On top of a hill from which you can enjoy one of the most beautiful views of the Pian del Cansiglio, Le Rotte is an ancient 17th-century dairy that preserves all the charm of its past intact. Founded in the heart of the Forest of the Doges, part of the Serenissima Republic of Venice, it was a very important strategic hub for the supply of precious wood for the naval power of the lagoon. In the period from May to September, it served as a summer base for the mountain pastures, thus allowing shepards to take advantage of the grazing rights that Venice had granted them.
Used for this purpose until ’71, the dairy experienced a period of abandonment and decline, until when, in the 90s, it was taken over by its current owners, the Dell’Antonia family. Thanks to a conservative restoration all the ancient features of the structure have been brought to new life and decorated with objects and works-of-art typical of these mountains. As a result, today you can admire the characteristic seventeenth-century “larìn” (fireplace) where the milk was once processed or, in the central room, the slits typical of the “refrigeration” area where the milk was left to bring out the cream which was used to make the butter.
The cuisine is based on tasty and genuine mountain dishes: from the venison carpaccio with raspberry sauce to the homemade canederli dumplings up to the fabulous lamb dishes of own production. Among the must-try, do not miss the pastìn (hamburger made with pork and beef), the venison stewed with polenta and the hay grappa liqueur.
All the ingredients – meat, vegetables, wild herbs and fruit – are mostly produced by the farm and grown in the surrounding lands.
From May to October, you can enjoy the “company” of the herd of the Dell’Antonia family grazing peacefully along the slopes of the hill, making the wonderful landscape even more bucolic. They belong to the Suffolk breed originating in Great Britain (those of Wallace and Gromit to say), characterized by black snout and legs in contrast with the thick white coat.
Perfect for both lunch and dinner, it is better to visit Alle Rotte during the week to have a more romantic experience as, on weekends, the location becomes very popular.
The position in which Casera Le Rotte is located also makes it the protagonist of two extraordinary natural phenomena.
The Caglieron Caves
The Caglieron Caves are a wonderful circular path characterized by waterfalls and suspended wooden walkways that seem straight out of an Indiana Jones movie. Starting from Vittorio Veneto, you can reach them by Vespa scooter for Instagram-friendly photos. Stop first at the Cimbri village (which looks like Asterix’s one), have lunch at the Casera and then visit the Caves for one of the most suggestive excursions that Veneto can offer.
The show of deer in love
From mid-September to mid-October the valley in front of the Casera becomes the stage of an exceptional phenomenon: in the period of estrus, thousands of deer meet here to mate and it is a real spectacle to assist to their bellow and love skirmishes. In this period, the Casera is absolutely worth a trip, perhaps by booking dinner in the evening, when it is easier to see the deer.
If you wish to go on an excursion, you can contact a local Environmental Hiking Guide, a fundamental help both to live the experience safely and to respect the delicate naturalistic balance of the Cansiglio Forest thus ensuring the privacy of these majestic animals.
Mood by Night
The surroundings and the Caglieron Caves
Casera Le Rotte
Via dei Cimbri 3
31010 Loc. Pian Cansiglio
Tel. +39 338 1425385
Starters: 6 — 11 euro
First courses: 6,50 — 8,50 euro
Second courses: 6,50 — 16,50 euro