The refuge Regina Margherita is placed on top of the "Punta Gnifetti" in the Monterosa massif, the highest peak in the Valsesia, built in 1893 and renovated in 1980.
With its 4554m is the highest refuge in Europe and is also important physical-meteorological observatory for the Piemonte region, as well as laboratory agreement with the University of Turin.
It has been for years home to the laboratories for scientific and medical research, being one of the highest in the world equipped laboratories.
Offering rooms with bunk beds, bar, restaurant, shared bathrooms, 220v electric lighting, internet access, spaces reserved for scientific laboratories and researchers and, also a library.
The "Capanna Regina Margherita" has obtained in 2002 the UNI EN ISO 14001, which proves its minimal impact on the surrounding environment.
It is reached by many climbers every spring and summer. Considered a target by it self, climbers use to spend the night here, more for the satisfaction of having been there at least once in their life, that for practical climb purposes. Its location is so high, that is mountaineering useless. Rarely sleep here is pleasant. The sleepless night with a strong headache is very common. Its position as a balcony overlooking a precipice of 3 km above Alagna village, remains however unmatched. Many climbers would prefer that this shelter did not exist and left the Punta Gnifetti in its nature.
Capanna Regina Margherita on the top of Punta Gnifetti
The old version of the refuge
The built of the refuge
The refuge is dedicated to Regina Margherita, queen of Italy at the time.
On 14 July 1889, the Assembly of Delegates of the CAI approved project to build a hut over 4500 meters for "allow mountaineers and scientists a confortable lodging for their intent in a high shelter.
In 1890 was chosen the place: the Punta Gnifetti and the work was begun. The hut, prepared in the valley, was first transported by mules and then by shoulder, with a huge job chain and mounted on top.
The shelter was opened in september 4th 1893. A few days before between 18th and 19th of august the queen had spent the night in the refuge which was dedicated.
The refuge today
In 1899 was added a turret intended for meteorological observatory. In those years, Angelo Mosso had carried out here important research studies.
In 1903 in the London International Council of Academies recognized the refuge Margherita as establishment of "scientific usefulness and deserving of support".
In 1976, the old shelter showed signs of wear. In 1977 the CAI section of Varallo, began work for the new hut, which was inaugurated on 30th August 1980.
"A room with a view"
Punta Gnifetti (Signalkuppe) 4554m
Property: CAI section Varallo (VC)
Places: 70 - Winter room: 20
Contact: Tel. refuge: +39 0163 91039 - Booking "Rifugi Monterosa" +39 348 1415490
Schedule: "Rifugio Capanna Margherita"
Winter: Closed. Open only the winter room
Summer: from end of june to begin of september
Half board CAI members: € 70 per person
Half board not members: € 85 per person
Bed CAI members: € 18 per person
Bed not members: € 33 per person
Half board Guide Alpine UIAGM: € 40 per guide
For booking, information and questions:
Telephone: +39 348 1415490
Online booking schedule: link
Getting there and routes
view from summit of the Parrotspitze to the near Signalkuppe with the Capanna Margherita (August 2000)
The refuge can be rached from:
- From refuge G.Gnifetti (Alagna Valsesia o Gressoney) and glacier of Lys and Grenz in 4 hours. Diff. F
- From Monte Rosa Hutte (Zermatt) and glacier of Grenz in 5 hours. Diff. PD
- From bivouac Resegotti
and the SE ridge (Signal ridge). See page: link
The refuge is also starting point for the summits: Doufurspitze, Parrotspitze, Zumsteinspitze.