This was my first visit to the Dolomite Mountains in northern Italy. It is the perfect picturesque place to get away from it all and take in some fresh mountain air. Here are some notes and thoughts (and look for more detailed articles in upcoming newsletters):
- It is easy to combine a visit to the Dolomites with a visit to Venice – you get the best of both of both worlds really. A city experience followed by an encounter with nature. Cortina d’Ampezzo, one of the major towns in the Dolomites, is two hours from Venice. You’d probably do best renting a car but there are options to join an organized outdoor-focused tour or arrange for other transportation options.
- I learned that the Ladini people – an ethnic minority – are prevalent in the Dolomites. They have lived in these mountains for thousands of years and have their own language and culture. One of my hiking guides, Karen, is of Ladini heritage and their culture and history to me in this VIDEO.
- The summer experience in the Dolomites is all about hiking to rifugios (mountain huts) for lunch, dinner or an overnight stay. There are over 100 rifugios open the public (and many more private ones). My friends at GuideStarMountain.com who hosted me offer a service where you can hike from hut-to-hut each day and they will take care of your luggage transfer! See VIDEO of hiking views, VIDEO of a mountain church and rifugio in the snow, VIDEO hanging out with goats at another rifigio.
- Don’t think there isn’t luxury among the outdoor activities. I stayed at the incredible Rosa Alpina where my luxurious room (see VIDEO) was a treat to come back to each afternon. They have a two-Michelin star restaurant, a spa and have their own mountain rifugio for special meals (see VIDEO of my lunch there).
- The weather can be nice this time of year – had some great days in the 60s and 70s most days BUT it also SNOWED a few inches which caught me by surprise! (See VIDEO)