Why You Should Explore the Italian Alps for Your Next Road Trip
The Alps provide a stunning location for any holiday, but are particularly magnificent for a road trip. Whilst many people think of heading to Austria or France, Italy offers a spectacular journey through not only the Alps but also a wide range of beautiful scenery including the Dolomites and the vast lakes that are scattered throughout northern Italy.
Start your holiday in Bolzano, to the north east of Italy. Flights connect to the airport here from Rome and you’ll be able to collect your hire car directly at the airport. Bolzano is a fascinating city which has the dual languages of Italian and German. Bolzano is the capital of the state of South Tyrol and seen as the capital of the Alps along with Innsbruck. There is much to explore here, especially if you want to explore the historical roots of the Alps which you can do by visiting the Messner Mountain Museum and Runkelstein Castle. The biggest draw to the city is a trip to the South Tyrol Archaeology Museum which houses the famous Otzi the Iceman, a fantastically preserved mummy dating back to 3300BC.
Using Bolzano as your base for a few days, take the A22 20 miles north to Merano. This idyllic town is popular with holiday makers and is a well known spa resort at St. Vigllio. Take in the old castles and try to catch a folklore evening which is held once a week here, telling tales, singing traditional songs and dancing.From here it’s back onto the A22, or the MeBo as this stretch is known, arrive in Bolzano before heading east on the E45 to Val Gardena. This resort has often been voted as one of the best Ski resorts in the Alps so it’s definitely a must see destination. You can also explore the route from Bolzano to Cortina d’Ampezzo. Here you’ll drive through the Dolomites which are part of the limestone southern Alps and often seen as the most spectacular of the Italian mountain ranges.
Road Trip Map
Once you’ve enjoyed the slopes, it’s time to head south on the E45 to Trento. This upmarket town is a historic marvel and lies in the foothills of the Alps in the Adige Valley. Park up and take time to wander around the town to marvel at their historical sights, making sure you include the Piazza Duomo and the Castello del Buonconsglio. Once back in the car, take a slight detour off your route by heading east on the E70 to Verona, the iconic setting for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
From here, it’s time to head further west, along the E70 to Lake Garda, the largest lake in Italy. This will take you then onto the E64 where you should also make sure you stop off at the medieval town of Bergamo and at Monza, home to one of the most iconic races in Formula One.
From Monza, it’s a steady journey on the E64 and then merging onto the E25 to Aosta. Lying in the heart of the Alps and within the Aosta Valley, the town is famous for its Roman ruins and museum. It is a great place to base yourself to explore the wider valley, including Mont Blanc, the tallest mountain in the Alps and the Matterhorn. You should also ensure you take a trip up into the mountains to enjoy the spectacular views from Helbronner.
If you’re itching to get going, compare prices for car hire in Italy and book your flights!
Road Trip Photos
Image Credits: Under Licence from Shutterstock:
Picturesque mountain Dolomites landscape. Italy, Image ID: 116603602, Copyright: Igor Plotnikov
Picturesque rural landscape with castle. Bolzano, Italy, Image ID: 116107360, Copyright: Igor Plotnikov
Trento panorama, Image ID: 119459434, Copyright: Bartek Lichocki
View over the famous Village of Limone sul Garda,Lake Garda,Italy, Image ID: 97648676, Copyright: travelpeter
Italian Alps. Valle d'Aosta, Image ID: 133247432, Copyright: Anna Biancoloto