The South Tyrol region of Italy has Michelin-starred restaurants, Sound of Music-style UNESCO World Heritage scenery, ideal for hiking and biking, and its own language
I wasn’t sure exactly where I was going when I said yes to a summer mountain trip to the South Tyrol region of Italy. I’ve been lucky enough to go to many of the better-known European ski areas in the winter (Courchevel 1850, Alpe d’Huez, Morzine) but never in the summer. Also, as few of the UK’s tour operators go to the area, which is part of the Dolomites range, it’s not (yet) high on Brits’ radar.
But it is well worth the two-and-a-half hour drive north of Verona to Ortisei, a small town in the valley of Val Gardena and 1,200m above sea level. The banks above the town are covered with pine trees, and slope down to the village with its gingerbread-style houses, 5,000 inhabitants and three Michelin-starred restaurants.
We’re only an hour’s drive from the Austrian border, and the towns here have German names too: St Ulrich in Gröden is Ortisei’s alternative moniker.