Casera Le Rotte (TV)
On top of a hill from which you can enjoy one of the most beautiful views on Pian del Cansiglio, Le Rotte is a charming farmhouse dating back to the 17th century. Located in the heart of the Cansiglio forest, once part of the Serenissima Republic of Venice and important strategic hub for the supply of wood for the powerful naval fleet of the capital of Veneto, the Casera served a base for the traditional summer pasture. From May to September, herders used to get their flocks out of the stables to get up to the mountains to enjoy the grazing rights that Venice had accorded them.
Used for this purpose until 1971, the Casera saw a period of abandonment and decline, until when, in the ’90s, it was taken over by its current owners, the Dell’Antonia family, who, with great love and respect for its history, managed to return it to the original beauty. Thanks to a conservative restoration, all the ancient features of the structure have been brought back to life and beautifully embellished with decorations typical of the mountain lodges. Today you can still admire the characteristic 17th-century fireplace where the milk was processed or, in the central hall, the typical slits of the “refrigerator” area where the milk cream was left to mature in wooden containers in order to produce butter.
The cuisine is based on tasty and genuine mountain dishes: from the Cansiglio’s starters with deer meat carpaccio and raspberry sauce to the fabulous home-made pasta and dumplings. Do not miss the ancient recipes of the tradition, such as the pastìn (hamburger made of pork and beef meat) or the stewed deer with polenta. All the ingredients – meat, vegetables, spontaneous herbs and fruit – are mostly self-produced or cultivated in the nearby farms.
From May to September, you can enjoy the “companionship” of the Dall’Antonia’s flock grazing along the slopes of the hill, making the scenic landscape that embraces the Casera even more bucolic. In fact it’s no ordinary flock: the sheep are Suffolk, a breed characterized by black head and legs that has become even more popular following the success of the Wallace & Gromit’s adventures.
From mid-September to mid-October the valley becomes the subject of a curious phenomenon: during the oestrus period, thousands of deer gather here to mate. Their brambles and amorous skirmishes attire nature lovers and outdoor photographers from all over the world. At that time the Casera is definitely worth a trip, maybe for dinner in the evening when it’s easier to spot these magnificent animals. And you fancy a naturalistic walk in the area, just remember to book a professional local Guide not only to have more chances to see the deer, but also to make sure that the delicate equilibrium of this natural paradise is fully respected.
Where: Fregona, in a beautiful panoramic position overlooking the Cansiglio plateau
When: lunch or dinner, the Casera opens regularly from June to mid November, and during specific holiday periods such as Christmas and Easter; to enjoy its quite charm it’s better to visit it during the week as at the weekends it gets very busy
Why: to have a truly bucolic experience surrounded by a stunning nature
How: the Casera is close to one of the most beautiful natural attractions of Veneto: the Caglieron Caves, a wonderful circular pathway characterised by falls, creeks and suspended wooden walkways just like out of an Indiana Jones’ movie. To enjoy one of the most suggestive trips that Veneto can offer, depart from Vittorio Veneto, maybe by hiring a fab, Instagram-friendly Vespa, stop at the village of Cimbri (which looks like the Asterix one!), have lunch at Le Rotte and then stop by the Caves for a real adventure.
Casera Le Rotte
Via dei Cimbri, 3
31010 Loc. Pian Cansiglio
+39 338 1425385
Starters: 6 – 11 euro
First Courses: 6,5 – 8,5 euro
Second Courses: 6,5 – 16,50 euro