<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> Itinerario 2


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  Itinerary 2: from Castelmonte to Kolovrat (on foot)  

A Walk along the mountainous ridge that divides the Erbezzo/Arbeč valley from that of Iudrio/ Idrica and covers a vast part of the Italian third line of defence, where the Battle of Caporetto ended.

Description of the route
Departure from the Square at Castelmonte/Stara Gora sanctuary. After a short walk take Sentiero Italia (with numerous digressions outside the marked path) and explore the defensive Italian system towards Mounts Špik, S. Martino/Sv. Martin and S. Giovanni/Sv. Ivan. Then from Tribil Superiore/ Gorenj Tarbij to Passo Solarie/Solarje, passing the most important artillery posts on Mount Cum/Hum.

The total length of the route is approximately 23km.
The kilometres for each section are:
Castelmonte/Stara Gora-Tribil Superiore/Gorenj
Tarbij approximately 14km;
Tribil Superiore/ Gorenj Tarbij-Rucchin/Zaločilo 3.5km; Rucchin/ Zaločilo-Passo Solarie/Solarje 5km.

Approximately 900 metres. Altimetry:
Castelmonte/ Stara Gora 618m;
Mount Špik 661m.;
Mount S. Giovanni/Sv. Ivan 702m;
Fortin 577m;
Tribil di Sopra/Gorenj Tarbij 642m;
Mount Cum/Hum 912m;
Rucchin/Zaločilo 626m;
Clabuzzaro/Brieg 802m;
Pass Solarie/Solarje 956m.

Level of dificulty:

Depart from the Square below the hamlet of Castelmonte/Stara Gora, dominated by the sanctuary also called Castelmonte.
Intersection with itineraries n° 3 (see page 33) and n° 4 (see page 41).




According to tradition, the Sanctuary of Castelmonte (in Slovenian, Stara Gora, which means ancient mountain) is 1500 years old.


Historically, we first come across it in the year 1000. This splendid medieval village, which has not changed since the 16th - 17th century and has only been restructured after the few fires and earthquakes that ruined it, at the end of the 13th Century possessed one of the richest churches in the Patriarch of Aquileia. In the Sanctuary the Madonna with child from the Salisburg school and consecrated in 1479 is worth a visit.

Take provincial road n°31 in the direction of Tribil Superiore/Gorenj Tarbij. After approximately 500 metres on the right there is Sentiero Italia (marked with the red and white Cai trail sign n°747).

From here, in order to see all of the trench line, it may be necessary to leave the marked paths. For those who do not want to, it is possible
to continue on foot along Sentiero Italia or even by car along the provincial road below to Tribil Superiore/ Gorenj Tarbiji.

After approximately 300-400 m if you briefly abandon the marked path turning left into the woods to climb up to the top of Mount Špik there is an interesting construction of a defence area that was part of the strong points of the third Italian defence line.

On the top of Mount Špik there are interesting fortifications easy to walk along, as well as: mule tracks, sector of trenches well-preserved
and reinforced with dry-stone walls and three artificial galleries dug into the rock. Inside one of the latter there is the construction of a stairway in cement along the slope. This was linked via a wooden hand rail (no longer existing) to a few other steps next to the inside well, inside of which it was possible to descend using the metal clamps on the wall.


From Mount Špik you can follow the trenches eastwards on the ridge of the mountain. Along this route there are: a network of mule tracks, caves with machine guns posts and artillery emplacements, all linked to the trenches. And Further on, in little less than 3km, there is the church of San Nicolò/ Sv. Miklavž (Saint Nicholas), on top of the hamlet of Iainich/Jagnjed.

On the 27th October 1917, Italian troops in retreat from Kolovrat and from Mount Cum/Hum, chased by the Austro-Hungarians coming from

Tribil Superiore/Gorenj Tarbij, found shelter around the church of San Nicolò (Saint Nicholas built in 1294). To help the troops of the 19th division in retreat, along with the Ferrara brigade that was already there, the Avellino and Milan brigades were sent in the desperate attempt to hold the enemy back. The battles were extremely violent, and the Italian resistance although relentless was useless as a result of the overwhelming force of the troops of the Central Empire. The battle took place towards the evening. In the days that fallowed the inhabitants of the surrounding villages did their best to help the wounded and to bury the dead around the church of San Nicolò/ Sv. Miklavž (Saint Nicholas) which was used as a hospital during the battle. Two commemorative crosses written in German remember the victims of that tragic and bloody bayonet battle.

Zigzag between the trenches which unfortunately are completely abandoned and hidden by plants.

Sentiero Italia (marked with the red and white Cai trail sign n°747) now practically runs along the ridge of the mountain, making the .

exploration of the trench line easier.
Now Sentiero Italia climbs up Mount S. Giovanni/ Sv. Ivan, approximately 4.5km from S. Nicolò/Sv. Miklavž.

See itinerary n° 4 on page 42 for the description of the church of San Nicolò/ Sv. Miklavž (Saint Nicholas) situated in a panoramically
splendid position on the top of Mount S. Giovanni/Sv. Ivan.

Having descended Mount S. Giovanni/Sv. Ivan, a little after 1km, Sentiero Italia and the provincial road below travel side by side for a short period of time.
Soon after Uratac a dirt road on the right takes to Fortin (shown on the Tabacco map).
The cave in this area, which is still visible today, was used as a hospital during the First World War. The name“fortin” (it means little fort) is a result of the presence of openings in reinforced cement used as machine gun posts..

The route from Varch/Varh to Tribil Superiore/ Gorenj Tarbij (a little less than 4km) is lacking in fortifications, caves and trenches, which have now collapsed or been covered by the local population in the years following the conflict so as to be able to reuse the fields and meadows that had been destroyed by the war. On the tarmac road at the crossroad for Clinaz/Klinac only the place-name “Par guardi” is left which probably indicated a guard or control post. At Tribil Superiore/Gorenj Tarbij these constructions are more visible and extensive. Here the trenches were the most modern and solid of all the third line of defence of Matajur-Mount San Martino/Sv. Martin-Mount Cum/Hum.

The village of Tribil Superiore/Gorenj Tarbij was used as command posts for the 57th and 58th artillery group that held artillery pieces of

105 and 210mm. Going up the slopes of Mount Klopac, behind the village, it is possible to find wide trenches in which a part was used as stables and the other part as a sickbay, given the presence of a military hospital already in the area; now only the recently restored old fountain of “Peč” remains. This hospital was still used after the end of the First World War. In addition, in the post war years the Spanish influenza epidemic inflicted new losses to the already exhausted population and lots of children, even from the villages on the Slovenian side of the Iudrio/Idrija, were buried in the Tribil cemetery, hastily created in the days following the attack of Caporetto.

From here onwards the Italian defence line takes on another form. From Tribil Superiore/Gorenj Tarbij continue along Sentiero Italia (marked with the red and white CAI trail sign n°747).

Going up Mount Cum/Hum (approximately 1,5km) it is again possible to see numerous galleries, stables, trenches, artillery

emplacements, observatories and searchlight posts needed to spot the enemy’s position. The Elba Brigade defended the positions of the Cum/Hum-Rucchin/Zaločilo line, but the peak was occupied by the 5th Prussian division at 11am on the 26th October 1917, to be precise the 8th company of the 8th granatieri regiment.

Continuing to follow Sentiero Italia for approximately 2km we get to Rucchin/Zaločilo. From here to Kolovrat there are a number of fortifications such as machine-gun nests and wide trenches all produced using reinforced concrete; and numerous caves that sheltered the 25th artillery group, with artillery pieces of 149 mm. Here there was close contact with the front controlling the Iudrio/Idrija valley, the Bainsizza plateau and the Isonzo valley. From here, continue on Sentiero Italia (red and white Cai trail sign n°747) up to Clabuzzaro/Brieg
for approximately 3,5km (intersection with itinerary n° 1, page 19). From here Sentiero Italia has the red and white Cai trail sign n°746 up to Passo Solarie/ Solarje, which is approximately 1.5km.