Vermiglio is the last municipality in Val di Sole that you will find going towards Passo Tonale. In the past, due to its geographical position, it was located right at the border of the “Kingdom of Italy” between Italian and Austro-Hungarian territory. It is located along the slopes of Monte Boai. Its economy is mainly based on livestock and the lumber industry; local craftsmanship is also important. However, summer and winter tourism has also become an important source of income for the town. In addition to the sports and tourist facilities in Vermiglio, it is the hamlet called Passo del Tonale that has the largest concentration of accommodation facilities, ski slopes and amenities in the area.
Over the years, Vermiglio has become one of the most important cross-country skiing centres in Italy and it hosts many national and international competitions each year.
The name Vermiglio, which includes the three hamlets of Pizzano, Cortina and Fraviano, refers to the ancient place name Armello (from the word armilla = a wide iron ring that in the past was used to mark the boundary between various areas). The geographic position of this town has always been an important factor in its history: it was a passageway for various armies, people and goods, a strategic control point for the road to Tonale, the place where duty tax on goods (dazio) was collected (the 16th century customs house still exists) and the place where many battles took place (from the Napoleonic Wars to the Great War). The community has always had an economy based on livestock breeding and the lumber industry, but many members of the community also emigrated from the town, on a seasonal and permanent basis. In 1915, since Vermiglio was located right on the battlefront, it lived through a tragic period during which a great deal of its population was deported to Austria – to the refugee camp in Mitterndorf. It also lived through fires, avalanches and bombardments. After 1918 the town was rebuilt according to the original layout. After the Second World War, with the growth of winter tourism, a period of development began in Vermiglio.
The municipality has a large number of artistic and religious works of art and sites: three churches, shrines, fresco paintings and votive crucifixes. The parish church of Saint Stephen in the hamlet of Fraviano, first mentioned in a document dating back to 1215, was enlarged and restored several times. The current structure, which dates back to 1638, has a single nave, two side chapels and five altars, but during the 19th century the façade was reconstructed in a neoclassic style. A splendid 17th century carved and gilded wooden “ancona” (altarpiece), created by Ramus, adorns the high altar. Particularly interesting is the marble altar in the chapel on the left which was commissioned in 1666 by Vigilio de Vescovi and created by the sculptor Marchesini from Verona. The small church of Saint Peter in the hamlet of Cortina has frescos by the Baschenis painters, while the walls of the apse of the church in the hamlet of Pizzano were painted by the 20th century artist Mattielli, with illustrations of the deportation and return from Mitterndorf. The church of Saint Catherine, overlooking the entire town, is a clear example of Alpine religious architecture. Within the church, there are 16th century frescos and a beautiful and rare “pala” altarpiece painting by Francesco Marchetti (1641-1698), born in Monclassico.
Fort Strino is located on the road that connects Vermiglio to Passo Tonale. Strategically it was the most important fortification among those built by the Hapsburg government (Forts Mero, Zacarana etc...) between 1860 and 1912 to control the pass towards Italy. The fort was built in 1861 and then enlarged in 1906 with the addition of a gatehouse. It was restored between 1993 and 1997 and it now hosts a permanent exhibit with war relics, documents and photographs from the Great War.
The “Museo della Guerra Bianca” (White War Museum) is also interesting to visit: it is located right along the main road in the town of Vermiglio. It hosts a permanent exhibit on WWI with relics, weapons and photographs that were found and collected over the years by the legendary Emilio Serra.