Regarded as some of the most beautiful mountains in the EU, the area of South Tyrol surely did not disappoint. Streaking across northern Italy I raced to get back into the mountains after some days in cities. Landing myself in the town of Bolzano, without a car sadly, a mindblowing mountain experience started here…
South Tyrol to the locals and a lot of Europe is also known as the Dolomites (Dolomiti) to people from other parts of the world. Parts of the Dolomites are forever popping up on Instagram feeds worldwide and I am sure it has featured in its fair share of clickbait articles. It lies in NE Italy and borders Austria and to the east Slovenia. This undulating & dramatic area offers a surplus of pleasing views. Aside from the mountains, there are these tiny little towns sunk deep into valleys or strategically built upon alpine meadows high up on plateaus. Lakes and rivers galore, a mountaineering and rock climbing zion. The area has a big influence German influence throughout these villages and the mountains hold history from the wars, tunnels and old bunkers still standing high on the mountainsides.
My stay in Bolzano was with some lovely students of the local university, what a place to study. All of them would have nature at their doorstep and the weekends were spent hiking, mountain biking and skydiving. Come winter time, snowboarding/skiing just as close to town.
Being without a car was slightly crippling within this region. Finding myself hitchhiking and on public buses, it slowed days down and put certain places within the mountains a little difficult to get to logistically. However, I was amazed at the local hospitality and many seemed more than happy to help with information, picking up a stranger from the roadside or enjoying conversations standing at the cafe bar.
Hiking daily, finding new folds in the landscape and different mountain peaks to marvel at every time I turn my head. Secëda was for sure a peak to see with your own eyes. A steep climb for around 3hours leads you to the top ridge of this area. On one side a steep grassy slope and a sheer drop into a forest valley on the other side, 3 sharp and invasive points stab violently into the sky and capture the mind away from looking anywhere else.
** side note – Via Ferrata, via iron, is so much fun. I will be back South Tyrol. I will be back to run around and climb your iron trails again.
Enough of my blabber – Please allow some photos to lead your mind towards the Dolomites.