The Dolomites

I remember the beauty of the Dolomites from the train on my first trip to Italy and was happy to come back. It's a bit out of the way but relaxing once you arrive.

Day 1: Venice to Castelrotto

We had to wait for the second #5.2 vaporetto leaving Venice because the first was full. We barely got on the second; they didn’t want anyone with luggage. They recommended others take the #1 boat. (Bigger and easier to get on and off. Slower trip.) We got to the train station an hour before our train. In Trento there was something animal going on. Many people on the train had animal shirts, etc. We found out there was a 5000 person march. It looked like passengers were allowed to leave luggage on the train? Anyway, it took us two trains and a bus to get to Castelrotto. The views from the bus were gorgeous.

It took some work finding our hotel. Our first path up the hill from the bus station was blocked; the second one through an outdoor cafe worked. Check in was at a different hotel than the one we stayed at. We met another guest at the hotel who let us in. Steve waited with the bags while I went to get directions from Tourist Info to the other hotel. I should have taken the passports! We had drinks at the honor bar and met Rick Steves tour group members.

We had reservations at Saalstuben restaurant. They had put our reservation on the wrong day but we got a table. After dinner we walked around the cute village and saw some fast cars. We tried a campari and soda from the honor bar when we got back. Not fans.

Day 2: Alpe di Siusi

We checked out the breakfast spread at our hotel. It didn’t look like €15 so we walked to the supermarket and waited with a dozen others for it to open. Many headed straight for the bread. We bought wild boar sausage and pastries. The apple were really good. Then we headed to Alpe di Siusi for some hiking and scenery.

mountain view

We wanted early pizza but had to wait until they opened at 5:30 so we did some laundry and tasks. Our pizza order got mixed up but the ham and onion with no cheese was surprisingly good. So was the 007 pizza with garlic mayo. The views from the restaurant terrace were as good as advertised. At the honor bar we discovered Captain Morgan’s with water. Mmm.

Day 3: Calvary Hill in Castelrotto

Rain was forecasted for today so we stayed in town and slept for as long as we wanted and then walked up to the top of the hill in town where there were beautiful views of the bell tower with the Schlern in the background.

Then we checked out because we have an early start tomorrow, bought breakfast at the supermarket, and then passionfruit and amaretto gelato that we ate sitting in the square. We like the small town/village atmosphere here. Relaxing, quaint, and homey. Our room overlooks the square. 

Then showers, a drink, and back to Saalstuben for dinner because we liked it so much. Where we sat next to two guys who were roommates at Calvin College (about 75 miles from our house). What are the odds?

Essentials​

Lodging

The Hotel Cavallino D’Oro was the most expensive place we stayed on our trip but we had a spacious room and the honor bar and lounge downstairs was a nice touch. We still didn’s have a fan, but it was cooler here in the mountains. We are liking the bidets.

Dining

We had dinner twice at Saalstuben because Steve’s goulash was so good the first night was had to go back so I could try it. There aren’t a lot of dining options in the village but there are enough. 

Transportation

Getting to Castelrotto requires a bus but it’s more like an intercity coach than a city bus. We had an early train out but the first bus out in the morning got us there on time. A shuttle makes it easy to get to Alpe di Siusi, and hotels hand out a travel bas that covers both the bus and the shuttle. We walked everywhere in the village.