Although in all official documents 1904 is indicated as the opening date, and in 2004 the official centenary party was celebrated, it appears that mountaineers were hosted at the Albergo Cinque Torri before that date:
in March 1902, the magazine Deutsche Alpenzeitung published an article by the doctor, passionate mountaineer, writer and journalist Alfred Dessauer from Munich, who spent the night there, titled "Cinque Torri (Monte Averau) 2362 metres".
There he describes in detail his mountaineering adventures in the Ampezzo Dolomites, especially in the 5 Torri area.
Here an excerpt of the article:
“(...) Along the way, we reached the grassland area Campo di Tabia, where a new signpost indicated: "Nuvolau ed Albergo alle cinque torri - 1¼ ore." That was new to me - an albergo up there! I was curious about it. We climbed up through the forest and suddenly we had a view of the main tower. (...) Indeed, they built a nice refuge at the foot of the colossus; We went in - clean and pretty, with modern carved furniture, good service, reasonable prices and, as I want to reveal in advance, excellent beds."
The 5 Torri are one of the most classic crags in the Dolomites and in the Alps as a whole. At the dawn of mountaineering, this refuge built at the foot of the tower Torre Grande at the beginning of the 20th century provided food and accommodation for many climbing pioneers. Some of them are listed below.
In 1911, Angelo Dibona and Amedeo Girardi made the first ascent of the towers Torre Quarta, Alta and Bassa. In 1912, Zaccaria Pompanin climbed with an unknown client up to the towers Torre Romana and Torre del Barancio: in 1913, Bortolo Barbaria tackled the ascent of the tower Torre Lusy with Marino Lusy. On the southern summit of the Torre Grande, Angelo and Giuseppe Dimai and Arturo Gaspari put up a route in 1927, which was later dedicated to the American climber Miriam E. O'Brien, the first to repeat it. On the western summit of the same tower, Piero Dallamano and Renato Ghirardini climbed the new route Via delle Guide in 1930. Roger Petrucci Smith and Italo Da Col, who put up the route Via Armida to the West Summit on July 31, 1942, have almost certainly stayed at the Cinque Torri refuge. Simultaneously, the Scoiattoli Silvio Alverà and Giuseppe Ghedina put up the route Direttissima Scoiattoli, the first of the group with a degree of difficulty 6+.
During the First World War, at the beginning of June 1915, the 5 Torri were occupied by the Italian army, the area in sight of the Castelletto and the Lagazuoi (where now there is the top station of the cable car) was fortified with trenches and emplacements and the house became the headquarters of the Reggio Brigade - 45th and 46th Infantry Regiments. Fortunately, the building was not damaged.
The most illustrious guest of the Cinque Torri refuge during WW1 was King Victor Emmanuel III visiting the front.
After the Great War, Cortina d’Ampezzo became part of the Kingdom of Italy, the refuge became military state property and was entrusted to the Cortina section of the Italian alpine club (CAI).
In 1937, the building was bought by the gamekeeper Pietro Alberti. The Alberti family still owns and manages the ancient walls of this historic refuge, an alpine classic and unmissable resting point for mountain lovers in a climbing area coveted by many generations of mountaineers from all over the world.