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Dolomites – Ortisei, Lake Garda, Bologna, Ravenna... – Sep/2023

Dolomites – Ortisei, Lake Garda, Bologna, Ravenna... – Sep/2023

Old Feb 27th, 2024, 02:15 PM
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Dolomites – Ortisei, Lake Garda, Bologna, Ravenna... – Sep/2023

I love planning trips and reading trip reports, so here is my first try in writing one myself. First, I’d like to thank all the posters and Fodorites who inspire me: Adelaidean, melnq8, maitaitom, Progol, KarenWoo and others.

My husband and I (both in the middle 60’s) decided not to drive in Europe anymore due to the easy access of public transportation and to avoid the stress of rentals and many ZTL areas. Not to mention that the driver doesn’t enjoy the views as much as the passengers. In our more recent trips, we had rented cars in Andalusia, Portugal and South Africa.

Seeing the Dolomites was a real dream for me, and it was the main focus of our trip. We had been to Rome and other towns in the past.

We flew in and out with Air France EWR (CDG) VCE.



ITINERARY: Sep 6 to Sep 23 / 2023

Venice 3N, Bressanone (Brixten) 2N, Ortisei 4N, Malcesine 2N, Verona 1N, Bologna 2N, Florence 2N, Padova 1N.

TRAIN tickets I bought almost 2 months in advance:

- Venezia Sta Lucia to Bressanone 3h27min - €75.80 for both, no connections - with ÖBB so I could reserve the seats.

- Verona to Bologna 1h - €21.90 each – Trenitalia

- Bologna to Florence 37min – €33 each - Trenitalia

- Florence to Padova 1h44min - €35.90 each - Trenitalia



Sep 6 - Venice

We arrived in Venice around 5:30pm and then bought the ATVO Bus - M. Polo Airport to Venice Piazzale Roma - €10 each – 20min. Our hotel was some 9 to 10min walk. We always try to book our hotels in a walkable distance from the train station.

Before we found a place to have dinner we explored the neighborhood near our hotel. Beautiful town!


Venice

Venice


Sep 7 - Venice

In the morning, on the way to the S. Marco Basilica + Museum (had bought the tickets online in July) we had breakfast at Brunch Café and also there is a Pasticceria Bar Rizzardini in front, which sells delicious pastries and sweets. Before going to S. Marco Square we stopped at a Windtre store to buy a phone sim card for my husband’s phone.

It was a beautiful sunny day. In the afternoon we walked around, had lunch and walked back to hotel. In the evening, we did the Grand Canal Cruise.


Venice

St. Mark's Basilica

St. Mark's Basilica

Venice


Sep 8 - Venice

In the morning, we did the Doge's Palace - Secret Itineraries tour, for which I had bought online tickets in advance - €54 both. Very interesting and fun with a good guide! And the museum has gorgeous Tintoretto’s paintings among others. In the evening, we had dinner at Ristorante Casa Bonita at Cannaregio. Charming location.


Doge's Palace

Doge's Palace

Doge's Palace

Exploring Venice

View from Ristorante Casa Bonita


Sep 9 – Venice to Bressanone

In the morning, we walked in the Ghetto Ebraico and some other areas, and then went to the hotel to get our luggage. The train to Bressanone left at 1:35pm and we were in Bressanone at 5:02pm.


Ghetto Ebraico


Our hotel was some 20min walk from the train station. I was planning to take a taxi; however, I didn’t see any around. Then we saw a mini city bus across the street and went to talk to the driver to ask for some information. He offered for us to ride for free and said he could drop us a bit closer to our hotel…Sweet! Hotel Grauer Bär is a very nice family run hotel with a friendly hosts located in the historic center. When I book a hotel, one of the first things I check is the breakfast. We do like to have a good breakfast when we travel.

Our hosts gave us the Brixen card for free, which allows to take buses and regional trains in South Tyrol up to Trento. It also gives free entrance for some museums. We used it in Bolzano to go to the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology to see Ötzi the Iceman.

https://www.brixen.org/en/my-holiday/brixencard

After getting settled in our hotel, we went to explore the town and find the restaurant I selected for that evening. We enjoyed Restaurant Pizzeria Kutscherhof very much. Good service, delicious food.


Bressanone/Brixten

Bressanone

Bressanone

Bressanone

Sep 10 – Bressanone – day trip to Bolzano

We could take the bus or train (free with Brixen card) to Bolzano – about 35min. As the bus station was closer, we opted to take the bus. Then, when we were going south along the river, I noticed that we had went left and crossed the river and were going up the mountains. Oops, we had taken the wrong bus . So, we waited until we could get off at a bus stop and crossed the street to wait for another bus to go to Bolzano. We were almost in Ortisei. This mistake delayed us for 1h30min. We were in Bolzano after 11:00 am and went to see Ötzi the Iceman -the ice mummified man from the Copper Age. Very interesting museum.


Ötzi the Iceman - South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology

Bolzano

Afterwards, we had lunch at Restaurant Franziskanerstuben, which I had reserved in advance. It was pretty good.

It was a Sunday and most of the stores were closed. There was a festival with different groups of live music,Tyrolean music, street food booths and there were a lot of people having fun. We wandered around the various alleys, streets and piazzas. We got tired and before 5pm we went to the train station to get back to Bressanone.

Getting there, we still had time to stroll around the town and enjoy the beautiful late afternoon. Bressanone is really a lovely and delightful town.


Bressanone

Duomo di Bressanone

Sep 11 – Bressanone to Ortisei

In the morning we decided to wait until the stores were open to see some things we were interested in buying and feel more of the vibe of the town.

By 10:40am we took bus #350 to Ortisei - Piazza San Antonio – 1h10min.

https://www.valgardena.it/en/bus-schedule/

We arrived before noon, and started walking in the direction of our hotel taking pictures and enjoying the beauty of this lovely town.


Ortisei

It was a 6-minute walk to our hotel. B&B Villa Angelino has a good location - close to the pedestrian area but in a quiet area. Very good accommodation and delicious breakfast.

They let us check-in earlier and by 12:30pm we were in our comfortable room with an incredible view from our balcony.


View from our balcony

Ortisei

B&B Villa Angelino

We were hungry, but as it was a gorgeous sunny day we decided to head straight to the mountains and have our lunch there. We did a short walk to Alpe di Siusi – Mont Sëuc cable carstation and bought the Val Gardenia Card - €103 each for 3 consecutive days.

https://www.val-gardena.com/en/summer/mobility/

There were no crowds and we went up very quickly and had a nice lunch at Almgasthof Mont Sëuc – reasonable priced and spectacular view.


Alpe di Siusi – Mont Sëuc

Alpe di Siusi – Mont Sëuc

We went down the road and walked for a bit more for 2 hours, stopping frequently to take pictures of the breathtaking views. We passed Adler Lodge Alpe and went up to near Hotel Icaro. Then we walked back same way and took the chair lift up to the top of the mountain and took Mont Sëuc gondola to go back to Ortisei.


Alpe di Siusi

Alpe di Siusi

Alpe di Siusi

Alpe di Siusi

Then we walked for an hour exploring the town and checked out the restaurant we had selected for dinner that night.

We found Ristorante Terraza to be a very good choice and went there again the following night.



Ortisei

Ortisei

Ortisei

Ristorante Terraza

Ristorante Terraza

Ristorante Terraza

Ortisei



Sep 12 – Ortisei - Seceda Trail

In the morning, as we arrived at the Seceda station, we first walked in the direction of Rifugio Troier. We sat there for a while taking in the terrific views of the mountain ridge (Fermeda) and the valley below. We then quickly stopped atBalcone Panoramico UNESCO Mastlè Santa Cristina, passed around Baita Odles and then continued to Almhotel Col Raiser restaurant where we stopped for a cup of coffee and delicious tiramisu. Then we took the Col Raiser gondola to St Christina where we took the bus back to Ortisei using the free, complementary mobility passes from our hotel.



Seceda Trail

Seceda Trail



Rifugio Troier

View from Rifugio Troier

Seceda trail



Almhotel Col Raiser

Sep 13 – Ortisei – Selva - Ciampinoi

It was a cloudy day. We took the bus to Selva and then took the cable car at Ciampinoi station. When we got up there the mountains were mostly covered by clouds. We decided to walk anyway, but after some 20 min it started a light rain. We continued to walk for some time trying to reach a Hütte, but the trails were very steep and were getting slippery. So, we decided to go back and stopped at the Ciampinoi station to get dry and have some food.

Sep 14 – Ortisei – trip to Castelrotto

We walked around town checking some hiking clothes stores and then took the bus to Castelrotto/ Kastelruth. The town didn’t impress me much. Not many places to eat or things to see. We sat for coffee and dessert in a Cafe but didn’t even finish it. One thing that was good was the pair of shorts that I bought and loved. We were back to Ortisei very soon.

In the evening, we had dinner at Mauriz Keller which was a very good choice.



Ortisei

Ortisei

Sep 15 – Ortisei to Malcesine

This was the plan for the trip:

LEAVE ARRIVE
8:34 AM 9:57 AM 1h30min Ortisei- Bolzano – Bus 350 – hotel card Worked
11:36 AM 12:31 PM 55 min Bolzano-Trento train R 16673 hotel card Worked
12:33 PM 12:46 PM 13 min Trento-Rovereto train – bought the ticket in Bolzano €2,90 each – same train R 16673 Worked
1:39 PM 2:14 PM 35 min Rovereto-Riva Garda Bus 332 drop off @Torbole (Via Matteotti B - $ to buy tkt from driver Didn’t work
20 min Torbole-Malcesine Bus 484

When we arrived at Rovereto train station we went out to look for the bus stop for Bus 332. We asked for information but it was a bit confusing due to road work in front where the bus stop should be. We googled some other stops and walked to see if we could find it, but no luck. We gave up, returned to the station and got a taxi straight to Malcesine - €65.

To be continued...



leifields is offline  
Old Feb 27th, 2024, 02:29 PM
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Very much enjoying your report leifields - great photos!

We're planning a return to the area in the fall, so very interested in your impressions - Bressanone is on our short list this time.

One question - how hot was it in early September?
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Old Feb 27th, 2024, 02:38 PM
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Please continue soon, leifields. Great start and excellent photos. Glad you trained....expect you saved a bunch.
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Old Feb 27th, 2024, 02:39 PM
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Enjoying your report and love seeing all the photos from the Dolomites. We did that walk from Seceda to Col Raiser with lunch at Rifugio Troier on our first trip in 2009. That's still one of my very favorite hikes - what amazing views! We're going back in September for another week, this time in the Alta Badia.
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Old Feb 27th, 2024, 04:21 PM
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Looking forward to more.
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Old Feb 27th, 2024, 04:54 PM
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Melnq8 – We were in Bressanone Sep 9 and 10. I would say the temperature was ranging from low 60’s to high 80’s. Didn’t feel uncomfortable anytime. Noticed that Bolzano was feeling a bit hotter than Bressanone. In Ortisei, same kind of temperature, didn’t feel uncomfortable even when we hiked in the middle of the day.

If we happen to be able to return to the Dolomites one day, I would go to Bressanone again and include San Candido. I saw in your TR and loved!
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Old Feb 27th, 2024, 04:59 PM
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Thanks, TDudette, ms_go and maitaitom for the comments!
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Old Feb 27th, 2024, 05:28 PM
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Lovely report!
Some of my favourite places.
Such a beautiful part of the world.

We found the bus to Malcesine to be confusing too.
Not helped by the fact we were pronouncing it wrong, lol.

Glad you took the leap and braved writing your first report - it’s fun to read what others did and how their itinerary worked for them.
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Old Feb 27th, 2024, 06:53 PM
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Enjoying your TR, the Dolomites being one of our favourite regions in Italy !
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Old Feb 28th, 2024, 05:16 AM
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leifields - thanks for that.

Looking forward to more of your report (and good on you for tackling your first trip report).
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Old Feb 28th, 2024, 04:33 PM
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Thanks Adelaidean and melnq8 for the comments and reassuring words!
I was also pronoucing Malcesine wrongly... lol

Thanks for reading, ANUJ!

Last edited by leifields; Feb 28th, 2024 at 05:22 PM.
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Old Feb 28th, 2024, 05:07 PM
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leifields, I am happy to hear my trip reports and posts have been helpful to you. And I am honored to be in the company of progol, melnq8, maitaitom, and Adelaidean, whose TR's and posts have helped me immensely to plan my trips.

Your photos are outstanding! I have a few questions. What hotel did you stay in while in Venice? I notice that Venice doesn't seem to be extremely overcrowded. Was that really the case? Or is it because of the time of day you took the photos? Such as less crowded in the mornings and evenings before/after the daytrippers and cruise crowd have arrived. What was the temperature like in Venice? Your report is very timely for me. My husband and I are hoping to visit Italy in 2025 or 2026. Our first choice is September 2025. So the same time of year as you. And we are considering northern Italy first, with a possible trip to southern Italy the following year.

Looking forward to more of your report!
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Old Feb 28th, 2024, 05:19 PM
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Sep 15 - Ortisei to Malcesine - continuing https://www.gardatrentino.it/en/plan.../bus-timetable

We checked-in to our hotel and went to explore the town. Later, we had a nice dinner nearby and enjoyed the views of this charming town in Lake Garda.


Malcecine

Malcesine

Malcesine

Malcesine

Malcesine

Malcesine


Sep 16 – Malcesine – visit to Limone Sul Garda

It was a beautiful Saturday, a sunny day. In the morning, we went to the town’s weekly market - food, crafts and clothes. It was a good one.

Then we took the ferry boat to Limone - €13 return/each


Malcesine - market

Lake Garda - ferry to Limone

Lake Garda

Arriving in Limone

Limone

Limone - beautiful colors

Exploring Limone

Limone

Limone

Limone


The town was bustling but we could enjoy the beautiful views, alleys, flowers, colors and architecture. We strolled around for more than an hour and then had a pleasant lunch on the terrace of Ristorante Pizzeria L’Agrumeto (€48) with the views of Lake Garda.

After exploring the town some more, we took the ferry back to Malcesine.



Ristorante Pizzeria L’Agrumeto

Ristorante Pizzeria L’Agrumeto

Limone

Exploring Limone

Limone

We still enjoyed the end of this beautiful sunny day walking around Malcesine and having the best ice cream of this trip.


Delicious ice cream - Malcesine

Malcesine



Sep 17 – Malcesine to Verona

We checked out early and walked to the bus stop, bought our tickets and waited for bus #484 which was supposed to be in Malcesine at 8:35am and arrive in Garda at 9:18am. It was a Sunday, fewer buses running and it was going to be tight to get bus 164 at 9:20am from Garda to Verona. Anyway, bus 484 was almost 15 minutes delayed. When I talked to a local that was also waiting, she said it was something kind of common to happen on a Sunday.

From Garda, we got bus #162 leaving at 11:20am and arriving in Verona at 12:22pm.

We walked to our hotel and were able to check-in earlier. Took some rest for a couple of hours and went out to explore Verona and find a place to eat.

It as a Sunday with lots of people in town…


Verona

Verona

Verona

Verona

To be continued...



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Old Feb 28th, 2024, 05:27 PM
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Leifields, I’m enjoying your trip report and lovely photos—thank you for posting!
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Old Feb 28th, 2024, 10:45 PM
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Such a wonderful and helpful report! Thank you Leifields.

I agree with Karen -- your pictures of Venice look like there are not many tourists. We are all wishful thinking! Meanwhile, Verona looked crowded! What did you think of Verona?

KarenWoo, we also are aiming for September/October 2025 for Venice. And... I am searching for my "Aix-en-Provence" in the area to settle for a bit!

Looking forward to more in this lovely report!
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Old Feb 29th, 2024, 06:27 AM
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Thanks for the great TR and the wonderful photos. I’ve enjoyed many stays in Venice and loved my one visit to Ortisei and Bolzano. I took note of the B&B you mentioned in Ortisei, which looks wonderful. Thanks again
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Old Feb 29th, 2024, 10:12 AM
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studenttobe and all, When you take note of something from a Trip Report, how and where do you record it? I have excel spreadsheets and journals, but I can't keep it organized so I can quickly find things.
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Old Feb 29th, 2024, 11:19 AM
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lrice, I use Google Docs on my iPad, as it travels with me.

I just checked, I have 19 documents 😬😬 with various collections of ideas eg my Spain one has links to trip reports, the bits I just cut and paste out, lots of Maribel’s comments, transport, etc

For my upcoming trip, I have refined my ‘ideas’ into practicalities, thoughts about day trips and how they can work, wet weather options, restaurants open on a Monday, I’m always adding and changing.

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Old Feb 29th, 2024, 11:37 AM
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Irice - I copy the specific info I'm interested in and paste it to my research documents on my desktop. I usually have 3-4 trip research documents going at a time.
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Old Feb 29th, 2024, 12:54 PM
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I do various things. Sometimes I actually print out the whole trip report! Yikes! I know it's a lot of paper but sometimes that works best for me especially if my itinerary is very similar to the person posting the TR. Sometimes I copy and paste bit and pieces into a Word document. And sometimes I handwrite notes in a spiral bound notebook. That is actually what I've done so far with leifields TR. Especially if it's info such as restaurant suggestions, hotels, etc. I am working on Australia/New Zealand, Northern Italy, and England right now.

I also have an Excel spreadsheet with months and years listing all the places we want to see before we become too old to travel.
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