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The Dolomites in Italy

The Great Dolomite Road, Italy

This wonderfully scenic Italian road was completed in 1909 and hailed as a major tourist attraction as early as the 1920s.  The total distance from Bozen to Cortina d'Ampezzo is about 110km and is sure to provide amazing views all the way.  If you find yourself travelling through the northern parts of Italy, you will definitely want to visit the famous Dolomites.  Why travel straight from Verona to Venice when you can take an even more scenic and out of the way route?  If you are worried about driving all the way back, you should consider the option of one way car rentals.  That way you can pick up your car rental from your starting point, explore the country and hand over the keys at your final destination.

Things to see on the Great Dolomite Road

If you start your drive in Bozen, you will need to travel towards the district of Kardaun.  This is where you can turn onto the road leading to the Eggental Valley.  While travelling in the direction of Welschnofen, you will have a fantastic view of Rosengarten.  You can also enjoy some mesmerizing views of Lago di Carezza in this popular skiing location.

Hereafter, you can make your way to Lake Karersee.  It can get pretty crowded here but it is worth stopping and stretching your legs before you continue on your adventure.

Navigate your way over Karerpass and you will reach Fassa Valley.  At Vigo di Fassa you will need to turn and drive towards Canazei.  Before you continue, however, you may want to make the most of this part of your trip by enjoying a picnic at Val de San Nicolo, some skiing fun or visit scenic spots like Col Rodella and Pozza di Fassa.  In Canazei you will find a number of local resorts.  If you make your reservations in advance, you could spend a night or two in this scenic and relaxing part of Italy. When you are ready to continue, drive up the winding road that leads to Pordoi Joch.  Again, from here you will enjoy some amazing views of Rosengarten as well as Marmolada and Sassolungo. 

Continue driving through the beautiful ski village of Arabba and navigate the steep Passo di Falzarego with care.  Feel free to stop here and visit the World War II museum and battlefields before driving down to Cortina d'Ampezzo.

Great Dolomite Road driving tips

This drive is wonderfully scenic with a number of places for you to stop and take in the views.  Drivers need to negotiate the passes and steep roads with care.  Focus on the road while driving and save your sightseeing for the lookout points. 

Travelling during the warmer months is advised and during favourable weather conditions.  Try to avoid driving during conditions that reduce visibility.

There are places for you to pull over if another driver would like to overtake you.  Stay in your lane and pull over if and when the opportunity presents itself.

Take a look at a map and try to plan your route.  Be aware of sights you would like to see and where you would like to stop.  When reserving your rental car, put a request in for a GPS unit and make sure that the maps are up to date.  If you plan on making a stop halfway through, consider booking your accommodation in Italy online.  That's one of the best ways to save more time and money!