The stunning silence of the Dolomites
Menacing and magnificent, a kaleidiscope of colours over 3000 metres high. The breathtaking beauty of the Dolomites will leave you speechless.
In Trentino-Alto Adige the locals say that sunrise and sunset are the best times to view the mountains. Watch them change from sparkling white to bright blue early in the morning then fade to pink as the sun sets. This is due to the presence of dolomite in the rock, the mineral from which the mountains take their name. Give your eyes a feast with these sensational photographs.
You don't need to spend your days skiing in order to appreciate the beauty of the Dolomites. Non-skiers can discover the mountains on foot, although in the summer the more popular routes can get crowded. And remember that sunglasses and suncream are a must.
Inspiration for writers and filmmakers
The awesome beauty of the Dolomites has long been the source of inspiration for writers and poets. In the eighteenth century Amelia Edwards, the short story writer and novelist, was particularly struck by Cimon della pala, when she visited the Dolomites in 1873. In her book "Unfrequented valleys and untrodden peaks" she writes: "Terrific vertical fissures which look as if ready to gape and fall apart at any moment, give a frightful appearance of insecurity to the whole mass. Not the Matterhorn itself, for all its cruel look and tragic story, impresses one with such a sense of danger, and such a feeling of one's own smallness and helplessness, as the Cimon della Pala."
Don't worry, Amelia's penchant for ghost stories most likely influenced her vision of the Dolomites. Visit Cimon della Pala in spring and you'll find lush green meadows and wild flowers surrounding Lake Calaita at the foot of the mountain.
French director Jean Jacques Annaud, who is undoubtedly less impressionable than our friend Amelia, chose this area to film his award-winning film "The Bear".
Italians are passionate about their food, but, let's face it, they have good reason to be. In the Dolomites the food is rich and hearty, something to look forward to after an energetic day in the mountains. Locals pride themselves on their hospitality and on the freshness of their ingredients.
Tuck in to a feast of polenta, a delicious corn meal concoction, once considered to be the food of the poor but now a favourite on gourmet menus. Polenta is usually served with venison or wild game but is equally tasty served up with gorgonzola cheese - it's a favourite with skiers and is a speciality in the many restaurants you'll find on the ski slopes. Wash it all down with a bottle of local wine and finish your meal with a glass of grappa, a locally made liqueur which is often flavoured with fruit.