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Starting from the Bai de Dones car park, head towards the Cinque Torri chairlift lower station and take track n° 424, on the right of the Rifugio.
Follow the track for about an hour until you reach the mountain lodge Rifugio Col Gallina, a typically Alpine eco-sustainable building in wood and stone, set in the heart of the Dolomites at a height of 2,055 m.
The Rifugio is located on the Falzarego Pass, in an easily accessible position, and it has fine views towards mount Lagazuoi that towers impressively behind it.
The large grassy area around the Rifugio is the perfect spot to relax on comfortable recliners, while the youngest visitors will enjoy the play area, with its inflatables, swings and slides. To return, follow the same route, which brings you back to the starting point in about 45 minutes.
When you have returned to Rifugio Bai de Dones, before going back to the car park, stay on track n° 424 for a few hundred metres until you reach the romantic Lake Bai de Dones, which literally means “women’s bath”.
According to legend, the lake is home to the Anguane, the enchanting water nymphs of Ladino-Ampezzo traditions whose beauty is marred only by their goats’ hooves.
People say that after a downpour, the rivers are so tumultuous that the lake becomes turbid, because high above the Anguane are washing their clothes.
There are good Anguane who give benevolent protection to men, and also evil Anguane, as ambiguous, mysterious and fearsome as witches.
It is said that Lake Bai de Dones is inhabited by the good Anguanes, and that they will help women who wish to have a child: if a woman bathes in the waters of the small, magical lake, she will soon experience the joy of motherhood.
You can see an illustration of these mythological creatures, servants of the god Silvanus, at the entrance of Rifugio Bai de Dones, named after this lovely lake.
It is well worth stopping at the Rifugio to taste the cuisine, based on traditional mountain recipes.
The house speciality is game, but the local Ampezzo recipes are also unmissable, such as the red casunziei with beetroot, or the green casunziei with spinach and ricotta cheese.
You can enjoy these recipes on the spacious, solarium terrace. By bus: From the bus station in the centre of Cortina, take the bus operated by Dolomiti Bus towards Passo Falzarego (check the times in advance) and get off at the stop at the Bai de Dones car park, near the chair lift to Cinque Torri. By car: From the centre of Cortina, take the state road towards Passo Falzarego.
After the hamlet Pocol, about 20 minutes from the town centre, drive for a few more kilometres and then turn left onto the road marked by a large sign for the Bai de Dones car park, which is near the chair lift running up to Cinque Torri.