Hello All, First time to Italy and would like to spend several days to a week in the Alps' foothills. I'm not a skier or mountain climber, just a hiker/photographer. Should I be prepared to freeze my buns off in late Sept / early Oct? Any suggestions what town I should base myself in? Thanks, Dan
Hi Dan, Chances of "freezing your buns off" is slim. We've been in late Sept. to late Oct. and never froze our buns. At night and early mornings can be cold (chilly if you're lucky) this time of year. Our last trip during the last week of Sept. '09 we had days in the low 60's to low 70's. This is pretty much the same experience we had on a few trips in Oct. Why the foothills? The Dolomites are incedible. At this time of year there are still some cable cars/lifts operating, taking you effortlessly up into the amazing Dolomites. I'll run out of superlatives eventually! My opinion is to base in the Val Gardena if using public transportation (buses). With a car, I'd suggest anywhere between Val Gardena and Cortina d'Ampezzo. We like the Alta Badia best for scenery. Driving a few Dolomite Passes brings you up close and personal to the Dolomite peaks (as do lifts). The drives are spectacular in and of themselves. We have some photo's (3 pages) at: www.worldisround.com/home/pja1/index.html www.val-gardena.com www.valgardena.it/en/lifts/page65.html www.altabadia.it www.altabadia.org/2281.pdf These schedules haven't been updated yet, but you can use them as a guidline. Hope this helps. Paul
Thanks, Paul, for your response. I presumed the higher elevations would be too cold for my purposes, but will reconsider. I appreciate your suggestions and will investigate. Regards, Dan
You're welcome. I (we) think late Sept./Oct. is the ideal time to visit the Dolomites and the Alps in general. We are not climbers or hikers, but like to take cable cars and walks amongst the peaks. Paul
Consider the Valle d' Aosta. Aosta is a fascinating town nestled between The Matterhorn and Mt Blanc. There is a tram between Chamonix in France and Aosta that runs over Mt Blanc and the views are amazing. It is chilly up on Mt Blanc, but the valleys are nice in Oct. There is an interesting castle in Fenis, just south of Aosta. There are many trails in the area, even one going up the Matterhorn and a national park outside Aosta. Have fun!
If you want a "back door" do the Alps, go to the one-way-locked valleys of Aosta region. There are many of them (all require a car for good mobility around).
Thank you James and Andre for your input. I will research your suggestions too. Regards, Dan