Monday, March 8, 2010

Once Upon a Time in the Dolomites

The old mestieri, or jobs/activities, are the main attraction at La Volpe Ti Guarda (The Fox is Watching You), a snow-covered walk at the foot of the massive Marmolada mountain.

The pleasant stroll of rolling snow paths takes you through the woods, starting at Camping Malga Ciapela. The staff have built mannequins which exemplify the various mountain activites, new and old, from cutting wood to mountain climbing (old-style in artificiale) to sledding, hunting and tending the chickens' newly hatched eggs.

There are surprises like this...

It's a great way to spend an hour with family or friends. The official walking time is 1 hr 45 minutes, but you should be able to finish faster if there aren't too many crowds. It can be walked in boots with the snow conditions like the day I found them, otherwise bring your snowshoes and/or a sled. The kids like to use the latter.

The snow will be melting soon so the exhibition will come down by the end of the month but it should be back next year around December, for a 6th annual event. But honestly, since snow is expected even in Padua the day after tomorrow, I think you still have plenty of time to see this year's trail.

And don't miss the ice church at the beginning/end (depending on when you want to visit it along the loop trail). It's complete with priest and altar.

For more information, you can contact the camping site directly (linked above) or tourist board for Rocca Pietore. Here is the Dolomiti Superski description of the hike.

Cost: free

Available: bar for snacks at camping site and, on the weekends, the malga is open at the half-way point along the trail for a warm lunch

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