The picturesque village of Ortisei sits in stunning Val Gardena, in northern Italy. With foothills rising up to the meadows and jagged peaks of the UNESCO-listed Dolomites, it’s a great hiking base. Plus, Ortiesi has a rich cultural heritage and an iconic building style that make it a compelling destination.
As the hub of the South Tyrol, Bolzano offers the chance to sample an unusual Italian-German culture. Toss in some peaceful strolling spots, museums, local markets, vineyards, and scenic hikes, and Bolzano is well worth a visit.
Turin, with its rich history, architecture, and culture, is home to some great museums. Plus, the city has some great food spots, like Eataly. Finally, only Turin has the annual “That’s A Mole” competition, which offers humorous takes on the city’s most iconic building.
Gran Paradiso National Park, located in northern Italy near the French and Swiss borders, is off-the-beaten path for most Americans. That’s probably why the idea of hiking there appealed to my husband David and me.