18 May 2022.

Marmolada, Italy

Marmolada is in fact the name of a mountain, the highest mountain in the Dolomites to be precise. It is also the name of a ski area situated above the hamlet and ski station of Malga Ciapela, located just up the road from the village of Rocca Pietore which in turn is several miles by road from the well known resort of Arabba. Marmolada does in fact share its lift system with Arabba.

Between Malga Ciapela and Rocca Pietore there are several other small hamlets each of which provides some accommodation, usually a hotel or guesthouse at least. Some settlements also offer apartments and in Malga Ciapela visitors are invited to stay on a local farm which is essentially a catered chalet where exquisite local cuisine is served to guests of an evening. The village of Rocca Pietore is typically Tyrolean and has a history stretching back for over 1000 years. A quiet back water, it and its’ outlying hamlets are ideal places to escape the drudgery of the rat race for a week or two.

Up on Marmolada one really gets a sense of remoteness. The scenery is somehow more alpine compared with neighbouring Val di Fassa, Alta Badia and Val Gardena which are distinctly Dolomite. The mountains have more of an inverted V shape that is retained from valley floor to summits with long ridges between as opposed to the dramatic protrusions of vertical stone that rise suddenly from rolling alpine meadows in typical Dolomitian fashion. When travelling over the mountains from Arabba to Marmolada this difference becomes apparent and one gets the sense of entering a very different world. It is quite magical.

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