Lago di Sorapiss, Italy
Not the first place you think of when visiting Italy? Don't worry, neither did I. The Dolomites are a mountain range located in northeastern Italy and are a very reasonable car ride away from Venice. They offer SO much more than mountains - like one of the most stunning and breathtaking hikes AND lakes out there. Hello, Lago di Sorapiss. This place is turquoise magic. This is the hike you do whether you've been hiking all your life or finally starting out. Gem, Gem, Gem!
Where to begin:
We had a bit of troubling finding the exact spot where to start the actual hike and wasted (not the right word at all) half the day hiking a route that apparently was unreachable without the proper gear. It seemed that a few others had mistaken this to be the route as well. To clear up the logistics of where you want to be...
Location: Cortina d’Ampezzo. Precisely - Passo Tre Croci. Google maps worked pretty well & being on the look out for signs. #215 – the trail for Rifugio Vandelli and Lago di Sorapiss is just behind the fence. There should be cars parked right outside. Yes, its safe to leave your car there!
Length & Time: 10 kilometers. 2-2.5 hours each way.
Intensity: Moderate. There seemed to be a field trip of middle aged kids completing the hike. (Never in America would this have been allowed).
Our experience (with some comic relief)
[Approximately 5pm on a Tuesday, clear skies, shorts & t-shirt] — Excited and impatient to finally set course on the correct route, we realize 15 minutes in that we left our wallets in the car - because its not like you're going to need it during a 2 hour hike, right? Wrong. Long story short, there was clearly going to be a very intense thunderstorm that night. We reached the actual lake around 7-7:30pm and the rain and thunder was starting. 250+ pictures later, we realized we needed to try to get a shelter for the night. Hiking back was not an option. Luckily, Rifugio Vandelli trusted us and provided us with accommodation and a very much needed sweater to hike in the next morning. Ah, I love Italy.
The Lake itself:
What you're wondering:
Nope, I was not adequately dressed for this hike. Hiking shoes are really a must.