Dolomite Mountains and Cortina Small Group

Getting to the meetup point

11 minute Vaporetto ride

Boarding the Vaporetto Line #2 at Piazzale Roma on a nice 70 degree day we are headed for the Trochetta parking garage stop.  Upon departing the Vaporetto we met our tour operator Marco holding a small Dolomite Mountains and Cortina Small Group sign. In total the group consisted of two eight person vans. Van assignment was done based on order of check-in. Ours was the first to depart.

Heading towards our destination

1.5 hour drive

Along with our Tour Guide – Marco, we began the pleasant drive to Pieve di Cadore in a roomy and spacious Mercedes van.  The roads started as mostly interstate highways but gradually changed to smaller, windy, tree-lined roads.  We passed through several smalls towns along the route such as Villanova, Longarone, and Roggia.  As the roads turned more steep and mountainous we navigated several tunnels and narrow bridges.

Pieve di Cadore, Italy

40 minute stop

We arrived at Pieve di Cadore, a municipality famous for the paintings of Tiziano Vecelli (Titian). Titian designed decorations for the church at Pieve we visited, but Sunday mass was in progress and we were not able to photograph his work. Instead, our guide took us to a viewing platform of the Dolomites and gave us some basic facts about the mountain range and its formation some 30 million years ago.  He also explained a quick layout of the town and turned us loose for some free time.

Dam of Santa Caterina, Italy

20 minute stop

The Dam of Santa Caterina was constructed in 1930 to form an artificial lake.  Bordering the municipality of Auronzo di Cadore this area comprises Lake Auronzo and a view of three distinctive battlement-like peaks of the Dolomites.  Until 1919, these peaks formed part of a border boundary marking Italy and Austria.

Cristallo Albergo Hotel & Restaurant – Belluno, Italy

15 minute stop | 1 hour journey from the Dam of Santa Caterina

Photo stop and bathroom break providing great scenery.

Municipality of Montana Centro Cadore, Italy

20 minute stop

Arriving at the Municipality of Montana Centro Cadore we have achieved our highest point of the trip at 6,233 ft.  It is here we find the beautiful tree laden Lake Antorno with an adorable mountaintop backdrop. In the short time provided we are able to walk a complete circumference of the lake.

Inn at Lake Misurina, Italy

1.5 hour stop

We dined on a fare of Spaghetti de Ragu at the Inn alongside Lake Misurina complete with its fantastic setting and views.

Scenic walk around Lake Misurina

30 minutes walk

After lunch we walked the scenic side of Lake Misurina before meeting at the rendezvous point. Now reassembled we are on our way again.

Scenic Roadside Stop

20 minute stop

Several miles from Lake Misurina we made a brief scenic stop for more photos.  During this stop, we learned that the Yellow stripped poles that many had noticed along the way are used to identify the edges of the road during large snowfalls.  The first of which is normally seen in the area around September.

Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy

45 minute stop

Arriving in the ski town of Cortina d’Ampezzo the elevation is 4,016 ft.  An Olympic Ski Jump designed for the 1956 Winter games stands here.   This is viewable on the right-hand side of the van when leaving town.  We walked around the town a bit, but since it was Sunday and out of season, most of the shops were closed.

Return to Venice, Italy

2 hour drive

Leaving Cortina d’Ampezzo, we made the drive back to Venice after a spectacular day of sightseeing in the Dolomites.  Returning to our original departure point, we boarded the Vaporatto and headed back to our hotel.

Cruise Port: Venice, Italy

Tour Name: Dolomite Mountains and Cortina Small Group

Tour Operator/Guide: Viator Tour/Marco