Flying from San Antonio to Munich on my most recent return to Central Europe which included Germany, Austria and Italy, I finally experienced the beauty of the Dolomites for myself. The Dolomites, Dolomiti in Italian, are nearly equally shared between the provinces of Belluno, South Tyrol and Trentino in Northern Italy. During this trip I explored the Tyrollean region of the Dolomiti in and around the town of Cortina D' Ampezzo.
Tyrol's human settlement dates back to 12,000 BC and through the middle ages until the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1805 it looked much like what is seen on this map.
Today the State of Tyrol (shown in red) makes up the western part of Austria. Sudtirol (South Tyrol) and Trentino are now a part of Northern Italy. Although the culture, architecture and traditional clothing styles are distinctly similar to what many Americans think of when they think of Bavarian, it is now part of Italy and German and Italian is spoken widely through the region.
The first part of my trip from Germany, where I lived for 12 years, to Salzburg, past Kitzbuhel and down to Cortina located east of Bozen in Sudtirol took 3 days. These photos show the craggy beauty of the Dolomiti (Dolimites) region as we approached Italy from the Austrian side.
Mid September 2013.