My summer 2016 road trip to Italy, Austria, Germany and Slovenia begins in Venice. In this video, I am going through the Dolomites and more specifically, Pordoi Pass and Sella Pass, in order to reach Innsbruck, where I am planning to show you its city center. The places that we made a stop during our first day are mentioned below.
- The Dolomites
The area got its name from a mineral called Dolomite, which this mountain range is made of. The funny thing is that on my first trip here, I thought that the name came from its pointed peaks, or “mites” which is the Greek word for this! I read that in the past Dolomites was called “Pale Mountains”, but this changed in the 19th century when the existence of this rock was found in the region. The Dolomites was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in August 2009.
- Alleghe Lake
Alleghe Lake is a beautiful tourist resort on the Alps at and altitude of 1000 meters and it is known for its hiking trails and the nearby ski center, the Civetta ski area, which is one of the largest in the world, with more than 1.250km of slopes.
A well-known resort because of the ski center, but in the summer looks very lively as well, as it is visited by cyclists and hikers where they enjoy the magic the mountain has to offer.
- Pordoi Pass
Pordoi Pass crosses the plateau Sella, reaching an altitude of 2,239 meters. It is the second highest paved road after the Sella pass, which we will ride later when we head to Innsbruck. The highest peak here is called Cima Pisciadù and is at an altitude of 2.985m.
- Sella pass
It is the highest in the Dolomites and reaches an altitude of 2.244m. It passes between the Sella Towers peaks which has an altitude of 2.696m and Grohmannspitze peak at an altitude of 3.126m.
- Selva Gardena
This village of 2,637 inhabitants is located in the Val Gardena valley, and it’s a starting point for excursions to the nearby mountains for hiking, climbing, mountaineering and skiing.
My first impression of the city, even though I was on my motorcycle, wasn’t what I expected. Even though objectively it is a very beautiful city, when you have heard so many good things about a place, sometimes what you see in the end doesn’t live up to what you had imagined. This happened to me here. But after I walked in the center, my feelings changed, as the colorful buildings, people, horse drawn carriages, and the surrounding mountains creates a beautiful scenery. And not in a village, but in a city of 190,000 inhabitants! Innsbruck was built at the junction of the Sill river and the Inn river, its name means “bridge over the Inn River” and is the capital of the federal state of Tyrol. It is a famous spot for winter sports, and the Winter Olympics occurred here in 1964 and 1976. The valley here stretches to an altitude of 575 meters and the mountains that surround it are the Nordkette at an altitude of 2.334m on its north side and in the south Patscherkofel peak, at 2.246m, and Serles peak at 2.718m. The historic center is impressive, as classical Tyrolean architecture harmoniously coexist with colorful baroque and Renaissance buildings. On a sunny day like this you’ll really enjoy strolling around and visiting the shops on the busy streets. And it’s such a clean city that I felt that even if my food falls on the ground I can still eat it! The attractions in and around the city are plenty, but the time that we had at our disposal didn’t allow us to see anything else except the city center. Innsbruck is also lively in the evening with many dining options. You must remember however that restaurants in all Central European countries do not stay open late, so it is advisable to plan accordingly.