FATHOM - The Top 15 Places to Travel in 2019

Dolomites, Italy

Is there anything undiscovered in Italy? No, though you may be the first of your friends to have visited the Dolomites, the unsung hero of the country and, frankly, the Alps. Recently named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the area is a year-round attraction. The winter season (November through March) is the time for skiing, ice climbing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and dogsledding, while the warmer months are for hiking, biking, mountain climbing, paragliding, and meandering in the valleys. The Dolomite region is where German meets Italian, as reflected in the language (town names are listed as “Bolzano” and also “Bozen”) and the award-winning cuisine (you’ll eat more speck than prosciutto, and lots and lots of dumplings) that pairs beautifully with local wines and prosecco. As for hotels, Lefay Resort & Spa, the sister hotel to their glorious Lake Garda spa, is the hotly anticipated arrival for summer 2019. Already amazing are Rosa Alpina in Alta Badia, which recently renovated an impressive penthouse suite; Cristallo Resort & Spa in Cortina d’Ampezzo, the chicest town in the area; Hotel Ciasa Salares, a family-run 50-room hotel with five restaurants; and Chalet del Sogno, a cozy-as-can-be eighteen-suite haven in Madonna di Campiglio. If you want help making the most of your outdoor activities, get in touch with the adventure company Dolomite Mountains to organize bespoke and group ski safaris, summer and fall hiking, biking, as well as multi-sport trips for individuals, groups, and families. On Foot Holidays organizes week-long, self-guided walking excursions from July to early September, traversing ground from South Tyrol to Cortina, with a night spent in a mountain rifugio (refuge). Easily accessible from both Milan and Venice, the Dolomites are an easy addition to any northern Italian itinerary, especially if nature is on the agenda, given the mountains, lakes, meadows, vineyards, and forests that fill the Dolomites. That the dramatic, jagged peaks were coral reefs millions of years ago may explain why they maintain a rosy hue in the sunlight today, and also why Le Corbusier proclaimed the Dolomites not only the most beautiful mountains but also “the most beautiful architectural construction in the world.”
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