Dolomite Alps and South Tyrol

Dolomite Alps and South Tyrol

In the middle of July, 2008 we went to Northern Italy to see once again Italian Alps. To start our journey around Dolomites, we arrived at Bergamo Orio Al Serio airport, at the airport picked up our Fiat (it was booked in advance, we used Economy Car Rentals as usual) and went to the mountains. Our temporary residence for about a week in Italian Alps was supposed to be a small mountain village Canazei where we got nice apartment for very good price.

Accommodation in Italian Alps

hotel in alpsFrom Bergamo we went to the East and then, after passing Garda Lake, turned to the North. With a few stops in some very beautiful places near lake and further in mountains, we reached Canazei ski resort village in late afternoon. Landlady did not speak English at all, but with some additional help of German language, we settled in booked apartment, which was surprisingly large and located very centrally on the main street (we made booking using fassappartamenti website; according to our experience, I can recommend it to others, though be aware that deposit might be required).

Alpine resorts

Canazei and other surrounding villages (Campitello di Fassa, Mazzin, Pozza di Fassa, Vigo di Fassa) are known as popular resorts located in Trentino-Alto Adige (or Trentino-Sudtirol in German) region, near to the border of another famous Italian Alpine region Venetto (mostly known because of Cortina d’Ampezzo ski resort).

Area around Trento

alpine townTrentino-Alto Adige is an autonomous region consisting of two provinces – Trento and South Tyrol. This region previously was part of Austrian Empire. Perhaps, it is my personal feeling – many things remained me about our previous visits to Austria. For example, very many of urban areas still have double names (one in Italian, another one in German language), like Bolzano/Bozen, Virgolo/Virgi, Gargazzone/Gargazon, Castelrotto/Kastelruth etc.

Bolzano is a nice town worth to visit, to walk around it and enjoy surrounding landscape. It is called as “Gateway to the Dolomites” because of its location (since 2009 Dolomites are listed as UNESCO World Natural Heritage site). Whatever is your destination, you can choose any road in mountains to see beautiful towns and villages including those mentioned above.

Another day we visited Piramidi de Segonzano – geological phenomenon, a masterpiece made by nature. These are sandstone columns reaching high up to 20 metres. We have seen similar rock formations in Bulgaria – Belogradchishki Skali (Belogradchik Rocks), although each of them have own personality.

Alpine hiking

alpine lakeOur major event, of course, was whole-day hiking in Dolomites (this was not the only hiking experience during this trip, however the major for sure).

There is a mountain lift in Canazei (just a few minutes walk from our rented apartment) to go up higher in the mountains (we started our trip at about 2300 metres above sea level). There are many other lifts in surrounding area. After arrival to the starting point, you can find many marked hiking trails suitable for anybody wishing to enjoy beauty of nature.

We walked about 11 kilometres in Italian Alps, spent about four and a half hours in the mountains. In the afternoon we got back home by public Alpine bus. Nothing much to add here about this hiking experience because those feelings you get in such adventures are unforgettable and should be experienced personally to remain in memory.

When planning our trip to Italian Alps, we didn’t know that Canazei town festival was scheduled for the weekend. That was one more amazing experience we gad there. In the evening, there was a parade on the main street of town (we were watching it in full from our balcony). Next day town was full of people, everywhere various attractions, food from local producers and small private exhibitions.

It was very interesting to watch what hobbies people have – many houses were opened for public and demonstrated different kind of interesting stuff including workshops, embroidery, historic collections and many more. Almost everybody had its own guestbook of exhibition or workshop. It seems that those are very old traditions because entries of guest books were dated from previous century and covered very wide geographical area of visitors.