The Dolomite Mountains © Roberto Ferrari
Exploring the beautiful Dolomite Mountains and Renon Plateau is a popular excursion from Milan, and quaint mountain villages like Bolzano and Collalbo complete the package for day-trippers. The Dolomite mountains are famously picturesque and are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Some interesting and unusual rock formations, or 'pyramids', dot the landscape of Renon Plateau. Hiking is naturally a popular activity in the region and photographers will be in their element.
Most tourists travel first to Soprabolzano, a two to three hour drive from Milan, where they can get stunning panoramic views of the Dolomite landscape either by taking the Renon Cable Car up the mountain to Bolzano, or hopping aboard the hundred-year-old electric train, the Ritten Railway, to Collalbo. Bolzano is an interesting town with a distinctly German atmosphere - it was German until World War Two - and Collalbo is a charming, tiny village perched high on the plateau, and a great base for those wanting to do walking trails as it is surrounded by pristine countryside. The Dolomites are best visited in spring and summer but autumn is still a pleasant season in the mountains. Winter gets very cold! Although there are a number of guided package tours available, it is easy and fun to drive yourself around the region.