Journey through the most beautiful places of mountain Italy (63 photos)
Overview photo report on the most beautiful places of the Italian Dolomite Alps. In the camera lens were cozy towns, picturesque rivers, fantastic lakes, fabulous mountain valleys, winding serpentines and mountain passes. I was lucky enough to visit the Dolomite Alps twice – in the fall and summer. I will begin my report on this amazing mountainous UNESKO World Heritage Site with the November trip. The snow-capped peaks of the Italian Alps foothills peep through the darkness and clouds in the window. The plane lands in Bergamo at eleven o’clock in the evening. After picking up our 500 fiat at the airport, we drive to the hotel in the Old Town.
Waking up before dawn, I hurried to the walls of the Citta Alta to admire the beautiful morning view from them. 2. Bergamo is a very beautiful and cozy town with beautiful diverse architecture and a unique atmosphere. The old part of the city is on the top of the hill. After grabbing a bite to eat, I climb the highest mountain to see the Cathedral, the Church of St. Maria Maggiore and the Palace of the Mind from there. The misty view turned out to be just the thing. 3. In November, nature here is vibrant and vibrant with the colors of autumn, and the trees beckon to pick their ripe, beautiful and juicy fruits. It’s a shame that only my long lens could reach these persimmons. 4. Before leaving for the Dolomites we decided to take another walk in the center of the main town. On Sundays there is an atmosphere of celebration: fairs, festivals and entertainment everywhere. 5. We drive out along the Venetian Way and then go north. The road gradually becomes higher and higher until we drive to Riva del Garda.
The sightseeing of this picturesque place starts from the observation deck. From here a wonderful view opens up to the northern part of Lake Garda. Here the foothills end and the real Alps begin. 6. The old town of Riva del Garda is very cozy and well maintained. Not without reason it is considered one of the best places to relax in Italy. But now is not the season. On the almost deserted streets you can meet only lonely pensioners and fishermen. All the cafes and restaurants are closed. The picturesque promenade is unusually deserted. 7. It was only to take out of the backpack bread as soon flocked from the surrounding area all the birds. Sparrows, gulls and pigeons were so hungry that snatched pieces right out of hand and fought for every crumb. 8. But we need to move on to Austria. The beauty of the mountains in the fall is amazing. Clouds overhang over the well-groomed green slopes, yellow vineyards add contrast to the already picturesque pictures. The Alps at this time of year are like a jigsaw puzzle, each with its own unique pattern. 9. On almost every cliff below the clouds build the most beautiful medieval castles and houses. 10. Before Bolzano we left the highway and went up the serpentine in the mountains to enjoy the beautiful scenery, walk and breathe the clean mountain air. Beauty surrounds us on all sides and we are in the clouds. 11. The next morning we were to be in Dandelion Valley.
It’s dark outside the window. Thick clouds surround the mountain valley of Bolzano. There is a light drizzle outside. A soft and warm bed does not let me out of its embrace into the cool and damp autumn mountains. As much as I would like it, I have to get up and follow the planned program. After breakfast, we leave for one of the most beautiful places in the Dolomites, the Dandelion Valley. After leaving the main road, we head up the seemingly endless mountain serpentine. The dark sky that had recently hung overhead was now before our eyes. It’s getting light very slowly. The higher we ascend, the thicker the clouds become. 12. To be honest, I imagined the morning in Dandelion Valley in a different light (orange sunshine, wispy clouds, and other beauty). But now it’s late November outside, a time of heavy snowfall. The weather makes its adjustments and we have to make do with such a cloudy, foggy morning. 13. In Dandelion Valley there is a wonderful village – Santa Magdalena. After a short wander we find ourselves there. The friendly locals in Tyrolean outfits are already wishing us a good morning. Some of them are already chopping wood at such an early hour, and some are starting up the tractor, the workers have begun to repair the road, the lumberjack brigade is ready to go to the site. A police car was also encountered. What is it doing in these parts? It’s probably the quietest place in the world, they’d better send them somewhere to Sicily:). 14. Santa Magdalena is a very nice and quiet place at the foot of magnificent mountain ranges, with beautiful alpine houses, lots of beautiful flowers in the streets in the summertime, homesteads, churches, rivers. We climb to the observation deck to admire a fantastic view of the mountain peaks. Below in the frame you can see the wonderful three-thousanders: Sass Rigais and Furchetta, which never dared to look out from behind the clouds:) Sad, but still beautiful. 15. I had to turn on the “time machine” and travel seven months into the future. I found myself without permission in someone’s vegetable garden and was impressed by this sunset. And you, dear readers, which view do you like better? 16. The sharp dolomite prongs keep trying to catch some puffy cloud, shining with a stunningly beautiful rainbow in the warm evening light. Such beauty is everywhere. 17. St. Johannes Chapel stands modestly alone in an expansive alpine meadow. 18. Let’s finish here the sightseeing of this most picturesque valley, where I did not see any dandelions. We go back down to climb the most beautiful alpine passes. 19: We had to drive around the ridge of the Sella Group twice. Going uphill the road bifurcated and the sign said: “If you go left, you’ll get to the Passo Gardena Pass; if you go right, you’ll get to the Passo Sella Pass.
In November, the lot fell on Sella. From 1,500 meters, the road climbed through the clouds to 2,200. The snow increased with each turn of the road. From somewhere in the clouds, illuminated by the sun, the creamy sheer cliffs were visible. 20. One good thing was that the road had been cleared and the ice was only in places. The magnificent view of the snow-covered winter Alps was worth the extreme. As we climbed above the clouds, we saw the sun for the first time in 2 days. 21. After driving off this pass and overcoming a couple more similar ones, we finally found ourselves in the capital of the 1956 Winter Olympics, Cortina d’Ampezzo. This is a panoramic view of the city and the mountain valley. 22. Back to my “time machine”. It’s July again. At the fork in Val Gardena, I turn left after all. It’s already dark. I go up to 2100, to the Passo Gardena Pass. In spite of the middle of summer it’s only +4. I spend the night in the hotel on the pass. 23. The morning starts early as always. Climbing on one of the slopes I had a great view on the serpentine rising from the Gardena Valley. 24 This beautiful chapel on the pass was already built in this century. It blends in well with the beautiful mountain scenery. 25. Next to it are some barracks (or maybe huts or barns). If it weren’t for the mountains in the background, I would have thought this was the Russian countryside, not the center of Europe. 26. After leaving the Passo Gardena Pass, I headed down the winding and narrow gorge to the village of La Valle. 27. The smell of manure, which is dumped right along the road here, immediately made me feel the rustic flavor. But it in no way affected my positive impression of this beautiful place. 28. Climbing to the top, the road ended, I got out of the car to admire the magnificent view of the mountain valley. I was accompanied by a black house cat. 29. La Valle reminded me a lot of Dandelion Valley. A very beautiful place where you can be away from the urban jungle, breathe the clean mountain air and admire the fantastic mountain scenery. 30. I will not stay too long here, there is a very busy program ahead. Having made a couple more stops, I went further. After 15 more kilometers the road brought me to the banks of river Rienza. 31. Next place I reached was the pearl of Dolomites Alps – lake Lago di Braes. It is located at an altitude of almost 1500 meters above sea level. Anyone who is planning a route to the Alpine corners of Italy, should definitely visit here. 32. Having found a place on three well-equipped parking lots, I went for a walk along the shore of the emerald lake. People are brought here by buses, so you don’t feel lost in the mountains. The path along the lake reminds me of a normal town sidewalk. 33. However, this in no way detracts from the beauty of Lago di Braes and does not make you feel uncomfortable. Around the lake you can go around in about an hour, covering a distance of about 5 kilometers. It is a pity that the weather was overcast without a single hint of light.
34. After the walk, I went to the car, but a nearby cafe beckoned me with fresh and fragrant pastries, I had to stay here for half an hour to have lunch and then visit another lake located nearby. Meet Lake Dobjakko (Toblach Si). 35. In November we got here in terrible snowfall, but we watched the beautiful swans, which any day should fly away in the direction of the warm Adriatic. 36. It’s only 150 kilometers away from here. 37. My itinerary had been built differently, but my camera tripod I’d forgotten in La Valle made some changes and the next place I came to was the Valparola Pass and the lake with the same name. There is still snow on the pass even in July. 38. After admiring Lake Valparola from high altitude, I decided to get closer to its shore. As I approached, I noticed a creature poking around near the shore. It was hard to identify it from afar. A “long” lens I had saved for such occasions helped me. 39. I read on the Internet that if I was very lucky then I could see alpine marmots in the Dolomites. It turns out that I was lucky. However, as soon as I tried to get close to him, he immediately hid behind numerous rocks. This is a photo from the series find the marmot:) 40. Now I will tell you about another lake in the Dolomites. From the city of Bolzano to it is a straight road, which begins with a three-kilometer tunnel. To the lake itself is about 25 kilometers. On the way I make a stop in Welshnofen to have a closer look at an interesting chapel. 41. The lake is called Karretsa and it greeted me very cloudy and rainy in some places. There was almost no hope for good weather, so I had to make do with these stout views 42. I decided to go back and have coffee in the parking lot. A miracle happened in about 15 minutes. The clouds suddenly receded and the sun finally illuminated the watery surface of the lake. 43. This shot, “Lattemar Mountain Massif in Reflection of Lake Carreca,” won second place in one of the National Georgaphic photo contests. 44. After driving around the Dolomites enough, I headed towards what is probably the most picturesque mountain range, Tre Chime Di Lavaredo, to meet the alpine sunset there. After safely crossing Tre Croci Pass, I found myself near Lake Mizurina. Standing on the shore of Mizurina with a cup of tea and a hot apple strudel bought at a store on a nearby street, I admire the stunning view of the mountain lake. 45. After driving only a few kilometers uphill, I found myself at yet another lake called Anthorno. 46. Carpets of colorful and fragrant alpine flowers and herbs surround almost all the shores of this fabulous lake. The weather is gorgeous, closer to the evening, it finally got loose. 47. At the risk of missing the last rays of the long-awaited sun, I walk up from Antorno. The road is blocked by a barrier. Having paid 20 euros, I got through. After 15 turns of the usual serpentine road I found myself in a rain cloud, and the thermometer was +4 again. The shelter-hostel Auronzo, which was 100 meters away, was barely visible. Hi there! And where was the sun that was shining in my face 10 minutes ago? Where is the sunset and the most important question: where, in fact, is the trident of Tre Chime di Lavaredo itself? I’m certainly not the kind of person who gets discouraged, but that’s not what I wanted to see here. Leaving some things in the shelter, I followed my luck directly into the cloud, hoping to see something… 48. After half a kilometer, the cloud suddenly ended, and the majestic mountain peaks of Lavaredo loomed over me.
On the way I came across this beautiful chapel, which was built right on the edge of a precipice. The areal of light around it seemed very symbolic to me. 49. Stunning mountain scenery is everywhere, just enough time to turn your head and press the camera buttons. After jumping over a small pass, I finally saw Tre Chima from the other side. I saw it exactly as I had imagined. This was the sunset in the Alps. 50. But the miracle did not last long, in this light I managed to make only a few shots, as the sun at first disappeared behind the clouds, and then behind the neighboring mountain peaks. But even that was thankful. At the foot are three small “no name” lakes with crystal clear glacial water. 51. Before dark I had to get to the Auronzo refuge. The route “around Tre Chime” turned out to be about nine kilometers. 52. The next place I was to visit was the magnificent, hidden in the mountains, Lake Federer. 53. After Cortina D’Ampezzo I had to slow down and look for the right trail. Luckily, there was an information booth and signs near it. Leaving the car right on the side of the road, I started the six-kilometer climb. 54. At first the trail was relatively gentle and passed near a beautiful mountain gorge. After crossing the bridge, I found myself on a very steep mountain that I had to climb. It was an experience worthy of a good workout. 55. I have seen many sights in the Dolomites, but Federer is remembered for its unique landscapes and the atmosphere of alpine serenity. 56. I went down to the car much faster and headed in the direction of the already mentioned Valparola Pass. A little before it, I left the car in the parking lot next to the deployed division of NATO troops and started the two-kilometer ascent to Lake Limides. 57. Along the way I repeatedly encountered World War I fortifications. Because of its accessibility this route is very popular, especially with tourists with children. 58. Lake Limides is not very big – only 100 meters long. It is surrounded on all sides by magnificent mountain ranges. Beating at the bottom of the lake springs create the illusion of heterogeneity and variegated water. 59. Cinque Torri mountain is just a stone’s throw away. 60. You can get to the foot of the mountain either by elevator or by car. Since the chairlift ends early enough, I drove up the mountain. The one kilometer walk to the foot of Cinque Torri, of course, was not difficult. 61. There is an open-air World War I museum here. Everywhere there are trenches, dugouts. Reconstructed dugouts, mannequins of soldiers and weapons of those times are exposed. 62. The highest peak is 2361 meters high. About five years ago this array was partially destroyed – a huge boulder broke off and fell from the second peak. Climbers constantly train on the steep cliffs of Cinque. This is the last place in my report. I had planned to stay here until late afternoon, but the changing wind brought numerous clouds from somewhere again, and it began to rain. Realizing that the Dolomites had thus said “Goodbye!” to me, I got in the car and set off on the hours-long drive to the Adriatic coast…
The Dolomite Alps in summer: the most beautiful places in Northern Italy
Italy is one of the most beautiful countries in the world with amazing culture, architecture and hospitality. But if you want to see untouched nature, you should go to the north of the country. The Dolomite Alps, a mountain range in the Eastern Alps, about 150 km long, since 2009 UNESCO World Heritage Site. Is it worth to go to the Dolomites in summer? Definitely yes, and now we will tell you why.
Journey in a motor home through the Dolomites
Brief information about the Dolomites
The Dolomite Alps are often called the Prealpies, the beginning of the Alps, although these mountains are not so low. There are 18 peaks over 3 thousand meters high and in some places there is snow even in summer.
The Dolomites include about 40 glaciers and the largest of them, Marmolada, covers an area of 3 km². Being here, one has no feeling that you’re in Italy, because the architecture and the language are quite different. In addition to Italian they speak German and Ladino, in fact even on the roads inscriptions and all the names are listed as such.
Some say that these are the most beautiful mountains in the world, and at least once in your life everyone should see them. Frankly, it is difficult not to agree with this – the landscapes are really fascinating.
In the Dolomites, namely in the valley Val di Fassa lives indigenous people Ladins. They speak Ladino, as well as German and Italian. The Dolomites nature is carefully protected – there are signs everywhere that in the national park it is forbidden to sleep in a tent, make fires and pick mushrooms.
Small villages in the Dolomites
How to get to the Dolomite Alps
If you’re planning a trip to the Dolomite Alps, the best way to get to the South Tyrolean capital of Bolzano or the town of Cortina d’Ampezzo, the region’s main ski resort. The nearest major cities to which you can fly are Venice (Italy), Munich (Germany) or Innsbruck (Austria).
If you want to reach the mountains from other Italian cities, you can take a direct Flixbus to Bolzano from Venice, Bologna, Milan or Florence. There are also rail connections to major Italian cities by Trenitalia.
Cortina d’Ampezzo can be reached by bus from Venice. It takes about 2.5 hours.
Where to stay
- Dolomites is quite an expensive region, so it will be difficult to find cheap hotels here.
- Airbnb – from 90 euros (per room), but the average price is about 270 euros
- Booking – from 150 euros
Motorhome – a lot of free parking or there are camping sites for a small fee
Now do you understand why we went here with a house on wheels?))) The accommodation here is very expensive!
What to see in the Dolomites
The Dolomite Alps in summer is a great opportunity to enjoy nature, see the most beautiful places in the Alps and take a huge number of cool photos! Here we will tell you what you should see in the Dolomites in summer.
Lake Carezza and stunning views of the mountains
This lake is a real emerald of the Dolomite Alps. It is called a rainbow because of the unusual circles, and legends are made about their appearance. Swimming here is not possible, the lake is protected by a fence, but there is an observation deck and walking path around. By the way, climbing over the fence is strictly prohibited!
Tre Cime di Lavaredo
Tre Cime di Lavaredo trekking trail
This mountain range is one of the most photographed places in the Dolomites. Climbers from all over the world come here, and the three famous cogs have become the trademark of the Dolomite Alps.
Even if you are not a mountaineer, it is definitely worth coming here for a walk. There is a trekking trail that takes only a few hours to traverse the massif. The views from here are truly amazing!
3. Jao Pass (Passo di Giau)
This place in the Dolomites is our personal favorite! Here you can see the most beautiful sunsets and sunrises, and hiking through the mountains will take your breath away. Definitely, the Jao Pass is one of the most amazing places in the Dolomite Alps.
There is a parking lot at the top and several trekking trails in different directions. If you have about 5 hours to spare, it’s worth trying to reach a small alpine lake and a mountain shelter. If not, at least hike to the top of the pass and capture the stunning views!
4. Val Gardena.
Hiking trails in the valley
Val Gardena is the valley of the Dolomites and the famous ski resort, or rather three resorts for a total length of 175 km. The area once belonged to Austria, so all the architecture and the houses are made in the Austrian rather than Italian style.
There are plenty of hiking trails, biking trails, restaurants and cafes, you can take the funicular, which works even in the summer upstairs and enjoy the beautiful mountain scenery. In general, if you like mountains, you will not be bored in Val Gardena!
5. Lago di Braies
Beautiful views of the lake Braies and the mountains around
If you like crystal clear lakes, then you have to visit the largest lake in the Dolomites, Lake Braies . June through August is peak season here, so seeing the lake without tourists will be extremely difficult unless you’re an early riser and get here by 7 a.m.
You can swim and boat in the lake, but the water is very cold. Because of the huge number of Instagram bloggers eager to take beautiful pictures of the boathouse, it has been closed, so don’t try to climb the fence (yes, yes, there are some!) There are great hiking trails around Bries Lake, where you can enjoy equally beautiful views.
6. Tyrolean Castle
If castles are your passion, it’s definitely worth a drive to Tyrolean Castle, which is close to the border with Austria. This castle is a symbol of the whole Tyrol, not only Italian but also Austrian. It was built in several “phases” and there is evidence of the first construction dating back to 1100.
Beautiful halls, dungeons and stunning views of the valley from the windows are guaranteed! So stock up on time and get ready to spend at least a couple of hours here. By the way, in the heat is the best, because it is always cool in the castle.
7. Roads in the Dolomites
The road to the Jao Pass.
The Dolomite Alps are huge! There are many beautiful valleys, peaks, and villages, but the roads here are a separate topic. Ideally, it is best to visit this area on your own by car . So you can stay where and when you want – at least to eat in a restaurant, or walk through a beautiful village, or take beautiful pictures. The mountain roads leave no one indifferent, and wide green meadows here are replaced by high peaks.
If you love mountains and nature, you will love the North of Italy at any time of year! In summer the Dolomites are no less magnificent than in winter, and there are probably even more things to do at this time. The most touristic month is August, but it’s still not Rome or Florence and there are no queues.