Canale D’Agordo

A medieval village located in the Province of Belluno

Canale D’Agordo is a medieval village located in the Alps in the Province of Belluno – in the heart of the Dolomites. It is also the Albino Luciani’s birthplace, the 263° Bishop of Rome and Pope of the Roman Catholic Church and as Sovereign of Vatican City from 26/08/1978. Surrounded by the magnificent peaks of Civetta, the Focobon, with the Lastei, the imposing plateau of Comèlle, the Auta peaks and the Marmola, the village still preserves about one hundred original tabià (barns) and cottages with a typical mountain aspect.

The first statements of the presence of the village is in the Bolla of Pope Lucius III° (1097-1185), the 171° Pope of the Roman Catholic Church since 1181 until his death, where he is mentioned together with the ancient Church of St. Simon di Vallada, perhaps a primitive chapel of 720. Until 1964, the village is known as Forno di Canale, this due to the furnace used for the minerals melting extracted from the mines of Valle di Garés (1300-1600). The establishment of Pieve rurale (a rural church with baptistry) dates back to 1458. In 1487, the village was invaded by Sigismund, Duke of Tyrol and, in 1508, by the Austrian Felzer.

Canale D’Agordo

In 1797, it was enclosed into the Hapsburg Empire. On 26/08/1978, extremely important for Canale D’Agordo is the Pope election of Albino Luciani. Il Papa del Sorriso (the smiling Pope) was born in Canale on 17/10/1912. He grew up by grazing the cows. He became a priest, was general Vicar of the diocese (administrative-territorial unit administered by a bishop) of Belluno (1954-1958), then Bishop of Vittorio Veneto (1958-1969), Patriarch of Venice (1969-1978), Cardinal in 1973 and Pope from 26/08/1978 with the name of John Paul I°. His Papal States was the shorter of history, his death occurred after only 33 days after his election.

 Entering the village after the bridge over the stream you arrive at the square named after Albino Luciani, dominated by the Church Arcipretale of the twelfth century of San Giovanni Battista, patron saint of the village. The church was mentioned for the first time in 1361. In 1500, it was enlarged with two lateral naves. Inside, a gilded wooden tabernacle of Brustolon (1696), the statue of the patron saint, the altar carved statues of the Anime Purganti by Marchiori called “del Tempo e Della Morte” (time and death) and the wooden group that represents “il Pane di Sant’Antonio” (Saint Anthony bread) by Amedeo Da Pos di Carfon, Besarel’s pupil. Since 1979, in the premises parish house located in Piazza Luciani, a photographic exhibition is organized containing the memories and objects belonging to the smailing Pope.

Beside the church, the ancient seat of the Fraternity (disambiguation) of the Vergine Dei Battuti which had the mission to help the homeless. Two other churches of historical interest are the Chiesa Dello Spirito di Carfon (Holy Spirit) and the Chiesa Della Madonna Della Neve di Gares. Behind the church, the building of the first brewery established in Italy. In the past, as protection to one’s house or for PGR (for a Received Grace), still existing murals artworks were painted directly on the walls of rural building facades.

Birthplace of Pope Luciani

In the center of Tancon town square, there is the House Rules of 1640 in memory of a time of political organization. In via Rividella, the uninhabited birthplace of Pope Luciani. The most important festival is the Feast of San Giovanni San Donae, the country’s patron saint is celebrated on June 24. The Zinghenesta, however, is celebrated on the last Sunday of carnival with ancient and modern masks.