the stunning dolomites

^^ i actually can’t believe this is real, or that i took this picture!! ^^

i think i found my new favourite place in europe. have i said that a lot of times before?! ;)

several months ago, i happened upon some pictures (on my instagram explore page) from the dolomites – the italian alps. i had never heard of this area before and i was blown away by its beauty in photographs. like i mentioned in my last post, i excitedly showed a couple of these snapshots to ian and said, “i want to go there!” he immediately started devising a secret anniversary trip and soon booked plane tickets to verona and a car to drive around the dolomites. he told me about his plan about a month ago, and i was so pumped to go experience this place, which just looked so magical!!

and it was even more magical – and stunning and gorgeous and lovely – than i imagined! our trip was really quick (we left friday night and returned sunday night) but it was jam-packed with mind-blowing beauty. for me, being in the mountains = being home – so this weekend just felt so good for my soul.

but i have to back up and say – just for documentation and full-picture sake – that getting to the dolomites was, for us this past weekend, a complete nightmare. the worst flight delay experience of my life. here’s how it played out:
we rushed to the airport after ian left work early, only to discover that our flight was an hour and a half delayed. an hour and a half turned into two and a half hours. with a one-year-old that is reeeady for bed, that’s kind of an eternity! :) but finally our time to board the flight came, and as we were in line to get onto the plane, an airline representative walked down the queue and told us, nonchalantly, “by the way, this aircraft is not going to verona.”
we were like, “say, what?!”
“verona airport will be closed by the time the plane arrives, so you are going to venice. coaches will take you from venice to verona,” he said. we quickly got on our phones to call the rental car company and the small b&b where we were staying that night, to try to figure out how to get the car/get in our room at 2am (the flight was now set to land – in an entirely different city than the one we wanted to go to – at midnight, and the bus ride was estimated to be about an hour and a half). we flew, got through immigration and customs, picked up moses’s car seat (which we had to check), found the group of passengers going on the coaches, and waited for what seemed like hours until they finally headed off to verona. the bus ride ended up being more than two hours long, and i sat smooshed in the very back row with moses sleeping on my shoulder (and waking every twenty minutes or so to cry … poor baby). we had to wait in a long line at verona airport to get a taxi, and got to our b&b at about 3:15am. the owner was so nice to wake up and let us in and ooooh man we were ready to drop right into bed!
woof. it was kind of awful. but! no complaints! because after sleeping in and picking up our car and getting on the road, the dolomites blew us away. and are so lucky to take an anniversary trip like this one!

on saturday we rode a chairlift up into the mountain meadows above the town of compatsch, and then drove to the two spots that intensely piqued my interest in the dolomites: the santa maddalena church and the church of st. johann in ranui – both in the val de funes. everything was just stunning. we had amazing weather and the golden hour driving to and spending time around the churches was, well, totally golden. the alpine air was crisp and delicious, the autumn colours were blazing, and the cowbells ringing in the distance made it all just so enchanting.

totally and completely worth the fiasco we experienced to get there!

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dolomites, you won my heart! and were a perfect place for us to celebrate our deep love and our rich three years of marriage.



  1. WOW,WOW,WOW!!! the pictures are fab. I need to visit there!!


  2. Charity , I'm so glad you love my country and the Dolomiti are pretty amazing. Just a little thing, the Italian Alps , as you said, surround Northern Italy from west to east, from France to Slovenia. The Dolomiti are only the east part of the Italian Alps.

    1. ah yes, i should have written "part of the italian alps." :) i find that most americans have never heard the word "dolomites," so i had to clarify. it's suuuuuch an amazing part of this world!

    2. yeah! amazing! thanks for letting me be a geography bully haah

  3. So beautiful it looks photoshopped! Stunning pictures

  4. So beautiful! I loved my visits to the Swiss and Italian Alps. Unfortunately, my time was too short there. I need to go back! How did you get the family pictures? They are great!

  5. we usually just ask a stranger to snap a photo for us! the sweetest ladies we met at one viewpoint even put in the extra effort to help moses smile :) a couple of these are also self-timers. i'm always on the lookout for a ledge to balance the camera on, haha!

    1. Love the kindness of strangers! And also a well placed camera ;)

  6. Wow! So incredible! Oh I am so glad you are getting to travel because looking at your photos is so much fun!

  7. Wow, this looks perfect!! Could you tell me where exactly you were standing to take that first picture?! We're planning a visit to the Dolomiti next spring (or summer, still deciding) and I can practically see myself there taking amazing picures!

  8. My husband’s ancestors lived at the base of the Dolomites for generations. We are planning our first trip there in the spring and are so excited!!! My MIL has been a couple times, and we always die over her pictures. We can’t wait to see them ourselves.

  9. I leave for Italy on Thursday and now I MUST see this! About how long would you say it took you to get from Venice to the Santa Maddalena Church?

  10. Oh my, these pics are all breathtaking, Char! Especially all the ones of that darling family of yours. I want to go here! Will you go again with me some day?

  11. Every one of these photos belongs in a National Geographic magazine! What clear, beautiful air punctuated by the those fabulous mountains!


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