My family of four is headed to Italy. We will be taking the train from Venice to Bolzano and then are headed to Castelrotto for hiking in the Dolomites. Is it best to take the bus to Castelrotto or to rent a car? We've never rented a car in Europe, but would do so if it's 1) worth it in terms of what we'd be able to see by car and 2) if a bus would severely limit our ability to get around. Thank You.
Angie, I travelled to Castelrotto by Bus last September and found that to be very easy. Not having a car wasn't a problem, as there are Buses to Alpi di Siusi and other places. I suppose the decision on whether or not to rent a car would depend on what you plan on seeing and doing in that area. Happy travels!
Why is it that everybody in RS' website wants to go to Castelrotto? There are actually other towns in the Dolomites. How about trying Ortisei (St. Ulrich), just 10 km away, which is even better and better connected by bus (or train to Ponte Gardena+bus)? Anybody here willing to explore outside of RS' path?
Bus worked great for us. Hiking was great.
@Roberto We explored both towns. Are we outliers?
Roberto - that question gets more hilarious every time it's asked - except for the pop through the nose. I don't read RS books but just taking a look at his online blurb Hiking the Dolomites he only mentions Castelrotto - I guess that's the reason RS followers only go there.
Bruce I'll send you a Pioneer Explorer award for venturing outside of the places mentioned in RS' book.
Space is available for the Pioneer Explorer award on my Boy Scout sash.
@Roberto, It looked like a beautiful area and I hadn't been to Castelrotto before, so I figured it was worth a stop. I enjoyed my time there and don't regret my decision. Next time I'll try somewhere else in that area. Cheers!
I agree with Roberto, the Val Gardena would be a better place to base. Castelrotto is near the Dolomites, not among them.
Angie, we went to Castelrotto (Kastleruth) June 23, 2013 and took the bus. The bus is easy. Just get off the train from Verona, take a left out the station doors and buy a ticket at the bus office. Car or bus is personal preference, but a car can be 80 Euro/day and a bus will be 20 Euro round trip for the family. It will take more time out of your visit dealing with a car and parking than it will to hop on and off the bus. Also, the bus to the alp de suisse is easy to catch (the orange ones). One caveat is that we stayed in town (Cavallino hotel) which is central to everything. I also would like to weigh in on Roberto's comments. RS is a guide for exploring,and customizing to your tastes. If you follow his recommendations you hardly ever go wrong and he does make things less stressful than winging things with a family depending on you. That said, we follow Rick for the highlights and hotel recommendations and then explore the "hidden" places we find once we get there. Getting lost can be a good thing sometimes. We travel 5 weeks in Greece, Croatia, Italy at all RS recommended places except 2, and the only problems we had were with the 2 non-RS lodging. Over the years using RS we have only had one problem with a RS recommendation out of 50+ stays. Use RS as recommendations, and then explore from there. Enjoy your trip.
I vote for the Val Gardena and Ortisei in particular, and most Italians would agree with me. I don't care about what RS says. And if one is in that area, I would also recommend to visit Lake Garda (Sirmione, Limone, Riva, Malcesine in particular). If one follows exclusively RS' books, you would think that the only lakes in Italy are Lake Como and Lake Maggiore, with only one town in each (Varenna and Stresa respectively).