The Dolomite Mountains in Italy's northeast provide a wide variety of activities in spectacular scenery! The area was the site of ferocious fighting during World War I. The area was ceded to Italy after the Austro-Hungarian Empire's defeat. You'll find influences from both countries, including the local dialect Ladino.
Cortina d'Ampezzo hosted the 1956 Winter Olympics and will host the 2026 Winter Olympics. The fabled ski resorts are also great locales for summer sports. The gondolas and ski lifts bring you as high as 10,000 feet. Hikers can choose from easy to difficult paths, including the Vie Ferrate, the "iron roads" of spikes hammered into the cliffs established during WWI to assist soldiers' climbs. Choose a town or two to use as a base for day hikes or hike between mountaintop lodges or cabins.
It is possible to bicycle (mostly downhill) from Italy to Austria through a scenic valley just north of the mountains. There are numerous bike paths of varying difficulty that keep you out of traffic.
Start or end your trip in Venice and visit the main area for prosecco production on the way.
Lake Garda is to the west of the Dolomites. The area boasts water sports and paragliding for the truly adventurous traveler. "Fair" Verona is also nearby.
Driving Distances: Venice-2hours; Munich-4 hours; Milan-4.5 hours