Take A Trip To This Italian National Park For Incredible Mountain Views

Beyond the pizza and the piazzas, Italy is home to a kaleidoscope of breathtaking landscapes. From the rolling vineyards of its most popular wine destinations to the serene beaches of the Amalfi Coast and the historic towns of Tuscany, the country is a symphony of colors, flavors, and traditions. But let's be honest, Italy isn't just about the wines or the shores — the country's mountainous regions offer equally stunning views that feel like they were taken straight out of a storybook.

The only national park in northeastern Italy, Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park is a gem that simply can't be missed. Operating since 1994, the park is home to not just flora and fauna and glistening streams, but also to the Dolomites — arguably one of the most famous and picturesque mountain ranges in the world.

A haven for mountaineering and trekking enthusiasts, Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park features a plethora of trails that range from beginner-friendly paths to challenging routes. All of these cater to adventurers of all levels and promise an unforgettable outdoor experience in the heart of the Italian wilderness.

A peak into adventure

Dominated by mountains such as the Spiz di Mezzodi, Schiara, and Talvena, there's no shortage of adventure within Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park. Meanwhile, the highest peak in the park and the highest point in the Dolomites — Marmolada Peak — towers over the scenery at 10,968 feet tall.

For those itching to lace up their hiking boots, trails are abundant and diverse. Two of the most highly-rated and walked trails are the Carestiato Hut to Sommariva al Pramperet Hut trail, which spans 8 miles, and the San Sebastiano Refuge to Pian de Fontana Refuge, stretching over 10.5 miles. Both of these form part of the iconic Alta Via 1 Dolomites — a staggering 75-mile journey along the range. For more experienced hikers, tackling the entire length of the Alta Via 1 can be a rewarding experience. Split into a 4-day trek from Passo Duran to Belluno, this hike consists of both easy and technical terrains, which means adequate preparation and equipment are essential.

However, if challenging trails aren't on your itinerary, Dolomiti Bellunesi has you covered. The park's nature trails, for example, are there for a more relaxed experience. Specifically, the Val di Canzoi loop offers a serene 4-hour walk around the Lago della Stua, while the Val Falcina walk promises picturesque scenery in a relaxed 2-hour journey. No matter what you choose to do, you can expect encounters with wildlife — the park is home to 114 bird species, 20 species of reptiles, and 56 species of mammals.

Rest and recharge in nature

Visitors will be happy to know that the park also offers lodging options in partnership with local hotels and guesthouses, which means guests don't have to go far to unwind after a day of exploring. You can expect accommodations that feel rustic and charming, with some bed and breakfasts offering hearty meals to ensure you start the day energized and revitalized. Beyond that, the park's "Menu del Parco" (Park's Menu) is also available at nearby restaurants and made with locally sourced ingredients and products. Want to bring the flavors of Dolomiti Bellunesi home? The park collaborates with small producers to offer everything from orzo (a type of short pasta) to cheese, cold cuts, and liquors.

When it comes to planning your trip, the best time to visit Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park is from mid-June to September — especially if you're an avid hiker. Past this time, most hotels and trails will close for the season due to the imminent approach of the harsh winter climate.

As for getting there, the park is located in the Italian province of Belluno. Roughly 73 miles from the city of Venice, the park is accessible through the cities of Belluno and Feltre. While renting a car will be your best bet for getting where you want to be, reaching these two entry points is also possible via train and local bus. You can check out the park's official website for more detailed timetables.