Val di Sole

Our next destination is in the mountains, and while there are trains and busses that go there, they would be complicated and time-consuming. So we rent a car in Venice (the expense, with extras, is about double what it first appeared on paper) and head north.

From the flat plains of Venezia, the land gradually reveals mountains, first in the distance, then embracing us. Little villages dot the edges of the valley. Finally we are in the Val di Sole, a big skiing destination in winter, a launching pad for hiking treks in the summer but now between seasons and almost deserted. In fact, at the first town where we stop to look for a river-rafting center, it seems completely deserted.

We finally find someone to get directions to the rafting center, a couple of kilometers from the old town center, and when we get there we discover that’s where everybody is. There’s a party going on, celebrating the town’s Tyrolian heritage. (National boundaries are pretty low-key here in the Alps).

1MG_8853 Pizza


One thing is distinctly Italian, though: the inevitable pizza. A single portion comes on a big, oval, hand-formed crust, unsliced.

This is June, so there is snow only on the peaks. But Alpine air is still magical. Watching the sky just before sunset, I spy a little rainbow in the clouds.

1MG_8846 cloud rainbow

Our lodging is an attic in the little village of Ossana, a mix of old and new houses. We enjoy the view of the nearby ruin of a medieval fortress, and the distant peaks above the head of the valley.

1MG_8840 window view

In the morning, we drive up to the headwaters of the Val di Peio. Another picturesque alpine town, but also a hiking trail. Now I’ve hiked in the Alps! (a few hundred meters, anyway).

The afternoon is devoted to our main reason for being here: rafting. I’ll give that a separate post…


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