If you are a fan of road trips, the Grande Strada delle Dolomiti (Great Dolomite Road) is a must-do scenic route alone. It goes down as one of the best drives I’ve done to date – simply amazing.
There’s plenty of turns and ascends/descends as you will be rewarded with the most amazing views of the Italian alps.
DAY 2: Great Dolomite road to Venice
Before going on this trip, I had researched possible routes around Italy. The Great Dolomite Road popped up along with the Amalfi Coast as one of the world’s best. It posed a bit of a tricky route coming from Lake Como, because you’ll have to return down the path you take, passing the outskirts of Milan and Bergamo before heading north east to the start of the trail at Bolzano.
The road runs for 110 kilometres (West to East) and is a combination of the SS241 and SS48 that takes you to Cortina d’Ampezzo via Val di Fassa. It doesn’t sound like a long drive, with several hairpin turns (about 75 of them) give yourself plenty of time.
You will definitely want to take a couple of stops to explore as you pass through ski resorts, mountain villages and amazing photo opportunities.
At the start of the trail, you’ll know you’re on the right path when you come across some of the bluest water you’ll find.
The road then winds up and around the mountain range, where the temperature can drop by 10-15 degrees. As you make your way around the bends, new sights reveal themselves. And even on the overcast day we experienced, I was still in awe of where we were.
You get this feeling of insignificance, when you consider how big these alps are.
Going quickly through the route takes roughly two and a half to three hours, but I would thoroughly recommend staying in one of the small towns and spending a bit of time exploring. The places are quaint and quiet, very much away from any chaos.
We missed the chance to stay as we’d already booked accommodation in Venice, a further hour and a half on the autostrade from Cortina d’Ampezzo at the end of the road.