Brent de l'Art

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Brent de l'Art
Created On: Jul 7, 2017
Last Edited On: Jul 10, 2017


This page needs improvement already from the very beginning. What is missing is first of all a first hand experience of going through the canyon(s) of Brent de l'Art. Whoever did it, please let me know and I'll give you editing rights over this page.

Brent del l Art
Brent de l'Art
Brent del l Art
Brent de l'Art


Near the town of Belluno, spectacularly beautiful canyons can be visited. Some are north of the river Piave, already in Dolomiti Bellunesi, others are left of Piave in the Venetian Prealps. Brent de l'Art is the most beautiful of them, a true artistic masterpiece of Nature.

The name

In the bellunese dialect 'brent' would mean something like a stream flowing at the bottom of a deep, narrow valley. The term 'brentana' is used to describe times, when such watercourses get wild, due to many days of intense rain. And Art is of course the name of the creek (shortened version of 'Ardo').

The origin

Brent del l Art
'Scaglia rossa' (below) and 'scaglia cinerea' (above)
The canyon is carved into the layers of two kinds of predominantly carbonatic rock formations. The older (bottom) one is from the upper cretacious era, some 100-60 million years ago. By geologists it is named 'scaglia rossa' ('red shale'). Its thin layerered rocks were deposited in the pelagic (open) seas and consist of clay and marl limestones. Wite and red layers are interchanged, the latter have their color due to small amounts of iron oxides. The younger (upper) layers of rock are from the lower eocene era, some 50-60 million years ago. They are named 'scaglia cinerea' ('ashy shale'). The term 'ashy' refers only to the grey appearance of those rocks, not to their origin. Otherwise they are also made of clay and marl limestones.

In the two above mentioned eras only rock layers were deposited. The canyon itself is of course of a much younger origin. First, due to the process of mountains creation thore rock layers had to come above the sea surface. Then only the surface streams coud start their work. Most of the carving was done during the last big ice age (15.000-10.000 years ago) but is still in course today.

Getting there

The canyon can best be visited from the village of Sant Antonio di Tortal, 550 m, in the district of Trichiana (Belluno, south of Piave). The village lies on the road which runs from Trichana over the San Boldo Pass towards the planes on the south of Alps. We best park in the village (46.038712, 12.162166), even if a narrow cart-road also runs from there westwards towards the canyon. It's a pleasant hike and along that cart-road there are some explanation tables to get informed. The road ends above the valley of the Art creek (46.040334, 12.146698).

Visiting the canyon

Brent del l Art
In the canyon
On the only crossrods in Sant Antonio di Tortal we deter westwards (plate Brent de l'Art, also 'campo sportivo'). The narrow road ends after a good 1 km on a small parking place. Then we start descending towards the creek, taking the first well beaten path to the left. The path descends through a forrest and some meadows and after losing some 100 meters of altitude (10 min from the last parking place) we are on the bridge, from which we can enter Brent de l'Art. The first meters of the canyon are spectacular, but then the canyon gets narrow, its bottom is completely under water, so people usually stop there.

Supposedly wading the canyon is not difficult (if waters are not high), but I have no personal experience. On the web (in Italian) three nice sections of canyon are mentioned (See the link below!).

When to visit Brent de l'Art?

The canyon entry can of course be visited any time of a year. Winter photographs of it are revealing fantastic scenes. The other question is how difficult passing of the whole canyon is in winter conditions.

Regarding time of a day it is best to visit Brent de l'Art between 10:00 and 11:00 in the morning. Then the sun at least partially illuminates also its interior.

Outside links

1. Magico Veneto (in Italian).

2. I Brent de l'Art - Pro Loco Trichiana (in Italian, quite detailed, also other places on the creek).

3. Canyoning Brent de l'Art (in Italian, the three canyoning tours).