Italian Alps-Contina D'Appezzo

Hello and ciao! My 24 year old daughter and I (her adventurous mom) will be making our annual September trip to Italy. I would like to venture into the Italian Alps for 4 days via car and end up in Milan where we will be flying out of. We have already taken Ricks advice a couple of years ago and experienced the beauty of the Swiss Alps; Murren and the Bernese Oberland. We hike and bike, but nothing extreme. I currently am planning on staying in Cortina D'Appezzo, but am wondering if there is a better, more beautiful place in the Italian Alps. We may want to venture to Innsbruck for a day trip, but that is not a high priority. I look forward to your response. Rebecca
San Antonio, Texas

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
3343 posts

Stay in Ortisei, in the Val Gardena. It's cheaper than Cortina, just as (or more) beautiful than Cortina, fewer pretentious multimillionaires, and closer to the A22 freeway for an easy run to Innsbruck for the day (from Ortisei to Innsbruck it's only 1.5 hours), if you wish. From Ortisei you can take the Dolomites route through Passo Sella, Passo Pordoi etc. You can still visit Cortina, which is only 1.5 hours from Ortisei, via an outstanding drive through the Gardena Pass, the Val Badia, the Val Parola and the Falzarego Pass. Your camera will explode in your hands at the sight of such beautiful mountains.

Posted by rebecca
san antonio, texas, isa
7 posts

Roberto- Mille grazie for your very informative response. I have never heard of Ortisei, but looked it up, like the proximity to Bolzano, Innsbruck, A22, etc., and have decided to stay there for our Italian Alpini experience. It looks like hiking is a more common activity in Ortisei as well. I hope my new camera can handle all the pics! Thanks again for your positive and helpful advice.
Rebecca

Posted by Paul
NYC area
1434 posts

Hi Rebecca, Been to this area of the Dolomites a number of times the last few years. I agree, skip staying in Cortina. I'd forego Ortisei in favor of the other two villages in the Val Gardena, either St. Christna or Selva. They are all just 5 minutes from one another, so all are easily accessible. The Val Gardena is laid out as such: the A22 and 20 or so minutes later you're in Ortisei. 5 min. more it's St. Christina. Another 5 min. comes Selva. Then come the amazing Gardena Pass, which links the Val Gardena to the Alta Badia. Depending on when in Sept. you'll be staying, some, but not all, the cable cars/lifts close mid to late Sept. There will be enough that stay open in late Sept. to mid October for your 4 day stay though. The Alta Badia also makes a great place to base. We like the scenery in this valley better than the Val Gardena. Just our preference. We liked this place to stay in the Val Gardena: www.garniariston.com We love this place in the Alta Badia: www.montanara.it Paul

Posted by Laurel
Rome, Italy
2208 posts

Just got back from Val Gardena/Ortisei and the Alpe di Siusi, our second trip in two years. You will LOVE it. More here on the Alpe and here in Ortisei and environs.

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
3343 posts

Rebecca. I agree that both Selva and Santa Cristina in the Val Gardena are also very quaint. My preference however goes to Ortisei because it is a little bigger and there is a little more night activity "downtown" in the evening compared to the other two (during the day you will be hiking or driving in the Dolomites, so it won't matter). I was there last 3 weeks ago and they even had night classic concerts by the local band. In terms of quaintness,, all those towns are quaint little Sud Tyrol villages, so it really depends if you'd rather be in a small village or a slightly bigger town.

Posted by Paul
NYC area
1434 posts

Roberto makes a good point about Ortisei, as it's larger than the other two and has a cute pedestrian only zone. We prefer smaller, quieter villages. That's just us. Between the towns/villages of the Val Gardena or Alta Badia you really can't go wrong at all.

Posted by rebecca
san antonio, texas, isa
7 posts

All- Thanks so much for the informative replies, plus great photos. With a single 24 year old daughter, I know she'll want to stay in a place with a little more night life and activity, so I think Ortisei will be a good option for us on this journey. And based on all the hiking, sightseeing suggestions I have received, I will skip Innsbruck and opt for hitting the trails. 4 days is not long enough, but all I have allotted. I will be driving from Rome-San Gimignano-Fiesole-Ravenna (day trip) then Venice, over a 2 week period, so I think the last thing I'll want to do is drive some more! Thanks again...I will post my final itinerary prior to our departure.
Rebecca