The Place: This A-frame mountain hut was built on six concrete piers and is made up of three trusses, 30 prefab panels, and a wood floor structure designed by Giovanni Pesamosca. It is situated high in the Julian Alps, a mountain range in the northeastern most corner of Italy, just 25 miles from the Slovenian border. Pesamosca constructed it in remembrance of fallen mountaineer Luca Vuerich, who perished in an avalanche in January 2010 while ice climbing a waterfall. The cabin was built in one day, but at an altitude of 8,300 feet, it took a helicopter, 12 men, family members, and mountain rescue volunteers to get the job done. Inspired by the need to offer shelter to hikers on the Ceria-Maerlone trail, the tiny hut (it’s only 161 square feet) holds nine beds and offers full panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.
The Cost: Free — if you can make the hike up.
The Region: The cabin itself is placed on the 7.5-mile long route of Ceria-Merlone in the Julian Alps. There are endless breathtaking views of famous peaks like Monte Cregnedul (7,732 feet), Mount Mangart (8,789 feet), and Slovenia’s highest peak Triglav (9,396 feet), and you can even catch a glimpse of ski resorts such as Sella Nevea. If you’re descending the mountain on the side of the Italian region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, the city of Udine is just a two-hour drive away. Venice is also a two-hour train ride away, and the Slovenian border is just 25 miles from the site of the hut.