Italian Dolomites Group Highlights
Widely regarded as being among the most attractive mountain landscapes in the world, the World Heritage Committee officially designated the Dolomite Mountains as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009. These mountains are a unique corner of the Alps, notable for their composition of pale colored dolomite – a limestone like rock formed beneath deep, ancient seas – set atop darker volcanic bedding.
Before the First World War, this area was part of Austria, and guests will discover the combined Austrian-Italian culture in the food, architecture, and language. They will explore the Galleria del Lagazuoi on a behind-the-scenes tour on foot, a fascinating open-air WWI museum carved into the mountains. Italian and Austro–Hungarian armies dug shelters out of the mountains, transforming them into an impenetrable 20th century fortress of tunnels, trenches, and machine gun posts.
Guests will also experience the adrenaline rush of climbing a via ferrata – the “iron paths” of the Dolomites constructed during WWI. Climbing a via ferrata is an exhilarating way to enjoy the magnificence and sheer magnitude of the Dolomites. In this awesome mountain environment, protected on a rock wall high above the valley floor, you will be stopped in your tracks by amazing views while you learn valuable mountain safety skills.
The impressiveness of the scenery and the variety of terrain on this route is matched by the warmth and hospitality of the local communities. As guests move through the dolomites, they will have the opportunity to eat world class cuisine that represents the unique combination of their Italian and Austrian heritage, including Michelin starred restaurants. Explore the best of this fairy-tale setting – incredible scenery, gorgeous hotels, hidden mountain inns, warm hospitality, fascinating history, and delectable cuisine – and combine it with great outdoor activities, for a truly unforgettable experience in the Dolomites.
Guests arrive at Venice Airport which connects to most major European gateway airports with direct flights from cities in the US including New York, Atlanta, and Philadelphia. The Dolomites are easily accessible by private transfer (1:50 drive).
For most of their time in the Dolomites, guests will be based in a locally owned and operated 4-star hotel where they will experience authentic local hospitality. However, to truly experience the Dolomites, a one night stay in a traditional rifugio is a must. “Rifugi” translates as mountain refuge, and many of them can only be supplied by Aerial cable car or helicopter. Guests hike in, but there is no need to carry anything more than the days water and a snack as everything else is proved in the rifugio where the local food represents the best of the region and is plentiful.