Scaling the Dolamites

The hills are alive

Day 4 — Location Castel Rotto on June 16, 2014


Austrian Italy

  • Large dolomite graveyard2

  • Large dolomite graveyard

  • Large dolomite building1

  • Large dolomite building2

  • Large castelroto

  • Large castelroto2

  • Large castelroto3

  • Current
  • Thumb dolomite graveyard2
  • Thumb dolomite graveyard
  • Thumb dolomite building1
  • Thumb dolomite building2
  • Thumb castelroto
  • Thumb castelroto2
  • Thumb castelroto3

What an incredible place! Castel Rotto and the dolomites was a beautiful area that resembled Austria more than it did Italy, probably because it was once part of the Austrian state of South Tyrol until WWI. Castel Rotto was much more Germanic, unlike anything we had expected to see in Italy! Instead of pasta and wine, we dined on sausage, speck – a prosciutto made of beef, and German beer.

Gondola and Hiking

  • Large dolomite landscape1

  • Large dolomite landscape2

  • Large dolomite landscape3

  • Large dolomite landscape4

  • Large dolomite landscape5

  • Large dolomite landscape6

  • Large dolomite landscape7

  • Large dolomite landscape8

  • Large dolomite landscape9

  • Large dolomite landscape10

  • Large dolomite landscape12

  • Current
  • Thumb dolomite landscape1
  • Thumb dolomite landscape2
  • Thumb dolomite landscape3
  • Thumb dolomite landscape4
  • Thumb dolomite landscape5
  • Thumb dolomite landscape6
  • Thumb dolomite landscape7
  • Thumb dolomite landscape8
  • Thumb dolomite landscape9
  • Thumb dolomite landscape10
  • Thumb dolomite landscape12

The rolling green hills and mountains looked like a scene straight out of the Sound of Music. Our tour group spent the whole day hiking through the Dolomites. The weather cooperated and we were able to hike farther and longer than any tour group that our guide had previously been on. Because the weather was so nice, our guide Trina adapted to the circumstances and recommended that we all get gondola passes to take us up to the top of the mountain to have lunch. This is also one of the great things about the Rick Steves’ tours- that guides are equipped with the knowledge and creativity that allows them to adapt to any circumstance and to truly allow the tour members to get the most out of their experiences. The rolling hills of the Dolomites looked like a scene straight out of “The Sound of Music.” We got another perspective on the culture of this place as our guide told us about the witch hunts and trials as well as the myths and legends that these villages were founded on. She painted for us a picture of fear and superstition that was hard to imagine in such a breathtakingly beautiful place.

German Lunch

  • Large dolomites mountain

  • Large dolomites mountain2

  • Large dolomites mountain3

  • Large dolomites mountain4

  • Large dolomites mountain5

  • Large dolomites mountain6

  • Large dolomites mountain7

  • Current
  • Thumb dolomites mountain
  • Thumb dolomites mountain2
  • Thumb dolomites mountain3
  • Thumb dolomites mountain4
  • Thumb dolomites mountain5
  • Thumb dolomites mountain6
  • Thumb dolomites mountain7

The gondola ride to the top of the mountain was a long trip that took over 10 minutes and provided a spectacular view of mist shrouded hills and grazing sheep. At the top of the mountain, we had a delicious German lunch of beer, sausage, and speck. We even tried the special dish that our guide Trina recommended - Kaiserschmarrn “Kaiser’s mess,” which basically consisted of a buttery pancake with ligonberry sauce and powdered sugar. It was apparently the dessert of choice of a certain historical Kaiser as a way for him to rebel against the strict diet his wife had imposed on him.