Monday, May 27, 2013

Bella vistas - Feltre

With a rented car we ventured further north for the third leg of our Italian journey.

To escape from the urban setting we stayed at a b&b in Villaga, a village just outside of Feltre. Villa Rosa nestles into the hillside near the end of a road and up a long steep switchback driveway.
from our Villa Rosa aerie, view of church across the valley
view from the church across the valley; Villa Rosa is the spot in the center
The weather had turned cold and wet the day we arrived
the view on the day of arrival
and only cleared up the day before we left. Just in time to show what we've been missing.
a similar view the day before departure
We didn't let the inclement weather stop us.

A couple hours north is the town of Cortina d'Ampezzo which hosted the 1956 Winter Olympics. It was very quiet between tourist seasons: the ski resorts had recently closed and summer season hadn't started. Even though the encircling Dolomites were obscured by clouds and rain, we could sense their majesty. Imagine what we would've seen on a clear day!

Cortina d'Ampezzo
Cortina d'Ampezzo
Other days, we explored Feltre, visited Grantorto to search for a farm "next to the road with a river on the other side", stopped in Bassano del Grappa for lunch and the grappa museum, 
small bottles at the grappa museum
and looked for distant relatives in Lamon.
With help from our terrific b&b hosts, Andy and Simone, we contacted cousin Angelo and spent a day with his family.
Italian relatives (Angelo in the middle)
We talked and ate lunch; talked and ate dinner; then talked some more. What a great visit: good company, delicious home-cooked Italian food, homemade grappa and good conversation aided by an English-Italian dictionary. We promised to see them again in five years.

On the day before we left, when the weather cleared up. our b&b hosts pointed us to a hike on the green hill in the middle of the photo below (not the mountainous Dolomites in the background). 
clear day for a hike
We hiked up to a reservoir
and followed the beautiful river that fed it.
A good ending to a great time in this area. Rested, we were ready for Venice next. 

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