To travel to the Dolomites, the Alpine mountain range strung between the northern Italian provinces of Trentino and Alto Adige (also known as Südtirol), is to become immersed in a wholly unique – and, relative to the rest of Italy, seldom trod – winter wonderland comprised of powdery ski runs, pristine forests and frozen waterfalls. The region is quintessentially Italian, but at the same time reflects the region’s majority German population. Hidden in the mountain range’s deep valleys, the Ladin language and culture, known especially for woodcarving and toy making, has been meticulously preserved.
The Dolomites are often visited as a winter destination, but in the summer, the snow melts to reveal wildflowers and hiking trails, wild protected parks and glistening lakes. The cuisine, incorporating both Italian and German heritage, is laden with local produce: Apples picked from the region’s orchards, cheeses produced from nearby pastures, and wines pressed from the local vineyards. Our Dolomites travel guide will point you to the can’t-miss sights and activities among these majestic peaks.
Things Not to Miss in the Dolomites
• Sailing on Il Burchiello, a luxury barge with cruises that stop at various Italian villas
• Relaxing in the thermal baths of Terme Merano
• Taking the world’s longest aerial cableway from Siusi to Compaccio
• Hitting the slopes at Funivie Madonna di Campiglio; in summer, the mountains offer a number of walking and mountain-biking trails
• Biking through the scenic Brenta Riviera
• Taking in some culture at the Museo di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea Rovereto or the Museo Archelogico dell’Alto Adige
When to Go to the Dolomites
The Dolomites’ relatively temperate climate and natural beauty make it a tourist destination year-round, so make your Dolomites travel plans based on your own seasonal preferences. Some tourists prefer to travel to the Dolomites during the summer, between May and September, when the weather is pleasantly warm and the mountains lively and colorful. Early spring, when crocuses, Alpine snowdrops and scented bushes of Daphne bloom through the melting snow, is equally beautiful. Winter, while cold, is exceptionally beautiful, and a perfect time to hit the slopes.