The First World War with Jon Scanlon

dedicated WWI historical walks
from mid August to mid September

Jon Scanlon is a semi-retired GP with a big personality and a profound interest in World War I history. He has been visiting the Dolomites with Collett’s for many years to explore the terrain that characterised a unique military struggle that unfolded here between 1915 and 1918 between the Austrians and the Italians.

This terrain happens to be at the heart of some of the most spectacular mountain scenery you will find anywhere in the world. So you can combine a fascinating historical subject with breathtaking moderate and high level walks, punctuated by trenches, tunnels, protected paths (formerly troop paths) and other poignant remnants of a tragic conflict.

For several years we have talked with Jon about the possibility of offering dedicated WWI walks to our guests – over and above those offered by Isabelle Johnson each Wednesday through much of our summer season.

Jon is now semi-retired and so he has been able to put together a programme of walks and evening presentations, which he will be offering free of charge to guests who holiday with us this summer between mid August to mid September. Jon will bring together all the knowledge he has acquired during his previous visits. We guarantee that guests who choose to join him are sure to be fascinated by these days out, which will be as rich in WWI history as they are rich in stunning alpine scenery.

WWI Fort on Passo Valporola

In trenches at the Cinque Torre
open-air museum

Jon’s walks will be based on a weekly programme that will effectively repeat itself during his month with us in the Dolomites. Each week he will offer you the chance to explore different features of the area, much of which is effectively an open-air WWI museum. You might choose to attend one of Jon’s presentations in the evening. We can assure you these will be as entertaining as they are interesting, such is Jon’s ability to engage with people. Either way, the presentations will give you a chance to gain some in-depth knowledge of a truly amazing military chapter, which featured incredible hardships for those that fought here.

Tunnels on the Italian front lines
near Lagazuo

Cinque Torre open air museum

First World War trenches at Sass de Stria

These walks are offered on the same basis as our flower walks and you join them entirely at your own risk. There is no additional cost and you are welcome to dip into the itineraries day to day as you please. Each evening at Office Hour you will be able to find out what walk is being offered by Jon the following day, although it is likely a programme for the week will also be available to you.

Jon’s itineraries include the Col di Lana, which offers one of the best 360 panoramas in the Dolomites. He will also include walks at Lagazuoi, the Valparola Pass, the Sas di Stria and the Cinque Torre area. Most of these walks are actually featured in our Ideas and Information files for self guiding, so it should be easy for you to assess whether they are suitable for your level of fitmness. Whilst having a car with you will guarantee your participation in all of Jon’s itineraries, many of Jon’s walks will be accessible by public transport.

1916 & 2012 First World War command post on the Martini Ledge, Lagazuoi

One of the many Italian trenches
at Cinque Torre
Exploring the extensive Italian tunnel system at Sass de Stria

Investigating the tunnels on Lagazuoi

You should prepare for these itineraries as you would for any other mountain walk by studying the map and assessing suitability for you and your party. Some walks – notably those featuring the recently restored tunnels of Lagazuoi – will also require a helmet (available for hire in resort) and torch/head torch, so bring a torch if you have one.

At your own risk

You join our organised itineraries and make use of our ideas & information at your own risk. It is important that you understand that whilst our own walkers have substantial local knowledge and are familiar with the routes which our organised walks follow, they are not qualified mountain guides.

If you need help making a decision or would like to check accommodation availability please call us on 01799 513331. For Prices click here.

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