Monday, October 24, 2011

Is this really Italy?

Next on our itinerary was Castelrotto, Italy in the Dolomites mountain range. This was my first time in Italy - so exciting! But not nearly as exciting as I had hoped.

Not long before our trip, I learned that this region of Italy is a German-speaking, formerly part of the Tirol region of Austria. Culinary inclinations follow the Germanic heritage as well. What?!? We were in Italy, still speaking German and looking menus with the same food as back home? Martin kept saying, "When we get to Italy..." and I had to remind him that we were already in Italy. It definitely didn't feel like it.

But the beautiful mountains made up for it. We got in 2 days of hiking. Day 1 we took the gondola up to hike on the Alpe di Siusi, Europe's largest high alpine meadow which offered gorgeous views and the hiking was reasonable for hiking with a kiddo strapped to your back. Day 2 we hiked at lower elevation, but still had great views and fabulous lunch at a Hütte just at the base of the mountains. We don't even know what one of the dishes we ate was called - we just pointed at someone else's plate. I just know that it was covered in powdered sugar and it was delicious!

Simon enjoying a snack.
After our days hiking in the Dolomites we headed toward Lago di Garda (real Italy), the region where Martin's grandfather was from. We visited the beautiful village of Sirmione at the southern tip of the lake. It was a great place to visit, but very touristy so we decided to move on rather than spend the night there. We were so happy we did! We spent the night in Verona and really enjoyed our evening and morning there. It was a beautiful city in which to simply walk the streets, we ate some delicious pizza, and after hitting a few of the sites (Juliet's balcony!) we were on the road headed to Tuscany!

Pics from the whole trip here

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