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Steve, Katherine, and Norah | profile | all galleries >> Austria and Italy 2014: Stubai Alps, Dolomites, and Cinque Terre >> Italy: The Dolomites tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Italy: The Dolomites

After rain and snow drove us from the Stubai Route in Austria, we ended up back in the Dolomites. It would have been nice to complete the Stubai Route, but we loved the Dolomites on our two previous trips and it was great to be back. There is also something to be said about familiarity; knowing the layout of the Dolomites made it easy for us to get around and plan on the fly.

August is peak season and it can be difficult to find lodging in the rifugios; we opted instead for staying in the valleys and doing day hikes (when the weather allowed). Our first stop was Canazei, a town in Val di Fassa we visited last year. Location was great for multiple hikes and it was large enough to provide enough options for lodging and dining. We found a room at Hotel Soreghina with a private bath and breakfast for 109 euro/night. The hotel had a convenient location near the city center and even better for Norah, was right next to a great playground with a zipline. The weather wasn't great for our two days there, but it was good enough we were able to hike to Forcella Pordoi and take a terrific long hike through the Rosengarten (started at Ciampedie, over Passo Principe and Passo d’Antermoia, and out through Val de Udai to Mazzin).

Our second base in the Dolomites was Ortisei in Val Gardena. Ortisei is a larger, bustling town with a nice pedestrian zone and many shops and galleries displaying the wooden carvings for which the valley is famous. Ortisei is a good place to be if the weather is subpar and we did avail ourselves to the many shops, bakeries, and restaurants when the weather was rainy. By a stroke of luck we picked Garni Toni for our stay (short walk to the town center, 85 euro/night for room with breakfast and a shared bath); included in the price were free passes to the pool complex Mar Dolomit next door. We made full use of the pool on one rainy day. When it wasn't raining in Ortisei, we hiked to Piz Boe (finally, this was really our third attempt if we count last year's changed plans) and around Secada/Alpe di Cisles. Steve also got in some running in the mountains; the cable cars and lifts came in handy for Norah and I to meet him in the mountains.

The Dolomites were just as lovely on our third visit and despite the weather, we greatly enjoyed our stay. The mountains, valleys, and towns are beautiful and the food delicious. The hikes were terrific, both revisiting some spots and hiking trails we couldn't do on our last visit because of deep snow. Eccellente!
Passo Pordoi: Take 1
:: Passo Pordoi: Take 1 ::
Rosengarten and Antermoia
:: Rosengarten and Antermoia ::
Ortisei in Val Gardena
:: Ortisei in Val Gardena ::
Passo Pordoi and Piz Boe
:: Passo Pordoi and Piz Boe ::
:: Seceda ::