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Dolomites-Val di Funes or Alta Badia

Old Apr 17th, 2016, 09:08 AM
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Dolomites-Val di Funes or Alta Badia

We're going to Italy in June and I have had the first two stops planned for months-a week in Venice and a week in a little villa outside Asolo where we will do day trips including at least one day of hiking in the Belluno Dolomites. Then we have from June 19th until we leave from Venice on the 24th. I plan on "somewhere" in the Dolomites. I have gone between Val Gardena, Alta Badia, Dobbiacco area or 2 days in one and 2 days in another.

In all my researching I have been most, well, enchanted I guess by the Val di Funes valley area. I had crossed it off as too out of the way as a base but now I'm wondering if it would be a good base as long as I decide we don't need to sightsee all the rest of the areas. It seems more quiet and undeveloped which is generally what we prefer for vacations.

I don't see much in the way of trip reports about this area. Has anyone here spent any time there? If so I'd love to hear any actual experience to make sure I am not just being seduced by good photography. We'll have a car so transportation is not an issue.We would probably stay in Santa Maddalena. I'm thinking we could still spend one day driving the passes through Val Gardena and Alta Badia but not sure I'd go all the way over to Lago di Brais which is a place I wanted to see but it's not absolutely necessary.

If we don't stay in Val di Funes we'll probably stay in La Villa, either at the Chalet Susi apartments or the apartments at the Lech da Sompunt. Both are owned by the same family and are somewhat outside the main area.

Thanks for any insights!

Peg
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Old Apr 17th, 2016, 11:03 AM
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Hi Peg

We stayed in La Villa, which was perfect for driving the passes and for a day trip to Lago di Brais, where we had a very good time.

I don't have any other experience to compare, except for a stop in Ortisei where we took a ride to a mountain top and did a lot of hiking downward.

We chose La Villa because the Alta Badia seemed best placed for what we wanted to see and also to get us to Venice on a more tightly timed drive.

I can only tell you that we were happy. La Villa is pretty quiet, even if you're standing in the middle of it.
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Old Apr 18th, 2016, 03:01 PM
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Val di Funes is a beautiful but small area. La Villa is closer to the iconic passes, so what were your plans if you stayed in Val di Funes? FWIW, we enjoyed our excursions to Bressanone and Brunico in addition to all of the scenic drives.

I think La Villa and the Val di Funes areas are similar driving times from VCE, but you could check. You'd probably take A22/E45 from Val di Funes. Not the most scenic drive and a major truck route, but along the way you could sightsee in Bolzano (Iceman Museum!) and detour to the road along Lake Garda. Perhaps stop in Verona or Padova for dinner. The drive from La Villa to VCE might duplicate some roads you took from Asolo, but you could look for other routing to get some variety.

I hope you plan to spend your last night close to VCE. I might have put Asolo at the end for the fairly quick access to VCE.
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Old Apr 18th, 2016, 04:33 PM
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Thanks. We're primarily outdoor people, day hikers so that's what we would do in either place. Husband is especially not fond of man made structures in nature such as ski areas so was thinking Val di Funes was much less developed in that way. However we also have twin 17 yr old boys who will probably want to wander a bit on their own. They can't drive over there due to their age so they would need to use public transport or hoof it. There's probably more to do in La Villa although their usual concern on vacation is finding a basketball court which I am not as sure of over there.

I'm assuming we'll be there on the early end of the season. We're going there last because of weather possibilities. We travel out west a lot and I am assuming it's similar to the Rockies or Sierra Nevadas with late season snow possible and snow remaining at higher elevations.

I guess I have seen so much in researching the Dolomites that I would like to see is making it much more difficult than the other stops. The good thing is there seems to be plenty of availability at that time so I'm not feeling any real pressure to decide.

We'll have plenty of time to get to Venice-we're driving back on the 23rd and we leave on the 24th. I planned the trip based on weather & tourist numbers. So, first to Venice as early as possible, then to the hill towns and then to the Dolomites.

Good to hear La Villa is fairly quiet. That's what we prefer. Having teenagers is excitement enough. This is their graduation trip so they will soon be off at college.
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Old Apr 18th, 2016, 08:13 PM
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If hiking is your primary activity and public transportation would be helpful, you should investigate both of these in the two options you're considering.

FYI, you won't be seeing developed "ski areas" in the way you've experienced them in the Rockies and Sierra Nevada. A few towns have several lifts but more often you'll see a single lift just off the road. Lifts are marked with red lines at maps.google.com if you just zoom in. Some of the best hiking, with the most dramatic scenery, is found at the top of the lifts.
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