Itinerary for Dolomites Traverse (Italy)
Group assembly, Friday: We meet in Verona, where we'll be spending Shabbat. Overnight: Hotel Villa Rosa, Verona.
Day 1 Shabbat: Tefillot and all Shalosh Se’udot at the Comunita Ebraica di Verona synagogue. Overnight: Hotel Villa Rosa, Verona.
Day 2 Sunday: We awake before the crack of dawn for our 3-hour ride to Ortesei, from which we’ll ascend into the Dolomites by cable car and begin our trek. Today's route takes us though the Alpe di Cisles region. The towering Odle-Puez range serves as our beacon to the north. We'll stop for lunch at Rifugio Puez, and then descend a bit to a plateau from which there's a view of the imposing Marmolada. If we're lucky, we'll see roe deer and small birds like the alpine finch. Overnight: Rifugio Gardenaccia.
Day 3 Monday: Today's hike takes us down into the Val Badia, through the picturesque ski resort of La Villa, and then back up a steep scree into the mountain heights. Here we will traverse the magical Fanes - a rolling plain of limestone rock with fissures and ponds and all kinds of curious shapes, thought to be the remains of an ancient tropical seabed. Walking through this place, one is struck by both its extraordinary beauty and its eerie silence. Overnight: Rifugio Lavarella.
Day 4 Tuesday: Morning hike along the San Vigilio River Valley. We then head northeast, up a tough ascent into the semi-wilderness of the Bancdalse, on our way to Rifugio Fodara Vedla for a well-earned hot chocolate break. After another pleasant hour's walk, we reach Rifugio Sennes for lunch. The day's final leg is through an area that was the site of some of the fiercest battles of World War I. Overnight: Rifugio Biella, one of the oldest rifugi in Italy.
Day 5 Wednesday: We first ascend a mountain crest above Biella, which grants a splendid view of an alpine tarn to the south, and a valley inhabited by ibex and golden eagles to the north. More stunning vistas await us as we climb a ridge trail along the face of the massive Croda Rossa. By late morning, we cross a lush, flowered meadow on our way to Rifugio Pratopiazza. After lunch, we descend to Hotel Tre Cime, next to tomorrow morning's trailhead. Overnight: Hotel Tre Cime.
Day 6 Thursday: The day begins early with a 3-hour climb to the foot of the spectacular Tre Cime, one of the most stunning views of the magnificent Dolomiti. After a hot chocolate at Refugio Locatelli, we descend into the steep Val Sasso Vecchio. Four hours later, we arrive at the Hotel Dolomitenhof, from where we'll transfer back to Verona and our celebratory final dinner.