ExperiencePlus! Blog

Bicycling Italy’s Veneto and the Dolomites – Twice

Veneto and the Dolomites with ExperiencePlus!

Each year at least one or two of our travelers registers for a bicycling trip that they’ve done previously. With so many places in the world to bicycle, we wonder, why do the same trip twice?   When John Sadler recently registered to Bicycle Italy’s Veneto and the Dolomites a second time we asked him why and this is what he said:

John it’s been a few years since you did the Bicycling the Veneto and the Dolomites trip but we wonder what tempts you to repeat it a second time.

Awe-inspiring beauty.

Breathtaking cycling, including one of the preeminent bicycle rides in the world, the Sella Massif.

Riding in and out of picturesque small villages on back country roads.

The warm companionship of new cycling friends.

How is that for just a few reasons to ride in the Dolomites this summer? I have to say that ExperiencePlus! raises the bar even further because their tour leaders know  the hidden treasures and secrets of the area.

But you live in Colorado, don’t you get your fill of gorgeous mountain scenery and riding?
My wife and I love Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, but we agree that they pale in comparison to the dramatic peaks and narrow valleys of the Dolomites.

I am also passionate about languages and listening to locals speak Ladino, the ancient language of the region, is sheer joy for me. I often imagine the isolation people must have felt before the age of TV, computers and paved roads – it was very likely that people from just one valley over would speak a different language. Every time you see a modern road sign this diversity becomes apparent which are often in Italian first, then Ladino, and finally German.  You just don’t get all of that in the Rockies!

Is the food another draw for you?
This area is called “Sud Tyrol”, which means, to me at least, that you have the culinary advantages of being in Italy, combined with the special flavors and breads of the Southern Tyrolean region. In fact some Italian-Austrians have never forgiven Kaiser Wilhelm for giving this part of Austria to Italy at the end of World War I.  It’s easy to see why with such magnificent beauty and a seemingly endless variety of spectacular panoramas all of which are unforgettable. Do you have the idea yet that I’m enthralled by the area?

Any other interesting things to share about your previous experience cycling in the Dolomites?
The people are friendly and still appreciate “America’s” role in helping to free them from Mussolini and Hitler.  I had one Italian cyclist stop and talk with me along a back road and said, “If it weren’t for you, I would not have been here.”  I thought at first that I was confused by his Italian, but as we continued to talk he explained that his father was held prisoner as a partigiano (Partisans who secretly fought against Hitler and Mussolini during WW II), and was liberated by the Americans, about 9 months later a baby arrived – him! In the Dolomites, you find beauty in the scenery and in the people.

Any final words to inspire others to join you in to bicycle in the Dolomites, June 28 – July 5, 2011?
There is a quotation I like, “This is where God plays.”  I always hate leaving the Dolomites and can’t wait to get back.