Dolomites

With Italy to the south and Tyrol to the north, the Italian Dolomites are a wonderful mélange of cultures, offering fabulous Alpine scenery, delicious Italian fare, and the stylish boutiques of Cortina d’Ampezzo.

Characterized by dramatic rock walls, pinnacles, and pillars, the pink-granite mountains offer rock climbing, via ferrata, and zip lining. Chairlifts and gondolas facilitate hikes where wildflowers, chamois, mountain pheasants, eagles, and marmots can be spotted, while hilltop rifugi, or mountain huts, serve up delicious hearty lunches. Local specialties include speck, polenta, strudel, and grappa.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the “Dolos” also offer up plenty of history, with World War I underground passages called “galleries” that serve as memorials to the terrible fighting that took place here in 1916. At the end of the day, relax at the fabulous Rosa Alpina Hotel & Spa in San Cassiano, where our friend Hugo and his family have mastered the art of hospitality over three generations. Chef Norbert has two Michelin stars at his St Hubertus restaurant, yet still invites friends into the kitchen—and also oversees pizza and fondue restaurants on site!