Alps-Dolomites: 100 Great Shots

On the Viel dal Pan in the Dolomite's Val di Fassa.

On the Viel dal Pan in the Dolomite's Val di Fassa.

Anyone who's been on a Dolce Vita tour knows that I take a lot of pictures. "What do you do with all those photos?" I'm often asked. My standard reply is that some go in our brochure, some on our website, while others accompany the articles I write for Tastes of Italia. But a lot sit in folders on my hard-drive, gathering dust.

Occasionally I post a slide show on this blog, but frankly I don't like the long strand of images that email subscribers get. So I'm trying something new: a link to PhotoBucket.

So without further ado, here are my 100 best shots from our Alps-Dolomites wine + hiking tour. I assembled these to show guests before our final dinner together. (Instant nostalgia is best shared.) Altogether, I think they give a good sense of this tour -- the locations, the flow, the fun. Now I can share all of them with you too.

This is the first time we've combined the Alps and Dolomites, which previously were separate tours. We loved the combo, so this is how it's going to be in the future, too.

We spent 3 days in the lower Alps around Lake Caldaro. This is the heart of Alto Adige wine country, and our hikes were followed by tastings at Tiefenbrunner, J. Hofstätter, Cantina Terlano, and (in Trento) Maso Martis.

Then we moved to the Dolomites for the remainder of the tour. It's not wine country, but it is some of the most jaw-droppingly stunning mountain scenery one could ever imagine.

As for the cold in late June, you'll just have to imagine it. 2013 has been a cool, wet year so far (the grapes are three weeks behind), and we dodged the rain all week. Up in the mountains, that meant new snow and daytime temps of 4C or 39F degrees. Brrr! But that brisk mountain air invigorated the blood and got us moving. All the better to prep us for our nightly wine dinners.