Trentino/Dolomites Trip Planning

Jan 9th, 2011, 08:42 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2011
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Trentino/Dolomites Trip Planning

I am planning a summer trip to Italy for 2 weeks in late June -early July 2011. There will be five of us traveling, my husband and three boys ages 7, 10 & 12. I need help with the northern Italy portion of the trip, specifically where to stay and drive times. Also any fun ideas for kids like visiting castles and shorter hikes. We will be renting a car when we leave Venice and plan to stay 3 nights in the area. Of importance, I want to visit the ancestral towns of my grandparents which are Spormaggiore and nearby Lover and possbily Andalo. Accomodations are not as plentiful in the first two villages. I don't know that we need to stay in the actual villages, just spend a day visiting them-seeing the original family homes and church,etc. I am excited to show the kids the Trentino culture. However, I can only justify so much genealogy before the kids lose it. I want to stay at least one night in one of the more mountainous villages in the region like Ortisei, Colfosco, Obereggen. Should we get a home base, say Bolzano and take day trips one east toward Ortisei, one south toward Spormaggiore and maybe one west to Merano? Or should we just stay in different towns for a night and move on? The boys are interested in seeing some castles and the mountains. Castle suggestions anyone? I think this part of Italy will be completely different from the rest of the trip for them. Lastly, I noticed that a lot of the lodgings will only take a minimum of 3 days stay. Okay the last question: I put drive times in the computer to get an idea but I was wondering if in the mountains those estimations are inaccurate? Trying to decide if we should take the autostrada out of Venice to Trento/Bolzano or the slow route north to Cortina or Ortesei. If Bobthenavigator or Steve James could help that would be wonderful.
ThreeBambinos is offline  
Jan 10th, 2011, 08:54 AM
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Sorry to be late,but that one paragraph strains my old eyes.

I would take the autostada for sure---via Verona and Trento.
Why not stay in Trento for a nite or two, take the Apianno wine road north to Bolzano[ which we loved], and then spend time in either Castelrotto or Ortisei. There is an article at about that wine road and also the castles in Trentino---we stopped at several many years ago. Good luck--we love that entire area including the north end of Lago Garda.
bobthenavigator is online now  
Jan 10th, 2011, 08:58 AM
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Heer is one:
bobthenavigator is online now  
Jan 10th, 2011, 09:56 AM
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Our two boys, (ages 8 and 13 at the time) were fascinated by the museum of archeology in Bolzano. Its where Oetzi, the Bronze-age man found in the alps, is, well, on display (in a sort of a glass-topped freezer), together with all his stuff. Bolzano also has a nice park and playground for running around in, and an arcaded shopping district (I discintcly remember a toy store with a slide from the upstairs to the downstairs level).

Castlerotto is a great place to run around castle ruins -- the greeters are dressed up in costumes, and the frescos an all the walls are really cool. Nice mountain walking paths in the area. (There was a shuttle bus from Bolzano town center to Castlerotto that worked well for us).

We also took the kids to one of those Tyrolean song-fest showsm which are kind of cheezy, but lots of fun. Lots of yodeling and dancing in lederhosen, huge mugs of beer (for the grownups) and cow-pie jokes. (I don't remember if it was in Bolzano or Innsbruck, which is about 1.5 hours away.)

Bolzano is bigger than Trento with more to see, if you are thinking of a multi-night stay. But either would be nice. I second the suggestion of the autostrada from Venice.
capxxx is offline  
Jan 11th, 2011, 07:33 AM
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Hi 3bambinos - I dislike one-night stays - so personally I'd choose one base and plan your day-trips from there.

The driving distances aren't big once you're in the area. If you based in the Val Gardena area (- Ortisei, for example - or Castelrotto), you are in a lovely location but only 20' drive from the main road at Ponte Gardena. (So ... Ortisei-Spormaggiore would be about 1hr 30').

From Ortisei/ Val Gardena you have easy access to some of the best lifts for a spectacular day in the mountains and a range of childrens' activities.

On your Spormaggiore trip you could include boating on Lake Caldaro, Trento castle, the Wine Route ... or Caldaro funicular.

If you choose Ortisei, I'd probably choose the Cortina route to get there - one of the most spectacular mountain drives in Europe!

Hope this helps ...

Steve_James is offline  
Jan 11th, 2011, 03:19 PM
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How are your 3 boys with car sickness? It can be tough to be a passenger during mountain driving.

There are a number of castles in Trentino, including one (Belfort) near Sporomaggiore
zeppole is offline  
Jan 11th, 2011, 03:23 PM
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PS, for what it's worth, since I'm not BobtheNavigator or Steve James, I dislike "bases" and driving back and forth like a commuter to sightsee. I don't mind one-night stays and have no problem with road trips -- but I might feel differently were I traveling with small children.
zeppole is offline  

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