Summer trip to Dolomites

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Mar 29th, 2007, 08:35 AM
  #21
 
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Hi aussiefive,
Thanks so much for the kind comments. We absolutely love the Dolomites and can't wait to go back! Hopefully this Oct. again. (I typed that with my fingers crossed!)

Paul
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Mar 29th, 2007, 08:48 AM
  #22
 
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Steve_James...We spent a few days around Ortisei last May. About an hours drive to the east there was a spectacular mountain top that has a looping road all the way around it with about 4 or 5 passes...2 of which were closed due to snow. So I would think that in April pass closures could be a problem.
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Mar 29th, 2007, 02:07 PM
  #23
 
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Steve:
I am heading from Innsbruck to Venice. Looking for suggestions of places to stop along the way.
Wekiva:
what route did you take??
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Mar 29th, 2007, 02:49 PM
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Hi,
Tp check a passes status, a very good website is...
www.alpineroads.com
We were in the Austrian/Italian Alps in April '05 and had no problems, except for one pass being closed, Stelvio Pass between Italy and Switzerland. Also one of the highest. From Innsbruck, take the Brenner Pass (very low and a major highway) south to Val Gardena exit. I'd say for the best scenery, go Val Gardena, Val Badia, to Cortina and then head south east to Venice. I have a long list of what we found to be terrific places...
SterzingVipitino (about 45 min. south of Innsbruck)
Castle Tasso/Reifenstein, just outside of Sterzing/Vipitino. To tour the castle, you need 4 people or the lady who lives there won't give a tour. That was our experience at least. It's listed in Rick Steves' book.
Brixen/Bressanone was a wonderful old town. Very large pedestrian zone and the Diocesan Museum Brixen was excellent!
Any of the 3 towns of Val Gardena, particularly Ortisei with it's small pedestrian zone and it's cable car up to the Seiser Alm.
The Seiser Alm, I know I just said this but it is fantastic!
The passes you would cross on the drive are all spectacular, Gardena, Valparola and Falzarego.
On the Falzarego, there is another mountain cable car. Although we didn't have a good day to see it (fog, rain) Lake Misurina by Cortina is supposed to be beautiful. Hope this helps.

Paul
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Mar 29th, 2007, 03:04 PM
  #25
 
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whateveRob

I found the route again in Google Earth and will try to give it to you...roads in this area are a bit confusing.

From Ortisei head east on SS242 through Wolkenstein and Selva Wolkenstein where you head south still on SS242. About half way to Canazei you will head east on SR48. Follow SR48 until you come to the town of Arabba where you will head north on Localita Varda...the roads get confusing here...but you head north to Corvara in Badia. From there you want to head back to Selva Wolkenstein.

This was a drive recommended by the family who owned Uhrerhof hotel where we stayed. Unfortunately we only got about half way around due to 2 of the 4 (or is it 5?) passes being snowed in. The drive is like nothing I've ever experienced. One of passes has 40 or 40 switch backs. My wife was in tears and ready to flip out...but what a drive!

As I've mentioned before...load up Google Earth and search for Selva Wolkenstein, IT. Turn on the road layer and you'll see the route I'm describing. I believe the entire loop would take a few hours but you'll want to stop along the way and I could see the loop taking all day.
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Mar 29th, 2007, 04:33 PM
  #26
 
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Wekiva:
Thanks for the info. I did check it out on Google Earth...Looks like a fine drive. How far did you get until you had to turn back?
pja1:
thanks also ... So many choices ... Looks like I should have no problem filling the day... I would like to get to Venice early evening.. Need to figure out how long to spend along the way
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Mar 30th, 2007, 08:18 AM
  #27
 
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We went about half way around and heard the passes were closed ahead. We could have gone further but my wife was NOT doing well during the drive and she was glad to have a reason to turn around. We spent a LOT on renting a nice BMW to drive through the mountains and it was a blast.
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Mar 30th, 2007, 08:28 AM
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If you're in Bolzano, stop at the museum to see Otzi the Iceman. Very interesting.
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Mar 30th, 2007, 09:48 AM
  #29
 
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Hi Wekiva - I'm surprised that any were closed.

The fact the some were open suggests to me that they do clear the main ones - e.g Pordoi, Falzarego - and maybe don't bother with the minor ones - like Campolongo, perhaps ...

That's my theory anyway

Steve
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Mar 30th, 2007, 02:56 PM
  #30
 
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Wekiva: Sorry the wife wasn't doing well. I also will have a BMW ... can't wait to put it thru the paces !!
TravMimi: Was considering stopping there... anything else in Bolzano worth doing? Place for lunch maybe?
Steve/Wekiva: Any chance I can get some accurate info on pass closures in English????
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Mar 30th, 2007, 03:03 PM
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Rob - We have stopped in Bolzano a few times, just to go to the museum. Every time we travel in that area with someone they want to go see Otzi. I don't know if there is much else to do there, but we do enjoy wandering around the pretty old town. Nice shops and restaurants. We have stayed overnight at the Hotel Greif, it's beautiful.
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Mar 30th, 2007, 03:44 PM
  #32
 
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Otzi does sound pretty cool ... Since you have been in the area a few times, what else do you recommend seeing?? Have you done the mountain route to Venice?
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Mar 30th, 2007, 03:55 PM
  #33
 
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Rob - we usually stop in Bolzano on our way from Italy to Austria or visa versa to avoid a night train, so we don't really spend much time there. Outside of the museum and wandering I'm afraid we don't do much. It is a very scenic area.
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Mar 30th, 2007, 06:08 PM
  #34
 
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Hi,
To check if a pass is open or closed, a good website is
www.alpineroads.com

Paul
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Mar 31st, 2007, 12:38 AM
  #35
 
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Rob - The mountain route to Venice is quite beautiful!

You have a choice of several routes. If you're starting from Bolzano, the most scenic route IMO is:

Bolzano-Fie allo Sciliar-Castelrotto-Ortisei-Selva -
-Gardena Pass-Colfosco-Corvara-La Villa-San Cassiano -
-Valparola Pass-Falzarego Pass-Cortina.

The Tourist Office in Bolzano or Ortisei will happily give you information on the passes on the day you travel ...

Let me know if I can be of more help ...

Steve
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