When one thinks of Italy what comes to mind are its most famous cities (Rome, Venice, Florence) or its coasts and beaches. However, Italy also has great mountains, an important part of the north. The Dolomites, also known as the pink mountains, separate Italy from Austria and offer breathtaking view of the landscapes of those places. They are also a UNESCO world heritage site.
Bolzano is small city of 100,000 people and capital of the autonomous province of Alto Adige, or South Tyrol, where soon you will realize that you are in a different area of Italy. A quarter of the population speaks German and is also the Italian capital of Christmas, thanks to its Christmas market, very close to the classic markets throughout the Central European region. Do not leave without visiting the Cathedral, built between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries, and its famous Museum of Archaeology, known for harbouring Ötzi’s mummy discovered in the Alps.
Cableway to the Marmolada
Near the Pordoi Pass, on the border with the Veneto region there’s the Marmolada, the most important mountain in the Dolomites in all its splendour! It’s one of the most popular parts of Dolomites besides the Rosengarten and Sassolungo area. If you have time, it is worth taking the cable car that takes you to the top of the Marmolada, at 3,309 meters height.
Afterwards you can visit the nearby towns of Fodom and Arabba, which are worth a stop. Fodom, especially, is known for being the birthplace of Caterina Lanz, a woman who defended her people with a pitchfork against a French attack. You can see her statue in one of the squares of the town.
After Falzarego Pass and you will enter the valley of Cortina d’Ampezzo, down to the village where the road ends. Cortina is the most popular place in the area of the Dolomites for skiers, although being one of the most touristic it is also the most expensive. It is worth spending at least one day there. If you continue east you’ll also find Sappada Dolomiti which is a great place to organise the rest of your visit to the Dolimites.
This whole trip can be done in one day but is not recommended. It’s best to make several stops and spend the night in the different towns that you find along the way. You should savour the Dolomites and not miss any details.
You’ll also want to see: Skiing in the Dolomites, between the balloons in Dobbiaco – Wonderful villages in the mountains of Europe