In this chapter we discuss one of the most fascinating and characteristic valleys of the province of Belluno and the whole Veneto, Val Comelico.
Val Comelico presents itself immediately for its personality, located in the high Cadore in the province of Belluno is surrounded by large forests and green meadows. On the western end of the valley rises the Dolomite group of Popèra, with its high peaks of Croda Rossa, Cima Undici, Monte and Cima Popèra, and therefore the more modest Cima Bagni, Cima di Pàdola, Croda di Tacco and Croda da Campo . To the north appears the mild Western Carnica Crest, the border ridge between Italy and Austria, which differs from Monte Pietra Bianca di Frugnòni. The upper part of the Comelico Superiore valley is dotted with small pearls of water, where the clear blue of the sky is reflected in the emerald green of the alpine lakes.
Its typical villages are entwined on the slopes of the valleys, of which its main nucleuses are Santo Stefano di Cadore and San Pietro di Cadore, from the small fraction of Costalta with its artists, from San Nicolò di Comelico which was the first inhabited nucleus of the Val Padola and Padola, the last village in the valley and with a ski resort on Monte Popera. Each village deserves a visit, they are unique and curious, with museums on Ladin culture and works of art, but above all with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.
"Ladino" is a word coined by linguists who documented the diversity present in the Alpine territory. This term indicates the dialects that settled in the first millennium, that is, after the Roman Empire, in the Alpine arc, from the Swiss canton, to the Dolomites to Friuli.
The purpose was to enhance the historical differences that make up the various valleys of the Pale Mountains, from the neighboring and more popular ones such as the Veneto or the German. The Ladin tradition of Comelico has preserved and maintained very strongly some popular manifestations of lay rituals and religious ceremonies, witnessed by the great participation in the various parades in the streets of the towns. Not to be missed among the peaks of these mountains of the Comelico one of the most heartfelt and spectacular events of the Alpine arc, the Carnival, which has always been in the popular culture the main secular festive moment, heritage of ancient pagan propitiatory rites.