Driving from Venice to Bolzano

Hi all... We are going to Venice in early October, then will rent a car and drive to Bolzano (one overnight), and then two days in Varenna. My question is, should we take the Autostrada to get to Bolzano, or is the Great Dolomite Road worth the time? Is the GDR safe to drive? Guardrails? How long would it take from Venice? Thank you! Excited for my first trip to Venice and up north!!

Posted by Bob
617 posts

Hi Craig. The roads in Italy are very safe and well maintained. We took a scenic route thru mtns in this area instead of the freeway, and it was: - very safe; guardrails on curves - very scenic - much slower than freeway - quite memorable.
If you have time and inclination, I would encourage. If in a hurry, freeway will be faster and more relaxing. Enjoy your trip!

Posted by Paul
NYC area
1783 posts

Hi Craig, On a clear day (excellent chance in Oct.), include the Dolomites. It will be a long day, but worth it. Head to Cortina d'Ampezzo, head west through the Alta Badia, over the Gardena Pass, then the Sella Pass to the Val d'Egga and Bolzano. Question: why stay in Bolzano? Pick a place in the Alta Badia or even the Val Gardena instead. We can recommend these: www.montanara.it www.garniariston.com We have pic's at: http://www.worldisround.com/home/pja1/index.html http://www.worldisround.com/articles/355539/index.html Paul

Posted by Craig
Syosset, NY
5 posts

HI Paul, My wife wants to see the Ice Man in Bolzano which is the whole reason we're heading up north from Venice. Only one night in Bolzano and then off to Lake Como the next day.... So you think it's doable to drive Great Dolomoite Road, spend time in Bolzano and then head to the Lake? Thanks, Craig

Posted by Rik
Vicenza, Italy
708 posts

Be sure to check with the rental car place, there are places in the mountains where snow chains are required by law.

Posted by Devra
Lake Forest, CA
201 posts

We drove to Bolzano from Austria, so can't help you there, but we did like the town of Bolazano. Found the museum easily in the center of old town. It was on a corner, with flags indicating the ice man. We were there in late September and stood in line about 45 mins. I would stay over night in this city, it had a lot going on, but we had to get back to Austria, which was cold and rainy that day, as opposed to the at least 80 degrees in Bolzano. Devra

Posted by Paul
NYC area
1783 posts

Hi Craig, I wouldn't be concerned with snow chains or even snow in early October. We've driven the area a few times in mid October. No need to drive "The Great Dolomite Road" as guide books say. Just a pass or 2 is more than enough. The drive I suggested would be about 6 hours. You could go via highway (Trento) in under 4 hours. The Val Gardena and some terrific Dolomite scenery is just 45 minutes from Bolzano. We saw the Ice Man also. I would figure on an hour, depending on crowds. We were staying in Val Gardena, drove the 45 minute to Bolzano and luckily found the Museum right away. Paul