When you enter the village, you can see the beautiful and harmonious Piazza della Pieve (square of the old parish), nowadays entitled to Pope Luciani. The church, overlooking the square, is the place where he got the first sacraments and in the middle of the square there is the beautiful stone fountain by the architect Giuseppe Segusini (1801-1876).
Despite some changes in the building patrimony to adjust to the needs of our times, Canale has kept over one hundred tabià (haylofts) and cottages which give the village that typical alpine image which many other mountain villages have lost.
The tabià are typical wood constructions for the storing and drying of cut hay. The oldest ones are built with theGerman Blockbau technique (scaffolding of the beams) over a brickwork floor; the tabià of the 20th century are composed of a brickwork ground floor and by two elevated floors with wooden boards on a beam scaffold; there is only one example (in via Tancon) of a tabià entirely built out of bricks with arch openings.
Besides the typical tabià, there are also various examples of brickwork lodgings with the typical graffito corner pieces, the typical ovals of the windows under the roof and the jambs in carved dolomite stone which enrich Piazza della Pieve and the old glimpses of the village, such as the neighbour hamlets and the nearby centres of Vallada Agordina, Caviola and Falcade. Many of these buildings have frescos on external facades and for this reason the whole area has been defined “Valley with the saints at its windows” (Enzo Demattè, 1958).
The most interesting buildings are for sure Casa Vendramìn at Val (dating back to 1421) and the Casa delle Regole (House of the Rules), built in 1640, completely frescoed, where the heads of the families met to take decisions concerning the management of the community. Between Piazza della Pieve and the small Tancon square you can see several buildings of the 16th and 17th centuries which emanate an evocative atmosphere. It is an antique and mysterious atmosphere due to their age-old and stately silence.
‘Casa delle Regole’ (House of the Rules)
On the small Tancon square at about 150m from the main square of the village, going along Via Tancon on the right of the town hall, there is ‘Casa delle Regole’, historical building from 1640, completely frescoed, where the heads of the families met to take decisions concerning the management of the community. The external frescos represent the Virgin Mary surrounded by the patron saints of the Rulers: Lawrence (patron of the melters), Nicola, Girolamo and Giovanni Battista (patron of the Pieve di Canale).
On the right there is a sundial and a Crucifix, whereas all the windows are decorated with ornaments. Under the main truss, you can see the date 1640.
The house was probably built by the Doglionis from Belluno and it was bought towards the end of the 17th century by the Regola of Forno-Tancon. It became the meeting place of the Regola itself and later on the Regola of Pitigogn-Garés joined it, too.
Inside the House there is the kasa (kitchen) with the traditional fireplace, the stua (the only room heaten by an old fornèl, in other words a big stove). Upstairs you can see a partly faded inscription revealing the presence of a certain Andrea Tancon.
A fresco – which once belonged to the facade against which the House was built – dominates the inside of the stua and depicts the Blessed Virgin with her child in her arms and an inscription tells us that the purchasing of the fresco was an ex-vow of a certain Tancon, in the 16th-17th centuries.
The building is the only example of Casa delle Regole having outlived the centuries in Agordino and one of the most typical constructions in all the Dolomites.