The Dolomite mountain region is northern Italy’s outdoor playground with numerous options for skiing in winter and hiking in summer. The 6000 square mile area is also protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Driving through the area the views present granite peaks soaring over lush green meadows and picturesque towns with characteristic church steeples.
On a recent trip to Italy’s Dolomite region with my husband and daughter, we spent a few days hiking some of the many trails that criss-cross these mountains. Our home base was just outside the town of Castelrotto (in Italian) or Kastelruth (in German). We were in the south Tyrol region of the Dolomites, but this land once belonged to Austria, so even though now the border had it part of Italy, there is still a very strong Austrian influence in the region. All signs are in both languages, and German is the predominant language – as is the cuisine. Continue reading “Hiking Like an Italian in the Dolomites”
The Dolomites are a spectacular mountain range in northern Italy. 6000 square miles of jagged limestone peaks, they have been a tourist destination since the mid 1800’s. But it was the 1956 Winter Olympics in the region that put this mountain range on the winter skiing map. In the summer, the high alpine meadows are shared by hikers and the local cows as they move to the higher pastures for grazing.
You know you are in the Austrian alps when it’s summer, and a skier wearing shorts and carrying his skis stops for a snack at the all smoked meat and bacon snack shop in Insbrook’s train station. Speck is bacon or smoked ham in German, and the Speck Stube is nothing but smoked meats of all sorts and varieties – bacon, hams, sausages and all the condiments that go with.
Germany’s Romantic Road goes from Wurzburg in the north to Fussen in the south. One of the most picturesque towns on the route has to be Rothenburg ob der Tauber. It is a well preserved medieval town that time forgot, and now has become a destination for tourists from all over the world. Spend a day in romantic Rothenburg and experience its charms. Continue reading “Romantic Rothenburg – A Town That’s Just Too Cute”
Quilt Inspiration – The fabric colors for the front of the quilt were inspired by the colorful houses in the towns and villages along Germany’s Romantic Road. I used various whimsical Tula Pink fabrics which I felt captured the storybook feel of the area. For the back, I used leftover blocks, fabric and border fabric to achieve the striped look.
Longarm quilted by Cindy Carey of North Star Quilting.
Germany is famous for it’s many castles, but none inspire the imagination more than Neuschwanstein , the fantasy creation of King Ludwig II in the Bavarian region of Southern Germany. This castle, his boyhood castle home of Hohenschwangau, and one of his other fantastic constructions, Linderhof Palace, are all in close proximity of each other, and are an easy visit from the nearby town of Fussen, Germany. Continue reading “Castle Hopping in Southern Germany-Exploring “Mad” King Ludwig’s Legacy”
A short tram ride from the hustle and bustle of Munich’s central train station takes you to the palatial summer residence of the Wittelsbach’s, Bavaria’s ruling family for over 700 years. Touring the palace and outbuildings is interesting, but strolling through the 500 acre wooded gardens makes it hard to believe that a city of 1.5 million residents surrounds this peaceful enclave.