Averau Mountain Hut

Our history

Family, mountaineering and hospitality

It all began on August 10, 1874 when Santo Siorpaes reached the top of Mount Averau.

The exploits of Santo Siorpaes, one of the greatest mountain guides of his time and author of many first ascents in the most famous peaks of the Dolomites, are located between 1864 and 1881. Among them there are about thirty new routes of which 28 “absolute first ascents”, not only in the valley of Ampezzo or in the surrounding valleys, but also outside his usual area. Mountaineer Julius Meurer reports that in 1878 Santo touched the eleventh peak above 3000 m.

The family started the restaurant business with Santo’s son, Giovanni. He followed in the footsteps of his father and his brother Pietro and at twenty-one was allowed to practice as a professional mountain guide (1890). Thus began a solid activity in the mountains, characterized by twenty first ascents and several repetitions of numerous classic itineraries, popular on the Ampezzo Dolomites and the surrounding area at the time. During this period, Giovanni opened many routes: the most famous is undoubtedly the route Dimai (August 1, 1901 A.Dimai, G.Siorpaes, A.Verzi, I. and R.von Eötvös) on the south wall of the Tofana di Rozes. Thanks to the savings obtained by the profession of Alpine Guide, in the early twentieth century he was able to build a hotel in Cimabanche.

During the First World War, the hotel was destroyed and the family moved to Innsbruck, away from the conflict. Returning to Italy at the end of the war and thanks to a compensation for hotel’s loss, the family took over some hotel activities in Cortina d’Ampezzo.

In 1939, Eugenio “Tati” Siorpaes, son of Giovanni, moved the whole family (his wife Josephine and nine children) to Salzburg.

At the end of World War the family returned to Cortina. Ado, Eugenio’s second son, and his wife Augusta Pansolin inaugurated the Rio Gere restaurant in 1957, still run by his descendants.

In 1980 Sandro Siorpaes, son of Ado, and his wife Paola De Lorenzi acquired the Averau Mountain Hut from the Finazzer family. Opened in 1982, the Alpine Hut is now managed with love and perseverance also by their sons Matteo and Margot.

A fresco on the terrace wall is dedicated to Santo and his exploits, where he greets customers and admires the magnificent panorama of its Dolomites.

“A mighty chamois hunter; an ex-soldier in the Austrian army, and now a custode of forests, and local inspector of roads; an active, eager fellow, brown as a berry, with honesty written in his face, and an open vivacious manner that won our liking at first sight.”

Amelia B. Edwards – 1872

Altitude in meters

Years of history



Where it all began

The Hut

Late '800
The foundation
End of the 19th century, first construction built in the Nuvolau Forcella in 5 Torri in Cortina d'Ampezzo
The first building in the area was built in the late 1800s. It is a simple single-room wooden house with no foundations.
The first hut
At the beginning of the 1900s second construction built in Nuvolau Forcella in 5 Torri in Cortina d'Ampezzo

In 1903 the Finazzer family built a two-storey masonry structure with a low attic, equipped with four 8-bed rooms. The refuge was opened under the German name Nuvolaupaβhütte (Nuvolau Fork Hut).

The refuge was opened under the German name Nuvolaupaβhütte (Nuvolau Fork Hut).

The Headquarters and the Field Hospital
Fork Nuvolau field hospital in 5 Torri in Cortina d'Ampezzo
Photo: Prof. Giacomel’s archive
In 1916, during the First World War, the Refuge was occupied by the Italian Army, which made it its headquarters on the front of the 5 Torri, sheltered from the artillery of Mount Lagazuoi.

Around the Refuge, a field hospital was set up for first aid and other small wooden buildings for logistical purposes.

End of World War I
The re-opening of the Nuvolaupaβhütte
Fork Nuvolau 1920 in 5 Torri in Cortina d'Ampezzo

After the First World War, the property returned to the Finazzer family, which reopened the hut in the summer.

The Nuvolaupaβhütte but was destroyed in the following years.

Fork Nuvolau 1960 in 5 Torri in Cortina d'Ampezzo

In 1974 with the development of the Giau Pass area, the Finazzer family began rebuilding the hut.

The Averau Mountain Hut
1990s Averau Mountain Hut in 5 Torri in Cortina d'Ampezzo
In 1980 the Siorpaes family (Sandro and Paola) bought the unfinished building by brothers Walter and Osvaldo Finazzer and in 1982 the refuge was reopened under the name of Rifugio Averau.
The second reconstruction
2010 Reconstruction of the Rifugio Averau in 5 Torri in Cortina d'Ampezzo

Later, Sandro and Paola carried out other renovations in 1985 and 1988. 2010 is a crucial year: the Hut is dismantled and rebuilt to become the wonder we know today.


From 75€/night


5 Torri | Dolomites | Cortina d'Ampezzo

Località Forcella Nuvolau, 9
Colle Santa Lucia (BL) - Italy


Email: rifugioaverau@gmail.com
Tel: + 39 0436 4660
Cel: +39 335 6868066


Mid-June - Early October*
Early December - Easter*

*Approximate times. We recommend checking the exact opening dates.