Hike in the Clouds in the Dolomites
Castelrotto Travel Blog› entry 10 of 11 › view all entries
With a base in the Germanic city of Castelrotto, in the South Tyrolean region of Northern Italy, one can hike throughout the Dolomites with ease. The region is accessible from Venice by train and a short bus ride and is comprised of several mountain resorts, many primarily of Austrian/Germanic heritage. Skiing in the winter and hiking in the summer are primary reasons to visit, although we met some tourists who came specifically for the local music festivals and to visit the regions numerous castles.
We chose to hike from Castelrotto to Tisana one day, climb the amazing Alpe di Siusi the next, and on our last, do a short hike from Fie to the town and castle of Presule. The hiking is awesome and easy enough for my 11 year old niece to do (and for her old lady Aunt).
It would be easy to spend a few weeks in the region exploring the different hikes - unfortunately we only had 3 days. The one drawback is food is not necessarily available during the hikes - so bring your own as well as water and gear for the changing weather. There are some outposts in some cases and where they exist, the food is excellent - largely Germanic in style and delicious. The route we took on Alpe di Siusi was dotted with chalets with refreshment - good food, desserts and beer - every few hours or so.
At the end of the day, Castelrotto (or Kastelruth in German) was an excellent base with a fantastic hotel (Hotel Cavallino d'Oro) with wonderful, well priced rooms; a nice selection of restaurants, and friendly townspeople.
The town of Fie is also the site of a large international music festival, created under the auspices of UNESCO. This Schlern Music Festival http://www.schlernmusicfestival.org/ is held every summer for several weeks and draws many tourists.
I'd like to go again, but unfortunately there are too many other spots on my list!