I had decided when booking my trip to do a day tour that left from Venice. It was an absolute necessity to see the Dolomites and the small town of Cortina. These two destinations had been on my to-do-list for quite some time, and to say the very least I was not disappointed.
Now, for my clients, I would not recommend doing a full day tour if you only have two nights total in Venice. It is already very difficult to pick and chose what to do in such a large city with such a small amount of time. But if you have the time, this tour is most definitely one of my favorites that we took on this trip.
I knew I would be tired from tours around Venice the day before but, I bucked up. The positive side is that the sun rises in Venice at about 5 AM. That helps when you have to be at a meeting point at 7:30A. It does not however, assist in forcing two teenagers out of bed. Eventually we were able to get up and enjoy breakfast downstairs, indulging so that we would not need to eat a large lunch. I opted for a water taxi to take us to the meeting point (Tronchetto where most of the tours depart from). It’s about 20 minutes from Venice Island. Your hotel can easily set one up for you.
Meeting our tour was a breeze. The company I used was one I often sell, Adventure Bellissime. They are phenomenal and have a proven track record. I love them. As do my clients. The tour was called Small Group Dolomites and Cortina Trip. It’s an 8 1/2 hour tour. There were four other people, making 7 in total. I much prefer a small group tour. This tour can also be booked fully private and if you have the funds I would opt for the private tour as you have a bit more freedom.
Our first stop was a small Italian village called Piave De Cadore, the birthplace of the famous Renaissance painter Titian.
Titian family home:
It was a bit overcast when we visited here but, still, it was a charming little village.
After downing an expresso or two, we were on our way. Next stop… Lake Santa Caterina.
This place was magical! I felt like I was in the Sound of Music. The beautiful little chalets with the mountains in the background. It was breathtaking. It’s hard to see the famous Tre Come Di Laveredo is back there between the clouds. Pictures honestly do not do this view justice. You have a bit of time to grab a photo or two (in this case with these two girls 400).
After all the excitement of the lakes, we headed to a small trattoria for lunch, and the food was out of this world. At this point … this was our millionth gnocchi dish. This time it was pumpkin and pesto. It was beginning to become an obsession.
After lunch we started our way through the Dolomites. Now, for us, we didn’t have the best weather. It went from rain to snow and back to rain. Here is what we should have seen :
To bad for us we saw this :
Now, don’t let this discourage you. Weather is a fickle thing. I would do this tour a thousand times over. This tour ended up being one of the most memorable and best parts of my Italian Adventure. I loved every second of it. Even the clouds!
We were headed to Cortina. The famous skiing village and home of the 1956 Winter Olympics. Such an impressive little town, we loved it. Only 30 miles from the Austrian border and let me tell you, you don’t feel like you are in Italy at all.
The drive back to Venice was about an hour, and we were pretty beat. It had been a long day but, worth every minute. I would book this tour again in a heartbeat. I loved it. I highly recommend this to all my clients. If you have the time to do it… DO IT. You will not regret it.