Places of Interest in the Italian Dolomites
Castles, Museums, Cortina, Scenic Drives, The Iceman & Bolzano, Venice
Places of interest in the Dolomites
The Dolomites are a further enhancement of Italy’s reputation as the cultural capital of the world, so we can propose many interesting day trips. If visiting places of interest is high on your agenda, then having a car at your disposal is recommended. Wherever you choose to go, driving amid such spectacular scenery will be one of the great pleasures of your holiday. You will soon be in awe of your surroundings, and your journeys will be as delightful as your destinations.
Cortina, the ‘Pearl of the Dolomites’
& other attractive options
There are numerous options for guests who fancy a day out in the car and we will be happy to offer you suggestions. Also, we keep various proposals in our Ideas & Information Files.
Cortina, set amidst soaring peaks, is definitely worth a visit in higher season when it is busy and colourful. The 50 minute drive is spectacular and you could stop half-way and take in the Lagazuoi cable car, which takes you to a viewing platform at 2835m, where you can also have a good lunch, whilst taking in some sensational mountain panoramas. Cortina, which hosted the Winter Olympics in 1956, has some stylish shops and cafes as well as the open-air Museum of Flora, Fauna and Mineralogy and the Museum of Palaeontology. Another add-on to a day in Cortina are the iconic Tre Cime and Lake Misurina.
Ortisei in the Val Gardena is another charming day out. It is a Tyrolean gem in a gorgeous setting. Taking a stroll around its picturesque centre is a delight and you will be absorbed by the architecture and the intricately painted buildings. You can also take a cable car to some exquisite high pastures, where the scenery is beautiful. Other interesting towns within an hour’s drive include Bressanone (with its cloistered mediaeval streets), Brunico, Vipiteno and Agordo, whilst further afield there are Bolzano (90 mins) and Innsbruck (2hrs). Also, the South Tyrol has as many mediaeval castles as any province in Europe, most with precious frescoes.
Higher season brings on village festivals and other colourful occasions, each with a sense of community and alpine tradition. Tables and benches line the streets and beer is served by people in traditional costume. Craftsmen/women and woodcarvers demonstrate their skills and folk musicians play. On every trip you make you will pass through enchanting villages, probably famous for nothing but unforgettable all the same.
There are many other options which we will be happy to propose. For example, try parking at the Pordoi Pass above Arabba and taking the cable car to the summit plateau of the Sella. Or ask our hosts about the amazing gorge at Sottoguda. Or simply take a drive around the Sella massif. Luckily for us, this option is right on our doorstep and will take you about two hours (not including stops) but, such is the scenery, it is an itinerary sold by coach operators to people based in Lake Garda 3hrs away, making it at least an 8 hour round trip for them! It would be hard to think of a more awe-inspiring two hour road trip for people based in the Alta Badia.
A stunning mountain city
& ‘Otzi’ – a Neolithic phenomenon
A holiday you and your children will never forget
A visit to Bolzano, the provincial capital of the South Tyrol, is a must. This enchanting city is nestled spectacularly below a crescent of impressive peaks, giving each of its cloistered streets the most stunning of backdrops, which might temporarily divert you from the colourful markets, picturesque piazzas, cafes, beer gardens and the many interesting shops, including some excellent mountain sports outlets. Moreover, the city’s Museum of Archaeology now plays host to one of the world’s most astounding discoveries, which has put Bolzano on the world map.
The Iceman (Otzi)
In 1991, the almost perfectly preserved body of a Neolithic hunter was discovered trapped in a glacier in the Otztaler Alps on the Austro-Italian border. The discovery of the ‘Iceman’ enabled archaeologists to re-examine theories concerning Neolithic man, since ‘Otzi’, carbon-dated to 5300 years old, was found with a complete suit of clothes and a full complement of equipment, including a bow in mid-construction, a copper-bladed axe and numerous instruments made from flint and bone, all of which are on display with ‘Otzi’ himself.
Tag a short stay in Venice to one end of your holiday?
Many of our guests spend time in Venice before or after their stay. If this is something that appeals to you, click here for more details about hotels in Venice.