Vigo di Fassa
Vigo di Fassa (“Vich” in Ladin, pronounced vik) is a community of 1,142 inhabitants that rises to 1,382 metres above sea level. Vigo di Fassa dominates the entire valley from its privileged position on a broad, sunny promontory. Due to its central location close to the main route to the north, Vigo has long been the administrative and religious centre of the valley, with the foundation of the Pieve di Fassa and the establishment of the Corte Masseria during Lombard rule.
Vigo di Fassa borders the municipalities of Pozza di Fassa, Welschnofen, Moena and Soraga. The town has many hotels, and is an important centre for summer excursions in the Catinaccio/Rosengarten massif.
The Catinaccio/Rosengarten group, of which Vigo di Fassa is the main gateway, is one of the nine Dolomite groups designated UNESCO World Natural Heritage sites.
The main road S.S. 241, from Val d'Ega and leading to Bolzano via the Costalunga Pass, passes through the centre of the village.
The modern Vigo-Ciampedie cable car, right in the town centre, reaches the Ciampedie valley in just a few minutes: at 2,000 metres, this is an exceptional vantage point over the Fassa valley and the Fassa Dolomites, with the Catinaccio, the Vajolet Towers and the Larsech, the Sassolungo group, the Sella group, the Monzoni and, in the distance, the Lagorai chain in view. Ciampedie is the preferred starting point for walks, hikes and climbs throughout the Catinaccio/Rosengarten group, while in winter, it is at the centre of the Catinaccio skiing area.
As with almost all the other centres in the Fassa valley, the first historical records of Vigo di Fassa date back to the Middle Ages, although the first human traces in the area date back to the Palaeolithic period, when nomadic hunters scaled the Avisio stream.
The area continued to prosper thanks to arable and livestock farming until 1860, when the construction of the Dolomites state road brought the first tourists, especially from Austria. From that moment on, hotels and residences joined the old buildings of the historic centre, and agriculture gave way to tourism. New refuges were built at the base of the Catinaccio/Rosengarten group during this period to serve mountaineers and hiking enthusiasts (the Vajolet Refuge was one of the first, at the end of the nineteenth century).
The area found itself on the front line during the First World War, and witnessed some of the war’s bloodiest battles. In the immediate post-war years, Vigo di Fassa and all the other villages in the valley were ceded to Italy. The town suffered a devastating fire in 1921.
The tourism sector continued to develop in the years that followed. The first ski lifts were installed and the range of available accommodation grew quickly.