The Mountains – Places of Longing
The birth of tourism
A village, its mountains and its visitors.
It is without question the imposing Dolomite scenery that allowed Sesto to become, over the course of the past 150 years, what it is today: a popular destination for active holidaymakers and lovers of panoramic views. In summer, the mountain summits and alpine pastures attract visitors, whilst in winter it is the skiing in the Tre Cime Dolomites. It almost goes without saying that the development from a simple mountain farming village to a mountaineering village and on to the modern holiday destination of today is closely connected to the history of alpinism in the Sesto Dolomites. The first visitors to the village were well-travelled pioneers and summit chasers on the hunt for virgin mountain peaks. In the Sesto Dolomites of the 1860s they struck it rich! The enterprising locals soon recognised the need for local guides and offered mountain tours of the local peaks to the “outsiders”. In particular, the chamois hunters were extremely well versed here and also had the requisite fitness and climbing experience. And in terms of marketing, they also knew what made the chamois run: “first” tours were simply easier to sell! So Sesto became a popular base for summit climbs with a full service. The foundation stone of tourism had been laid. Some experienced Sesto climbers who followed the example of original mountain guide, Franz Innerkofler, soon made a name for themselves on the scene and invested the money that they earned from guiding into building the first inns and hotels. The summit pioneers of the early period were followed by mountain adventurers and climbing experts who laid ever more difficult and extreme routes to the pale Dolomite summits and gradually made this harsh world accessible to a broader public. And down in the valley too, others followed suit when it came to visitor accommodation, building diligently and opening up the area. After all, they wanted to provide a certain level of comfort to the fine and well-heeled summer visitors who travelled there from Vienna on the southern railway line from 1871 onwards.