The starting point is in Bolzano. Before leaving, however, the old town centre and, according to the timetable, maybe the Archaeologic Museum, are worth visiting.
Enter the main road s.s. 12 in the direction of Bressanone/Brixen and continue towards Val d'Ega. The first gully at the beginning of the valley is one of the most romantic ravines in South Tyrol. Drive to Ponte Nova, Nova Levante , and after 6 km you find the Carezza Lake, one of the nicest lakes in the Dolomites, where the Latemar and Catinaccio mountain chains reflect.
Our route continues to Passo Costalunga and, just before the top it turns left towards Passo Nigra. Then descend to Tires (1020 m.): this town is immersed in the verdant pastures and boasts a breathtaking view on the Catinaccio chain.
Past the hamlet turn right towards Fiè allo Sciliar.
Here you can see the Sciliar Plateau in the distance, one of the most fascinating places in the Dolomites, that opens in all his majesty with the little hamlets and the mountain churches. Near it there is the Alpe di Siusi, with many pastures and woods.
The first stop is in Seis, past Fiè allo Sciliar, with the castle Castel Prèsule, an imposing building with seven towers, built on an ancient XII-century manor.
During the stop in Siusi you can visit two ancient churches: St. Valentine church is enriched by absolutely wonderful XIV-century frescoes, whereas St Vigil church dates back to 1353.
In order to reach Ortisei, the second stage of the itinerary, you must drive along 27 km of a very binding uphill road, via Castelrotto, a Ladin hamlet with ancients traditions. The Calvary chapels, obtained from the ruins of an old fort, is an excellent example of the history of this village.
Along the road that leads to Ortisei you can have a further stop in Rifugio Bellavista. The Refuge lies at 1884 m and the view it allows will reward you of the 10 km-bends and the 900 metre drop necessary to get there.
In Ortisei, well known for its arts and crafts and the winter sports, it
is worth visiting the Museum of Val Gardena in the "Cësa di Ladins" and
the church of San James/Sankt Jacob at about one km and a half from the
town, where you can admire frescoes of the '400.
Past Ortisei you
reach Selva di Val Gardena/Wolkenstein, an international resort. Drive
now uphill for 12 km towards Plan de Gralba at 1780 m. Climbing to Passo
Sella, bends and hairpin bends are more and more frequent and will
give moments of pure fun to expert drivers.
Now you can decide to
continue to Passo Pordoi or take an alternative route. In both
cases you get to Arabba, but the second one allows you to enjoy the
Marmolada via Passo di Fedaia, at 2057 m, and Alleghe, a friendly
tourist resort at the foot of the Civetta.
As you get to
Arabba, well-known for its ski area, you have to continue to Passo di
Campolongo, and then climb up to Corvara, a true jewel of the Alta
Badia famous for winter sports and the fine cuisine.
From here you
have to drive uphill again along hairpin bends towards Passo di
Gardena/Grödnerjoch. After a panoramic stop with a view on the Sella
Group you have to go back to Ortisei/St Ulrich and then turn to Ponte
Gardena/Waidbruck, in order to get to Bolzano/Bozen, arrival of