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10 spectacular days in Dolomites, Italy-late July and early August 2019

10 spectacular days in Dolomites, Italy-late July and early August 2019

Old Apr 27th, 2020, 05:37 AM
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10 spectacular days in Dolomites, Italy-late July and early August 2019

We (me and my wife) visited Dolomites, northern Italy, last summer and stayed 10 days in late July and early August. I knew even before the trip that it was a good decision but nothing could prepare us to so many scenes of beauty and spectacular unspoiled nature in the middle of Europe.

Geography
Some people use the term Dolomites as a synonym for South Tyrol but it is not the same thing-Dolomites is a mountain group spread on 5 Italian provinces but mostly on 2-province of Bolzano, comonly known as SouthTyrol (Sudtirol in German; Alto Adige in Italian) and province of Trento, comonly known as Trentino. These two provinces form autonomous region Trentino-Alto Adige/Sudtirol. Most of the places we visited are located in South Tyrol

Overview
Since there is no direct flight from Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina (where we live) we flew from Sarajevo to Munich where we rented a car which served as our main transportation during the next 10 days. We payed around 700 Euros for the car & insurance. Next, we drove from Munich to Bolzano via Innsbruck. I am an amateur photographer and videographer so I made hundreds of pictures and clips during our stay. A picture is worth a thousand words. That is why I won't talk too much about details here

Accommodation
We first stayed for a couple of days in a small town Laives/Leifers a few kilometres from Bolzano in a family owned Hotel Steinmannwald. That was our base for exploring the region. There was a bus stop just in front of a hotel and there were buses to Bolzano (German Bozen) very frequently. We got a free Bolzano card for free public transportation (and free visit to some museums) on a reception which we used a lot. We stayed there for 7 days. Last 3 days we stayed in Cortina d'Ampezzo in a (also) family run hotel Baita Fraina just outside the town. We are more than satisfied with both mentioned accommodations.



Bolzano, Merano
Bolzano and nearby Merano are both beautiful. Everything in Bolzano is connected to mountains and it is considere d (together with Innsbruck) to be a true capital of Alps. We even visited a department store specialized in winter sports equipment, clothes, shoes etc for hiking, climbing etc, much better equipped than stores in large cities. Food is more German than Italian. During the day trip to Merano (only half an hour drive from Bolzano), we visited Trauttmansdorff castle with its impressive garden.
Here
is my video with impressions from Bolzano with day trips to Soprabolzano (Oberbozen) and Carezza Lake (Lago di Carezza). There is a separate film on Lago di Carezza but I didn't put link here since there is a short shot of it at the end of Bolzano fllm, whoever wants to see it it is on my YT channel.

Here
is a link for Merano and Trauttmansdorff palace and gardens. Merano is an old spa town famous for its almost Mediterranean climate, tourist and health resorts an therapeutic baths.

To be continued (day trip to Alpe di Siussi, drive along Great Dolomites Road and Cortina d'Ampezzo)
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Old Apr 27th, 2020, 09:13 AM
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OK I will now continue with my Dolomites trip report. We took a few daytrips from our base in Leifers/Laives. Some of those Merano and Soprabolzano are in the films in previous post. Trip to Alpe di Siusi (Seiser Alm in German) was among the best. Alpe di Siusi is Europe's largest high altitude alpine meadow. It covers area of 52 km2 and is home to some 800 different species of wildflower. There is also 450 km of hiking trails. Although we took the shortest and easiest it was spectacular. From Bolzano we drove to Siusi (Seis) (I made a short animation of that drive in the film) where we parked the car and then continued via aerial cableway to Compaccio (Compatsch) (altitude 1850 m). The scenery was breathtaking but I won't describe it in detail because you can see it by yourself. Here
is the film about our hiking in Alpe di Siusi
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Old Apr 27th, 2020, 09:30 AM
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It's such a lovely area.
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Old Apr 28th, 2020, 01:17 AM
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I enjoyed your videos.
We stayed in Bressanone and San Candido last Sept and Ortisei a few years ago. Stunning landscapes, charming towns, great food. Wonderful place to holiday.

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Old Apr 28th, 2020, 04:30 AM
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Thanks Adelaidean nice to know that someone enjoys this report and videos. I was so close to Ortisei but there wasn't time, even 10 days is too short, maybe some other time
Now for the third part of my report
The Great Dolomites Road
After the first 7 days we changed our base from Bolzano to Cortina D'Ampezzo. We drove along The Great Dolomites Road, spectacular drive through the most beautiful parts of Europe. It is a 110 km long mountain road that connects Bolzano and Cortina d'Ampezzo. In some sections it is very narrow and steep with hairpin bends. A great many panoramic points and car parking areas give you breathtaking views over the Dolomites around you. It took a whole day to get to Cortina since you can see the majority of the main Dolomite peaks from the road so we stopped at least 20 times, sometimes to take a photo or clip and a few times to hike. We had our lunch in Araba. Upon arrival, we stayed in Baita Fraina small and (also) family run hotel (and gourmet restaurant) just outside the Cortina. I incorporated a map of our trip and Great Dolomites road with major towns and villages, in the film below. There are some parts that you saw in Bolzano and Merano videos but not much. So here is my Amazing Dolomites film

to be continued (last part Cortina d'Ampezzo, Lago di Braies)

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Old Apr 28th, 2020, 06:12 AM
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Along for the ride.

This area was on our wish list for October, now postponed, but I'm taking notes for when we can reschedule. Your videos certainly whet my appetite.

We plan to use public transport...possible with a similar itinerary?

Last edited by Melnq8; Apr 28th, 2020 at 06:14 AM.
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Old Apr 28th, 2020, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Melnq8 View Post
Along for the ride.

This area was on our wish list for October, now postponed, but I'm taking notes for when we can reschedule. Your videos certainly whet my appetite.

We plan to use public transport...possible with a similar itinerary?
As I said we used the car rented in Munich except for a short drive from Leifers to Bolzano where we used bus with free Bolzano card. However I noticed that public transport was excellent with a lot of lines so I guess most or all of the places could be reached with public transport
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Old Apr 28th, 2020, 12:21 PM
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I'm enjoying your report and photos. The Dolomites are a favorite for us. We were there about a month after you last year, staying in the Val di Fassa (Vigo), which you drove through on your route from Bolzano to Cortina. Our first trip, 10 years ago, was centered in the Val Gardena, but we also spent time in Bolzano and Merano. And the very first night of our first trip to Europe together, in 1991, was in Merano. Happy memories - we hope to return again!
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Old Apr 28th, 2020, 11:26 PM
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Last part of my trip report
Cortina d'Ampezzo
Last 3 days we stayed in Cortina d'Ampezzo in a (also) family run hotel (and gourmet restaurant) Baita Fraina just outside the town. The shot of horse (at 0:29 in the film below) with mountains in the background was made 20 meters away from the hotel. Cortina d'Ampezzo is rightly known as the "Pearl of the Dolomites". The resort hosted the Winter Olympics in 1956, and is to hold them again in 2026, with Milan. Cortina is one of the oldest ski resorts in Europe, with grand hotels dating from Victorian times, and is set among the stunning scenery of the Dolomites. Cortina is Italy’s most upmarket resort, home of rich and famous. Many wealthy residents of Venice and Milan arrive to stay in their second homes here. A lot of films are shot here like For Your Eyes Only and The Pink Panther. We managed to visit lakes Dobbiaco and famous Lago di Braies. Unfortunately we had just 3 days here and did not have time for many other beautiful places. The film from Cortina below
concludes my trip report. If you would like to see the films from this report not as thumbnails but in full screen, or want to see some other travel destinations, you may visit my YouTube travel channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrw...EFDadoTUBFJbUQ

Last edited by montypython2000; Apr 28th, 2020 at 11:28 PM.
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Old Apr 29th, 2020, 02:39 AM
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It was nice to see Cortina in sunny weather, we visited on a rainy day so couldn’t see the mountains.


But saved our good weather day for this, so that was compensation....



First hut by Tre Cime



That hut is on the bottom left in photo, hard to see.


Thanks for your report, I’ve enjoyed ‘travelling’ again.
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Old Apr 29th, 2020, 10:35 AM
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Nice photos Adelaiden. It was rainy in Cortina when we arrived too, but just first couple of hours. I hope I will be able to visit it during the winter some day and see all those mountain tops covered with snow, especially before sunset, what we photographers call "golden hour". I guess on so high altitudes that is possible even in April or October.

Last edited by montypython2000; Apr 29th, 2020 at 10:39 AM.
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Old May 7th, 2020, 04:43 PM
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Montypython2000, great report! We spent time in the spectacular Dolomites a few years ago, and intend to return. This year's trip to northern Italy had to be cancelled, but we hope to visit in 2021. Cortina was one town we did not get to, so it's on our agenda. Thanks for your detailed report and the interesting videos!
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Old May 9th, 2020, 11:18 AM
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Monty, thanks for sharing your videos. Very enjoyable.
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Old May 11th, 2020, 09:31 AM
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@ tomarkot and Treesa, so glad you liked the report and videos.
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Old May 13th, 2020, 06:16 PM
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Thank you for the great trip report and the wonderful tips. Love your videos. I hope to get there someday. Obviously not in the near future but hopefully in the next few years!
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