After the morning rain cleared to reveal lapis skies, the red ovoid cable car whisked us to the mountain station high above Ortisei. Tears welled in my eyes as I stepped out and took in the magnificence of the Alpe di Siusi. Lush green meadows, jagged peaks, and vast pine forests filled me with tranquility while my ears discerned the pleasant tinkle of cow bells in the distance. I knew we had found a place that would become very special to us.
At GoodDayRome I have blogged endlessly about the Dolomites, the Val Gardena, Ortisei, and the Alpe di Siusi. Over the course of five summers we returned, immersing ourselves in the crisp mountain air, the pristine villages, the incomparable natural beauty, the endless hiking and walking trails, and the vast network of public transportation that makes it all possible. It is the perfect spot for a break from a tour of Italy and even a destination in itself for a different type of European holiday. Especially in summer, there is a respite from the heat and crowds of Rome, Venice, and Florence.
There are charming little villages, stunning mountain scenery, and alpine meadows that are easily accessed by a comprehensive system of cable lifts. Buses provide transport efficiently between towns and to the dramatic mountain passes, all covered by a Mobility Card issued by the B&Bs, hotels, and pensioni. There are hikes for people of varying abilities, including seniors and children. Everywhere are the magnificent views that have had us coming back time and again.
So we wrote a book to share this special place with people who have time to savor it. It is a book for people who like to walk, who like to be in nature, and who enjoy Italy. It is for seniors, people with children, and anyone who wants to experience the mountains but not climb them.
We found a hiking paradise in the Val Gardena.
- No car is required thanks to convenient transportation in the valley and in the mountains
- Lodging is affordable
- The food is excellent (it is in Italy after all)
- Trails are groomed
- The locals are multi-lingual. If you speak Italian or German, great! If not, English is widely spoken.
We would like to share this paradise with you, so if you are planning a visit, you will find particulars on where to stay or how to find your own “secret” place, places to eat, how to take the buses and lifts, and most importantly, detailed directions on walks we have enjoyed over five years of travel to the Val Gardena.
You can buy the book on Amazon.com by clicking here. It is available in paperback and Kindle formats and is also available at Amazon worldwide (Amazon.it, Amazon.de, Amazon.uk, and so on.)
If you subscribe to follow this blog (link above right), I will be sharing some of our other European hiking experiences as well as those in lovely Oregon, with a special focus on the Oregon Coast.
Laurel, I understand why Ortisei is your favorite place in Italy. Your recommendations for our first trip there in May were perfect. I can’t wait to go back in the future now that we are oriented to the area. Thank you for sharing your experiences!
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You are welcome and I am so happy you had a great trip! I am beginning to fear this will turn into another Cinque Terre…. At least the cruise ships cannot get to Ortisei!
So beautiful looking and sounding! Have you taken a stroll on the Oregon beaches yet?
No, we haven’t since we got here last week! It’s a shame, but we are totally involved in organizing the house and exhausted at the end of the day. By next week we hope to approach “normal” and get out to explore more.