The Italian Dolomites

The Dolomites are a beautiful mountain range located in the north-east of Italy and are equally shared between the three provinces of Trentino, South Tyrol and Belluno. There is another smaller group called the Piccole Dolomiti close by and that is where I called home whilst I spent close to 20 years in Italy. The Dolomites are full of parks including one national park and has also been declared a natural heritage site by UNESCO.

Steeped in history, during the First World War the line between the Italian and Austro-Hungarian forces ran through the mountain range and many open air war museums can be visited such as Cinque Torri. Many people visit the area to climb the Vie Ferrate, protected paths also created during the First World War and also to trek the Alte Vie, long ‘high’ trails numbered 1 – 8 requiring at least a week to walk through and served by mountain huts along the way for refuge, the most nominated being the  Alta Via 1

The Dolomites are famous for skiing in the winter, (a subject close to my heart and which I shall return to in the autumn *watch this space*) and all kinds of sports in the summer months such as mountain climbing, hiking, cycling, base-jumping, para-gliding and hang gliding. Free climbing has been a tradition in the Dolomites since 1887 when 17 year old Georg Winkler conquisted the ascent of the pinnacle Die Vajolettürme!

Today I am going to concentrate on the Region of Trentino as I know it so well and for those who are not lovers of the sun, sand and sea holiday this could be the perfect alternative. Trentino is a huge favourite with the Italians themselves, many flock from the hot sticky towns in the height of summer in order to sleep at night in a cool environment, to enjoy the sun but in a fresher climate and to savour the sweet mountain air which of course works up quite an appetite. And if it’s food you’re worried about let me tell you hand on heart, you’ll be in your element, the menus are full of delicious options such as Strangolapreti (spinach gnocchi), or Gulash and polenta, a firm favourite from this part of the world. In fact watch out for the Polenta di patate which is sublime.

Are you a wine lover? Then this region is bursting with prize winning wines from the full bodied red San Leonardo, grown in the Adige Valley to the deliciously bubbly prosecco Ferrari. Some of my favourites are the Vallarom oaked Chardonnay, a Gaierhof Nosiola or a Barbanico made from one of my favourite cantina’s Balter Do look them up and see if they’re available close to you, they are delicious.

So where to go in Trentino? Well some may have already been as Riva del Garda at the top of Lake Garda is in Trentino and of course I must mention my old home town of Folgaria which I shall highlight properly one week but here are a few other places that are well worth a visit should I have tempted you; the Altopiani Cimbri , Madonna di Campiglio e Val Rendena, the Val di Non con Tuenno, Cles and Sarnonico. Here are some Travel organisers who specialise in the area from the UK and for more information make Visit Trentino your first stop.

This is my letter D for Jenny Matlock’s Alphabe Thursday where you can find plenty more interesting D’s to read


  1. Amiko
    May 12, 2011 / 4:39 PM

    Italia will be on my list!
    Great post, thank you for posting it!

    • Mari
      May 15, 2011 / 7:51 PM

      You must go to Italy – you’ll adore it

  2. May 12, 2011 / 4:57 PM

    Beautiful pictures and descriptions! We lived in Aviano (Pordenone – 1 hour north of Venice) for 5 years and loved it! We’re hoping to be able to go back later this year.

    • Mari
      May 15, 2011 / 7:52 PM

      How lovely, I know that area as I’ve passed through a few times. Enjoy your trip back

  3. Catherine
    May 12, 2011 / 6:01 PM

    Delightful D post :) .

    • Mari
      May 15, 2011 / 7:53 PM

      Thanks for coming by

  4. May 12, 2011 / 7:28 PM

    I really do not know Italy well AT ALL!! This is certainly inspirational for us to go more (sorry that was super bad English, but you know what I mean). Stunning photos. Wish I could be there now!

    Maggy x

    • Mari
      May 15, 2011 / 7:54 PM

      I hope you get there one day as you’ll see what I am trying to convey and understand my passion

  5. Susan with Permanent Posies
    May 13, 2011 / 3:48 AM

    I am going to Italy next year and I loved your post. My son is a Captain in the army and just found out that he will be in the 173rd Airborne in Italy. I think it is close to Venice but I do not know my Geography. I can’t wait to explore. Stopping by from Alphabet Thursday.

    • Mari
      May 15, 2011 / 7:55 PM

      I’m not sure where your son’s base will be but close to Venice is an excellent position to visit many many parts of Northern Italy – have fun and take a camera!

  6. May 13, 2011 / 5:16 PM

    Italy rocks so bad. It really has everything one needs, great view and a pizza.

    • Mari
      May 15, 2011 / 7:56 PM

      Too true and then there’s good coffee, pasta, wine and delicious bread

  7. Judie
    May 13, 2011 / 7:10 PM

    Mari, I love to travel vicariously through you. What an interesting post! The photos are beautiful.

    • Mari
      May 15, 2011 / 7:57 PM

      Sadly I can’t call them my own but you are right they are beautiful

  8. May 14, 2011 / 12:28 AM

    It looks beautiful. I’d love to go! When we lived in Sicily Rome was the farthest north we ever got. I don’t think I’ll get another chance unless I win the lottery. :)

    • Mari
      May 15, 2011 / 7:58 PM

      ..and that is the beauty of Italy that everywhere has beautiful places to visit with stunning views, are culture and excellent food too! good luck with that lottery ticket

  9. SAHMlovingit
    May 14, 2011 / 8:38 AM

    Just saw a link to this at the top of your flashback friday and glad I clicked on it. Those mountains are stunning – reminds me a little of Canada in those two middle pictures. Gorgeous. I think once we’ve visited Italy (3 weeks today yaye!) we’ll be hooked and I’ll be looking to your blog for future inspiration xx

  10. Mari
    May 15, 2011 / 7:59 PM

    Thank you :D I’m sure you will be hooked and I wish I could say those photos are mine but they’re not – I need to go back and take some of my own!
    I’m sure you’re going to love Italy and can’t wait to hear all about it

  11. May 16, 2011 / 1:24 PM

    Mari. I’ve heard of the dolomites but had never seen pictures of them until I opened you post!

    They are gorgeous. Powerful, majestic yet peaceful.

    I think these are going to have to be on my bucket list for ‘someday’.

    Really a delightful post! Thanks for taking me along on this beautiful trip.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: