“It’s nice that it rained, now the nature can breathe again.”
Debbie mentioned as we drove through the green alps of South Tyrol, en route to the jagged, granite peaks of the Dolomites.
She’s right. It’s summer in Europe, and while the Austrian Alps, Swiss Alps, and French Alps boast big reputations, it’s South Tyrol that has the best weather — letting you breathe as much as the trees.
Many venture here for a hike or bike ride, or during skiing season, but most come with their family, friends, or solo to get away. Panoramic views, coveted sunshine without the humidity, luxury and wellness hotels, extreme adventure rock climbing, and picture perfect cuisine, it’s no wonder Kate Hudson has claimed this green escape.
With an Italian latte and boiled egg, I started my morning at an elegant mountain top boutique hotel.
The restaurant manager at the Hotel Miramonti tells me “it’s from my father’s garden” and I quickly realize I am in another farm-to-table region. I wonder if he also chose the sign over my head:
“The Shortest Distance between you and another person, is a smile.”
Perhaps, he had a say regarding my breakfast napkin:
“Start the day with a smile. Finish it with champagne.”
Darn Tyrollians, I think I like you. Day after day, I was warmly welcomed with sincere hospitality.
As if each fresh, organic, homemade dish presented almost poetically wasn’t enough, my biggest treat was yet to come…
Lake Carezza, South Tyrol via @StephBeTravel
Just perfectly mirrored blues to compliment the emerald pine trees.
Lake Braise, South Tyrol via @StephBeTravel
Next, I leave the single carry-on I live out of to make way towards a mountain hut — Rigugio Fronza, accessible only by hike or cable car. A juxtaposition to last night’s glamorous hotel, this humble abobe – hostel style with chic gastronomy- reinforces a message the mountains whisper:
When nature can breathe, so can I. This is the key to my heart.
No wi-fi here, just a glass of wine and a few post cards. During this evening of serendipity, a special guest surprises me — Foxy, the mountain wolf or fox, comes by to say hello.
With a friendly goodbye to trilingual friends, I head to one of the coolest adventures of my life:
Sunrise Rock Climbing in the Dolomites
This was one of those experiences where you stop, take it all in, and are almost overwhelmed with happiness.
I took a tour through the Alpine rock climbing school via the Family Resort Ranier. The tour guide owns a couple of local hotels, but that didn’t defer him from being a mountain mafia, running the rock routes like he owned them.
The 3 AM wake-up call was worth the sun’s arrival, the exhilarating rock climbing experience, and hearty breakfast.
All I could think on my drive down was, how can I get away with coming back here?
Where to Stay/ Where to Eat
Miramonti Boutique Hotel
Ask for Joe, he’s the best rock climbing instructor: firstname.lastname@example.org