Venice and The Dolomites
If you are headed to the Dolomites, there is a chance you’ll fly into Venice. In our case, I was flying into Venice to meet Adam and his mom, so I spent a day there before we rented a car and drove up to the Dolomites.
I had been to Venice several times but never in August – boy is it hot and humid and certainly not the season I’d recommend for wandering the streets.
We did our best to stroll around this picturesque city, but to stay cool, get out on the water a couple times.
We made a gondola trip as well as a private boat ride during sunset, both which were lovely.
The Dolomites are a mountain range in the northern Italian Alps, 18 prominent peaks which rise above to 3000 meters. Stunning views, Quaint villages, unique culture and lots of outdoor activities. The region feels more like Austria that Italy, which makes sense since it only became part of Italy at the end of WWI. The region is so beautiful – the medieval buildings are surrounded by emerald color valleys and beautiful jagged peaks. We had three days to enjoy this gorgeous region.
Day 1: Verona, Lake Garda and Selva
Despite the actual distance being longer, the time was about the same so we decided to go via Padua, Verona and Lake Garda and make a couple stops along the way up.
We briefly stopped in Padua for a quick walk through town and a gelato but really decided to spend our time in Verona. We had both been to Padua as kids so it was more about going back but we didn’t stay long. It was very hot in Verona, so we did a quick walk through town to see the Coloseum, the old city walls and of course, Juliet’s balcony. We also had lunch in town at il Punto Rosa Hosteria, for some of the best pasta of the trip.
We also stopped by Lake Garda as well but really didn’t have the time to appreciate this area. I would love to go back though – it reminded me of Lake Tahoe and felt like a great place to swim and boat with enough time.
We eventually made it to our base in Selva, just in time to enjoy an apertivo and dinner at our hotel, Acadia Mountain House.
Day 2: Via Ferata Tridentina
I had been dreaming of coming to the Dolomites and trying one of the many via fermatas. We chose to stay in Selva due to its proximity to Tridentina, a famous via ferata known to be difficult but also scenic, and also had a mixture of terrain including iron rungs, scrambles, bridges and more.
There was definitely traffic on the route, making it require some waiting time as we got higher up. It took us nearly 3 hours to get up, and we then went to the mountain hut to take in the scenery and have lunch. We had some aperol spritz and pasta and just enjoyed the view from the top.
Eventually, we had to make our way down which was a different route as the via ferata was one way. It was very steep and long, and a pretty painful trip down. I was wishing we were on a mountain with a cable car to have been able to skip this!
We eventually got down, caught the bus back to Selva and had an apertivo at the hotel before heading out to dinner.
Day 3: Seceda
We decided to have a more relaxed day and drove to the Seceda cable car. We took two cable cars to connect up to the top of Secede, 2500 meters and take in the view. We spent the afternoon walking around the top of the mountain and also had lunch at the top.
We then returned back to Selva to just enjoy the town. We walked around and eventually had a drink at the bar at Hotel Oswald (an apertivo), before then heading out to for dinner.