If there could be a naturally preserved and charming area in Italy that combines the clear blue sky, rocky light gray cliffs, and country greenery all in one place, then that should be the Dolomites mountain ranges. Found in the northeastern part of Italy, the Dolomites are best explored in summer when Italy’s ‘rooftops’ – the peaks shimmer in the striking sun rays while the green meadows around them replenish your eyes with the most striking serenity.
The whole of the Dolomites are a classified UNESCO World Heritage site and consist of a national park plus several other regional parks. If you are seeking for a great skiing experience in Italy, the Dolomites will fulfill your expectations. The Alpine peaks also offer a thrill-seeking traveler with a wide array of outdoor fun activities like mountain climbing, hiking, cycling, base jumping, paragliding, hang-gliding and so much more. Apart from skiing, the other activities can be most enjoyed during the beautiful summer months. Solitude seekers will also find this place very enticing. Stunning wildflower fields line up the narrow hiking trails that are surrounded by evergreen alpine forests.
Trekking up the Dolomites is no easy feat due to its physical navigation challenges but will require you to take up a 3-hours’ drive from Venice airport in the direction of Austria. Reaching the Bolzano city then you are right in the Dolomites. Bolzano welcomes with you lots of inviting Italian traditional meals like the smoke cured ham, the orange infused ravioli, the honey glazed duck with beet sauce and the mountain cheese.
For many decades, the Dolomites have attracted thousands of professional cyclists from around the world to participate in the annual Maratona dles Dolomites road bicycle race that traverses the Dolomites’ seven mountain trails. These trails include Pordoi, Falzarego, Gardena, Tre Coci, delle Elbe, Giau, and Sella.
If you are a biker in good physical condition, you can schedule to road bike the all the seven Dolomite passes in just a week, traversing over 11,000 meters of marvelous ascents and descents between the rough Dolomitic peaks. You will start the biking course at the resort town of Cortina d’Ampezzo and end at Alta Badia.
For a great biking and adventure experience, you will need a local English guide (German, Italian, and Ladino are the locally spoken language), some area logistics, a detailed map, good accommodation arrangements in the hotels, mountain lodges and inns, some of which have wellness resorts and the finest restaurants that serve heavy breakfasts and sumptuous dinner complimented by the locally-made red wine. The area has some of the best red wine makers in Italy like the Pranzegg made from the native schiava grape.
The Dolomites isn’t short of superb restaurants that serve the best mountain dishes of the area. Most of them feature cuisines that include local mountain herbs and spices, mountain dishes like, eggplant-stuffed pasta, and guinea fowl in juniper sauce.
The area gives you a taste of the three different cultures that dominate the Dolomites and these are, German, Italian, and native Ladin. Many area inhabitants live in the historical towns of Cortina d’Ampezzo and the cultural town of Alta Badia that is located in the Ladin valley.
Bike racing in the Dolomites is risk-free on country roads that have no traffic, but believe me, you’ll be carried away by the incredible topography of the Dolomites that contains a greater concentration of mountain peaks traversed by the seven picturesque passes within a relatively small area. This will enable you to enjoy cycling across the steep ascents and descents of the peaks that you will never forget.