Dolomites

Old Jun 18th, 2014, 01:29 PM
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Dolomites

We will be in Bolzano in September 2014 for four nights. We will have a rental car. The area looks beautiful. Does anyone have any "must sees" or "must dos" for this area. We are driving to Venice after Bolzano to get on a cruise ship. We are senior travelers but have been to Europe over 30 times so this is not our first trip to Italy but is to the Dolomites.
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Old Jun 18th, 2014, 01:49 PM
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In October 2013 we stayed in Siusi at the beautiful little hotel Enzian-Genziana. We walked from the hotel to the cable car which took us to the Alpe di Siusi, the largest high alpine meadow in Europe. Absolutely beautiful scenery! Hikes range from baby-stroller trails to tougher and steeper hikes. The food and the service at the hotel was wonderful, and we really enjoyed using the spa facilities. For us, the Dolomites was a perfect stop after Venice and before Cinque Terre. A taste of Austria in Italy!
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Old Jun 18th, 2014, 02:14 PM
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The mountain scenery is simply spectacular, and unless you are absolutely locked into your Bolzano hotel reservation, I suggest you get out of the city and move a bit closer to the scenery. It is can be rather tiring to drive back and forth over the mountain roads. What makes more sense is to put yourself somewhere that also makes it possible to take lovely walks, or take a cable car to a trail head.

Probably the biggest "must do" in the Dolomiti is to take scenic walks. They are available for all levels of stamina and skill, throughout the range.

In between Bolzano in Venice is the fabulous scenic drive that begins east of Canazei and continues on Cortina d'Ampezzo. But it would be way too fatiguing to attempt unless you were willing to nick a night off your Bolzano stay and overnight in Cortina d'Ampezzo before continuing on to Venice. Again, mountain driving can be really quite demanding, and if you get any rain, it is best to skip the route and instead just take the highway to Venice.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2014, 01:44 PM
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As others have suggested, try to change your overnight stays from Bolzano to somewhere in the mountains. We where in Val Gardena this time last year after a week in Venice. It was an easy drive from Venice through Cortina. We stayed in Selva, but any of the towns (Ortisei, S. Cristina) along the route are beautiful and have easy lift access to the higher trails and scenic vistas, although by late September some of the lifts may be closing for maintenance before the ski season starts. Enjoy!
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Old Jun 29th, 2014, 12:02 PM
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Thanks! I am already working on a change in itinerary.
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Old Jun 29th, 2014, 12:05 PM
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We loved our stay in ortisei last October! It is a beautiful town nestled in the valley. We enjoyed Bolzano but much preferred the val Gardena!

Pics are here. https://www.flickr.com/photos/pug_gi...7636058614266/
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Old Jun 29th, 2014, 12:13 PM
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traveldawg: you are making the right choice to change your itinerary.

Very early last September we stayed in the Alta Badia at Hotel La Majun.

The highlights of our trip were driving the passes, setting off on a lift adventure from Ortisei, and visiting Laga di Braise.

We also drove to Venice via Cortina.

I can't say enough nice things about Hotel La Majun: very clean, very comfortable, very friendly, very delicious food, and a spa. It seems that lots of hotels in the Dolomiti have spas and provide meals. It was great.

The town of La Villa in the Alta Badia was not as charming as Ortisei, but we chose it because we needed to shave a little time off our drive to Venice, in order to make an appointment. In any case, it was pretty wonderful, but I think I might pick Ortisei to go back to.
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Old Jun 29th, 2014, 12:14 PM
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that needs to be Lago, not Laga
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Old Jun 29th, 2014, 12:59 PM
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Hi traveldawg, another vote for Ortisei. We stayed at Hotel Grones per the advise of Bob the Nav. It was wonderful. Here's the link to our Northern Italy Trip report from last September. Skip to part 2, the Dolomites for day trip suggestions, also from fellow Fodorites.

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...rip-report.cfm
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Old Jun 29th, 2014, 03:43 PM
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Another vote for Ortisei.
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Old Jun 30th, 2014, 07:30 AM
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Here's another vote for Ortisei. My DH and I went to the Dolomites on our First Anniversary-moon in Sept. 2011. We were there 4 nights. We stayed at Hotel Garni Villa Park, upon advice of a Fodorite, which is right on the edge of the village and looks out over the mountains. It was really nice, and the breakfast was very filling. The town is super-cute. We did a lot of hiking, and even went up the famous "flying telephone booths" cable cars.

We were there just about the end of the season, so it was empty of summer-time crowds. We had a wonderful time!
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Old Jun 30th, 2014, 04:37 PM
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Hr
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Old Jun 30th, 2014, 04:56 PM
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http://www.bolzano.net/english/castle-runkelstein.html

beautiful castle we enjoyed. A bit of a hike but worth it.
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