Take a blue pencil and draw a lake. Its reflection changing with the first light of morning, some fishes swimming. The sound of a slow wind. Isn’t it relaxing?
Since it is a drawing, let’s make things perfect: no mud on the lake floor but a pavement of gravel stones that leave the water clear and blue. All around, not a beach but an english style lawn, ready for you to lay down under the sun.
Let’s take the green pencil now, and draw the greenest woods you’ve ever seen, then trekking and walking paths, and all around the marvellous Dolomites. Here we are.
Let’s draw some houses too. Mountain houses, with wooden ceiling and flowers on the balcony.
Well, this place does not come from my imagination: it is real. I went to Molveno, a small town in Dolomiti Paganella. A beautiful place where you can find either a blue lake and the highest mountains, time to relax in a Spa and thrilling extreme sports adventures.
It was a weekend full of beautiful landscapes, delicious food, sports and fun. Let me tell you the 5 things I loved the most:
1. Trekking day
We did some trekking in Croz dell’Altissimo area. They say it’s an easy path, but it takes almost 1 hour and half to arrive to the first lodge so be prepared and wear proper trekking shoes.
The landscape is incredible. You go up with the ‘cestovia’ then walk across valleys and cliffs.
I lost myself admiring the lights of the wood and the flowers all around. It was a magical place.
This area is home for lots of animals: not just the big brown bear but also lynxes, chamoises, deers, moulflons. We were looking up hoping to spot also one of the majestic eagles who nest here.
Croz dell’Altissimo is a pretty famous spot for climbers. Some of them also did some free climbing on this 1000 metres high rock cliff.
Of course this is not the only place to go if you fancy a walk. Here the complete list of Dolomiti Paganella trekking paths.
2. Eat! As much as you can! 🙂
Local cuisine is beyond amazing. Trentino will delight you with its savoury flavours. Don’t forget to taste Canederli (typical main course made by a kind of bread gnocchi), Polenta and Strudel.
We had the pleasure to attend a cooking class by Angelo Bianchi, chef of restaurant El Filò. We made Canederli with Speck.
Here’s the recipe:
CANEDERLI WITH SPECK
Ingredients: 1 kg. of ‘one day old’ bread, milk, 2 eggs, 1/2 kg speck in cubes or sausage, parmesan, onion, garlic, white pepper, nutmeg, parsley
Preparazione: cut the bread in cubes and soak in with milk to make it soft. In a frying pan, briefly fry oil with onion, garlic and speck cubes. Add it to the bread together with parsley, nutmeg, white pepper, parmesan, two eggs. Mix it with your hands until it’s uniform. Cook it in water or stock and serve it with melted butter and cheese. If you want to save the canederli for other days, you can freeze them raw.
Here are the restaurants where we ate, I recommend them all: La Dispensa in Molveno, inside Hotel Du Lac – taste the roasted pork, it is amazing. El Filò in Molveno. Baita Fortini has homemade cakes. Delicious Rifugio Croz dell’Altissimo and wonderful Agriturismo Il Filo d’Erba.
3. Swim in Molveno lake
The lake received the Bandiera Blu prize for clear waters, and it looks amazing for a bath.
4. Meet wolves, discover a castle, taste the best honey ever
You can do all these things in Spormaggiore, near Andalo. Castel Belfort is a fascinating 1300 buiding with an amazing view.
Few steps ahead you find Parco Faunistico di Spormaggiore, where you can watch wolves and bears in its natural environment. I’m not a fan of a zoo and, even if thisone has very big and comfy paddocks, I still prefer free animals though.
Last but not least, Apicoltura Castel Belfort is unmissable. It is a small, family run honey business where you can see the hives and meet the bees while the nice owner tells you their story. No protection needed ’cause none of my guests was ever sting by a bee’ and it was true.
The honey they produce is amazing. Creamy, full of flavour and with a wonderful aromatic scent. I recommend Mielata di Abete, it will be different (in such a good way) from all the honey you’ve experienced before).
Small Apicoltura Castel Belfort shop is full of natural treasures: not only a wide range of honey but you can also find natural beauty products. I’m a fan of the honey-propolis lipstick!
If you visit the Apicoltura don’t forget to say hello to Tito:
Have you read about my paragliding experience? If not, do it now! Molveno lake is the perfect spot for paragliding, and great for a first time try (just like I did).
So, Dolomiti Paganella area is great both for a relaxing and an exciting holiday. It’s also a perfect place for families: kids have a lot of activities to try and parents as well can take some time off. Mommy enjoys a Spa or sunbathing while dad and kids go for a walk, or mommy stays with the kids and daddy goes to the bike park or hiking.
So, what do you think about this place?
In these pictures: Molveno (TN). Blue Flag for clear waters, Orange Touring Club Flag for its nature and culture.
Trekking: Croz dell’Altissimo. Take cestovia Molveno-Pradel to Pradel, then walk until Rifugio Croz dell’Altissimo (with trekking shoes!).
All trekking paths in Dolomiti Paganella.
Food: La Dispensa, El Filò, Baita Fortini, Rifugio Croz dell’Altissimo, Agriturismo Il Filo d’Erba,
Spormaggiore: Parco Faunistico di Spormaggiore, Castel Belfort, Apicoltura Castel Belfort.
Paragliding: iFly Tandem.
News: Family Festival in Molveno 23-30 june 2013.