Together with Getrummspitze / Cima Getruna, which is 8m higher, Kassianspitze / Cima San Cassiano is the highest mountain of its subgroup among the Sarntal Alps. Among this horseshoe-shaped mountain range it takes one of the southernmost positions before the giant pasture of Villanderer Alm out of which only occasional flat-topped mountains rise. And thanks to its location close to one of Südtirol's oldest pilgrimage chapels, it is also one of the most important and most visited mountains of the area.
In ancient times, when neither the Eisacktal Valley / Valle d'Isarco nor the Sarntal Valley / Val Sarentino could be traveled due to the wild and narrow gorges at their southern ends the high plateaus and pastures high above were of huge importance. Many traffic routes led across them remainders of which can be found until today. The northern end of these high roads was near Latzfons and Feldthurns, were an easy slope facilitates ascent and descent into Eisacktal (east). In addition a similarly easy route leads through Getrumtal / Val Getruna into Sarntal / Val Sarentino in the west. All these routes and trails culminate in the Lückl Saddle (2370m), in the close proximity of which a pilgrimage chapel was erected: Heiligenkreuz / San Croce di Lazfons. Today it is best known by the German name of the inn / hut which accompanies it: Latzfonser Kreuz.
Inn and chapel are located at the mouth of the cirque of three mountains: Samspitze (2552m) in the west, Kassianspitze / Cima San Cassiano (2581m) in the centre (north) and Ritzllarspitze (2474m) to the east. The highest one of them, Kassianspitze / Cima San Cassiano, can be reached by several hiking trails, the most popular of which is the scramble to Kassiansee / Lago San Cassiano in the centre of the cirque, from where a roundaboutish trail leads across the west ridge of the mountain. More interesting are the ridge traverses across either of the other summits which can be combined in a "tour de cirque". Distances are small and such a tour will take little more than two hours when started at Latzfonser Kreuz. However, all three mountains are composed of horrid rock and the exposed traverse across Samspitze can be considered quite gangerous.
Kassianspitze / Cima San Cassiano is a wonderful lookout summit thanks to its rather solitary location close to the eastern end of the Sarntal Alps. However, the summit is very small and with the number of daily visitors it can become quite crowded. Moreover, a 360° photographic panorama has been installed on top, indicating the important summits all around. There is a bench and a summit cross, all competing for the little space there is.
Ötztal-, Stubai- and Zillertal Alps from Kassianspitze
Hasenöhrl and Königspitze
Hohe Weiße and Similaun
Villanderer Alm with Getrumspitze and Kassianspitze
There are two reasonable trailheads for Kassianspitze, one at Reinswald / San Martino in Sarntal / Val Sarentino (or rather Durnholztal / Valdurna) and Lazfons in Eisacktal / Valle Isarco. Both trailheads are connected by the pilgrimage trail to the sanctuary at Lazfonser Kreuz / S. Croce di Lazfons.
Reinswald / San Martino trailhead
Take Brenner Motorway A22 to Bozen / Bolzano
Drive through the city, following signs to Sarntal / Val Sarentino on SS508
At Astfeld / Campolasta turn off onto SP137, direction Durnholz / Valdurna
At Unterreinswald / San Martino Bassa turn onto SP138 to Reinswald / San Martino. Park at the cable-car station.
Take Brenner motorway A22 to the exit Klausen / Chiusa.
Take SP74 to Feldthurns / Velturno
Turn left onto SP142 to Lazfons
Sarntal Alps seen from the saddle separating Kassianspitze from Getrumspitze
There's no red tape. You might have to cross pasture gates which you are requested to shut behind you.