The Heart of the Dolomites is beautiful in any season but if I were to really choose, winter might take the cake for the most magical time of the year. The charming colorful towns under a cloak of fresh snow, four-story cottages with balconies decorated in pine and holly, warm comfort food and a belly full of grappa. It’s the stuff you see in movies except for real life and it’s amazing.
This area is home to world-class charm and world-class skiing, or in my case, snowboarding. These aren’t the sparse and icy ski slopes of New Zealand I’m used to. No, these ski resorts feature long runs on fluffy snow and endless opportunities for exploration. I spent four days boarding at Monte Civetta, one of the area’s most stunning peak and the most extensive ski resort of Veneto Region with 72 kms of trails and 22 lifts at Civetta, you can literally ski (or in my case, snowboard) all day and only see a handful of people at a time.
Civetta has slopes for all abilities but if you’re feeling a little nervous, have no fear. It’s acceptable to drink grappa any time of day, and all of these chalets will have homemade grappa of varying levels of flavors and strength on tap. If you’re feeling like you need a little bit of liquid courage to help you down that one treacherous run you’re afraid of, grappa is your friend.
The snow in the Heart of the Dolomites is amazing but the best part of skiing the Mount Civetta in winter is when you get to relax your tired muscles by defrosting by the warm fire drinking mulled wine. Apres-ski in the Dolomites is next level amazing.
The food here can only be described as “mountain hardy food” so like traditional Austrian meets Italian. Lots of meat, and game meat like venison, gnocchi, polenta of course, and lots of pasta. My favorite dish on the menu was spinach spaetzle, a rustic handmade noodle from the area. The hearty Italian food will warm you up almost as quickly as a shot of grappa.
When you’ve tired out your legs and have filled your belly with food, there’s still adventure to be had in Alleghe. Why not try snowmobiling? I did this one crisp and clear night and it was equal parts thrilling and terrifying. It was so cold and my toes were freezing but was it worth it? Definitely! It was so cool zooming around the piste at night and how fast you get to go. Max who runs the snowmobile training school in Alleghe is well trained so you’re in safe hands.
The entire Alleghe area was an absolute joy to explore and it proved to be an area that had something for everyone, even if skiing and snowboarding aren’t your thing. Take me back to winter in Alleghe!
Photo credits: Heart of the Dolomites, Liz Carlson, ServusTV