Belluno, Cortina and the Bellunese Dolomites National Park
Civilisation and nature, land and sky. An itinerary through a natural paradise of awe-inspiring mountains, among the birth of civilisations and magnificent views.
We first visit the urban heart of this mountainous region, known to the Celts as belo-dunum or “city of splendour”.
Belluno represents a sort of self-contained world within the magic of this alpine region.
Of ancient origin (it was also a Roman municipium), today’s city manifests the traces of its Renaissance era and the period of Venetian rule, together with invaluable Medieval testimony. We visit the ancient Porta Rugo (12th century) and the typical Venetian-Gothic style palazzi of which the old city, perched on top of its rocky outcrop, abounds in. An example of this style is the Palazzo dei Rettori.
Our visit moves on to the chruch of Santo Stefano, and the 16th century Duomo of Tullio Lombardo, famous for its 69-metre high campanile designed by Filippo Juvara, and considered one of the finest examples of Baroque clocktowers in Italy. Inside we find works by Jacopo Bassano, Palma il Giovane and Andrea Brustolon, the famous local sculptor and engraver.
Lastly we visit the Museo Civico to admire the masterpieces of Jacopo da Montagna and Bartolomeo Montagna, and the Piazza del Mercato which displays sumptuous Renaissance colonnades and decoration and a fountain dating back to 1410.
We move on to the north of the alpine zone of the Veneto, to vist another important town: Cortina D’Ampezzo.
Cortina wears the crown of tourist locations within the mountains, being the most dreamed of destination throughout the world.
Situated in the famous “amphitheatre of the Dolomites” consisting of the peaks of the Tofane, Cristallo and Sorapis mountains, Cortina lies in a sun-drenched valley of great natural charm.
It is also famous for having hosted the Winter Olympics in 1956.
In addition to its high-society aspect with which it is usually associated, the town boasts many interesting cultural possibilities.
We will also visit the 13th century parish church of Santi Filippo e Giacamo, restructured in the 18th century, and the Casa delle Regole in Piazza Venezia, which houses the Museo delle Regole, the Palaeontological Museum and the Modern Art Gallery.
A stroll along the Corso Italia, with its exclusive boutiques and à la mode aspect, is the perfect way to round off the day.
Bellunese Dolomites National Park
To conclude this itinerary we move into the unspoilt natural wonders of the Bellunese Dolomites National Park: 32,000 hectares of stunning views and natural splendours.
Here we can admire the vast range of natural environments and the magnificent fauna: here we are in the domain of the golden eagle, an almost mythical creature owing to its elegance, nobility and rarity.
Our trip includes the highest regions of the altopiano with its breathtaking natural aspect, though also takes in the more accessible valley areas, rich in waterfalls and mountain torrents.
The most rewarding season to visit here is the summer, with its myriad flowers carpeting the mountains and fields.
We visit Val Canzoi, the potholes of the Brenton in Val de Mis, Certosa di Vedana, and the former mine of Valle Imperina.
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