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May 05th, 2014

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Did you know northern Italy is a study in sublime contradictions?

Just hours from the floating city of Venice, with its network of canals through ancient lagoons, an Italy vacations experience of elevated majesty in the spectacular Dolomite Mountains awaits the adventurous.

Italy vacation packages can help travellers enjoy the extremes found in the beautifully varied landscape of Italy, when Venice Tours along the Adriatic Sea are combined with a small group day trip excursion to the Dolomite Mountains and Cortina.

Avventure Bellissime’s English-speaking driver guides will escort a minimum of four to a maximum of eight visitors from Venice for a day-long trip to well over 7,500 square feet above sea level. April to October, tours operate daily and then on select days throughout the week.

At any time of year the mountainous climate can be a little cooler than the seaside, although the Italian Dolomites are known to be warmer and more temperate than elsewhere in the Alps. It’s wise to wear layers and bring some warmer clothing along just in case you feel chilled as you ascend the mountain range.

Breathtaking seems an inadequate description for the views you will enjoy as you drive into the Dolomite Mountains from Venice. The landscape changes as you wind your way upward along the roads toward the peaks and you will want to bring your camera to capture the view at various points along the way.

The varied and distinct landforms along the route comprise what many in the global community believe to be the most beautiful mountains in Europe. So special are many of the geographic components here that more than 140,000 hectares have been declared a World Heritage site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

What will you see on this excursion? Simply stunning sheer cliffs overlooking deep verdant valleys, incredible peaks sculpted by time and the elements, and monumental limestone formations born of the ages.

What makes these mountains distinctive and recognizable are the rock formations that rise in a vertical symphony of colour and shape, reaching toward the sky as stony pinnacles and spires.

Our knowledgeable driver-guide will regale your group with informative stories, bringing the rich history and culture of this area of Northern Italy to life as you journey to viewpoints, walk around the emerald lakes, and stop to explore the town where the Renaissance painter Titian was born.

While ordinary Italians will often book themselves into simple refugios (lodges) in the mountains that are plain and functional, the aristocratic and wealthy head to the alpine resort Cortina. It is always a popular stop on our day tour for both its eclectic mix of Cosmopolitan shops and the incredible scenery.

If you aren’t an avid skier you may be interested to learn that this world-renowned ski resort community hosted the Winter Olympics in 1956 and has made it onto the silver screen in many famous movies, notably The Pink Panther (1963) and the James Bond movie For Your Eyes Only (1981).

We couldn’t let you leave the Dolomites without taking you for a walk on the level terrain to see the best-known of all the peaks in this range. The Tre Cime di Lavaredo (three peaks of Lavaredo) are now in Italian territory but prior to the First World War they marked the border between Italy and Austria. The peaks from east to west are called Cima Piccola (little peak), Cima Grande (big peak), and Cima Ovest (western peak) and the view is majestic.

A well-planned and escorted day trip, like this small group day trip excursion to the Dolomite Mountains and Cortina, is a great addition to Italy vacations of any length. Contact the Avventure Bellissime team for help to plan your next Italy trip, Venice tours, and other exciting excursions.

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