincial Government, Giulio Andreotti ...

Siegfried Villgrater, who would later become the host, as a young shepherd in the Fiscalina Valley
The “refreshment point” in the Fiscalina Valley
The Fondovalle Refuge in 1954
1963: The business grows rapidly - there are many visitors
1974: Siegfried Villgrater purchases land - years later, the hut extended
1995: Siegfried Villgrater, long-time manager of the Fondovalle Refuge, dies.
1998: Marriage of Herbert Villgrater and Maria, waitress at the Fondovalle Refuge since 1986.
2002: Start of construction works of the new Fondovalle Refuge
2003: On October 12 inaugurated the new Fondovalle Refuge in the Fiscalina Valley
2004: We said goodbye to the hut-keeper, Herbert Villgrater, who passed away after a short illness.
On the morning of 12th October 2009 there was a massive rock fall on the Einserkofel
2008-2009 was a particularly snowy winter
On 26th June 2009 in Seville, the Dolomites were elevated to world heritage site status by UNESCO.