Everything Quests: The E2 Tourist Guide

Molveno is an absolutely lovely little village in Northern Italy. In fact, I would have to say that of all the cities and towns and villages I spent time in on my trip to the Dolomites, Molveno left the best impression on me.

A brief overview
Molveno is a small villagein the Trentino district of the Dolomites, near Andalo. It is in the Dolomiti di Brenta (the Brenta dolomites) and has the largest lake over 800m in the dolomites (864m). The village is based around one winding road, and is in the shape that the mountain will allow. The entire village is on the side of a mountain which overlooks the lake - Lake Molveno. It is indeed a beautiful lake.

How do I get there?
Well, I was there over a year ago, in September, 2000. I got there by bus. I was on a trip of the dolomites with my girlfriend. It was a hiking trip, and we had no car. We were actually on our way northwards from Verona to Bolzano, but for some reason, decided at the last moment to get off at Trento and head for Molveno. So that's how we got there - a bus from Trento. The railways and buses change their schedules often, so I can't be very specific. But you can check for railways to Trento on any Euro Railway site. The Molveno site claims there is a bus every 2 hours, but you should check. To get there by road: get a map. Seriously. Don't travel the dolomites without a map. If you need general directions: get off the highway at Trento, and turn left towards San Lorenzo.

Where Do I stay?
I camped at the camping in Molveno. It's very well organised. Each tent/trailer gets it's own square of land. You don't have much space. Actually, two tents are placed in a square, so you get quite boxed in. But the ground is level, which is important, and you get treated well. (This is important, as some places (like the Sesto camping site) don't care much for tenters, and you get crappy spots). The showers are very nice, and the restaurant is cheap, homelike and altogether quite lovely, with the checkered maps and smiling waitresses. Get the Quatro formaggio pizza. It's great.

There are hotels if you like. I'm not sure how many, but probably not loads. there are several restaurants which aren't all that cheap, but then again not all that expensive. I was on a budget, so I only ate one (hot) meal outside the camp, and it was quite good.

What do I do there?
There were some attractions which I can't remember, but the tourist office is really nice, and you should go there (at the top of the road). I think somebody even spoke English there. My girlfriend and I took hiking maps and planned our hike. There are two main hikes to go to:

  1. By cable car (or climbing) to Rifugio Alfonso del Cruz, and then to Rifugio Solvata, Rifugio Malgo di Andalo and down to Molveno through the lake. This is advertised as a 3-hour trek. It isn't. We figured that we'd climb up instead of take the cable car. It was nice in that at every bend we saw a breathtaking view of Lake Molveno, but it took us longer than anticipated. For people used to trekking, it should take about 4 hours without the climb. With the climb, and if you're not mister expert trekker, look at about 6-7 hours. And going down was slippery and quite dangerous. If you want to walk this, get a sturdy pointy stick, for the dangerous climbs down.

  2. A leisurely walk around the lake. As my girlfriend's feet were all nice and blistered from the unexpectedly long walk (and her new trekking boots), we took a leisurely walk around the lake. You can do this trail on a bike too. It takes about a couple of hours by foot to the best of my memory. Also, it's an easy walk, so if you have older people or children, it's fun for them too. You can swim in the lake if it's not too cold.
You should really ask the tourist office there and at Trento for stuff to do other than that. I listed the two treks I went on, but there are many more. Of course, you can stop at the Rifugi (if you've got more money than me), and then you can really go on some kick-ass treks!
When should I go?
Summer. I was there at the very end of August/beginning of September. At 16:00 every afternoon it rained. It rained heavily. Get there around July, I think, for perfect weather. You can do some sports then, and hang out in the lake - stuff which we couldn't do because it was too cold.
Anything else?
Yes, check out the local cemetary. It is the most colourful thing I saw in Italy. It is small, but absolutely beautiful. The flowers there are in every colour imaginable in about 40 square metres. I almost missed the bus in order to take a photo.

Where else should I go in the Dolomites?
For starters, try to sample different regions of the dolomites - the Dolomiti di Brenta, the Dolomiti di Sesto, the Sciliar, the Marmolada, etc. They are all different, and beautiful.

There is a site about Molveno: http://www.dolomitimolveno.com/english/html/home.html. I didn't really look at it much, but I thought it would be nice to add to this node.

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