The Emperor and Empress Trails
The Emperor and Empress Trails, two well-known scenic routes in Madonna di Campiglio, were dedicated to Sissi and to the Emperor of Austria. During the Nineteenth century, the Austrian royal family often visited Madonna di Campiglio, and walked along the paths that we are going to describe in this post.
The starting point is the Grostè cable car, which allows you to get a first glimpse of the natural landscape, with forests and green meadows at lower altitudes, and Dolomite rocks further up. Get off at the middle station Rifugio Boch (Boch mountain hut). There you can stop to admire the landscape and rest a bit, tasting traditional dishes in the mountain hut.
From this hut, there is a route called Giro dell’Imperatore (Emperor’s Loop) which leads to Lake Spinale, a small mountain lake. Right there, the Brenta Dolomites are unique and unforgettable, with scenic views over the prairies with the high peaks in the background.
Once you reach Monte Spinale, descend along the path that leads to Madonna di Campiglio. Along the way, you will find the Sasso di Sissi (Sissi’s Rock), also known as Piazza Imperatrice. This point indicates the place where the Princess often stopped to admire the splendid panorama of the Madonna di Campiglio valley. On this stone, the inscription “A memoria-Erinnerung 6 – 14 September, 1889” has been reported as evidence of the real presence of the Empress in this part of Trentino.
From here it is possible to end the tour, continuing downhill to Madonna di Campiglio, or heading up towards Monte Spinale and then continuing along a loop-shaped path that leads to the Graffer mountain hut.
Along the road that leads to this hut you can hear the call of the marmots. and if you are lucky you can even spot groups of these small rodents, who love to warm themselves in the sun and look for food. From the Graffer hut you can also enjoy views of stunning clearings framed by the Brenta Dolomites.
The itinerary is challenging and tiring, but not difficult, following well-beaten and marked paths. The entire journey along the two paths is 4 hours, with the possibility of shortening the route at various points.
Start and end of the itinerary:
The itinerary begins and ends at the Grostè cable car. Alternatively, you can walk all the way down to Madonna di Campiglio, via the Chalet Fiat hut.
Total altitude difference (ascent + descent) 250 mt (if you do not walk all the way down to Madonna di Campiglio.
Total duration about 4 hours.
Trails 331 – 382
Grostè cable car for the ascent and descent to the Boch mountain hut at the end of the day.
What to take:
Always wear hiking boots, possibly high on the ankle, and suitable “layered” clothing for any sudden weather changes. Always carry a rain jacket, sun hat, trekking poles, water bottle and a little chocolate to recover fluids and energy.
Where to eat and mountain huts:
Boch, Chalet Fiat and Graffer mountain hut for those who follow the ring route along the Emperor’s Trail.