Subject: Re: Planning for June vacation in the Dolomiti
Hi, I've been for many years on vacation in the Dolomiti area, so here are some suggestions from my side.

>- Depending on the weather, drive the next day to Verona, but we
>have two routes. One of them is going into Italy, and near Genova,
>take the motorway up to Alessandria. The other one consists of
>driving up to Gap, Briançon, and cross the frontier via
>going down to Torino and Milano. We have done both years ago, and my
>mum is not a big fan of the Genova option (she complains about the
>trucks and the tunnels), so we will see.

Your mother is probably right. The highway from the France border to Genoa is not one of the best in Italy! So, unless you plan a stop in Genoa (which may be a very nice idea!), you better drive through the Frejus.

>We won´t plan anything after this. Maybe booking a place for a
>couple of days in the Dolomiti, and nothing else. After this year,
>we are a bit afraid that there will still be snow in the walking
>paths (there is a lot of snow in the Pyrenees this year). I´d love
>to come up with an optional itinerary, just in case.

I'm afraid that only a couple of days is quite a too short time to enjoy the Dolomiti! You don't need to book in advance. June is still low season for that area, so you'll find plenty of rooms in Hotels or private rooms. Probably, most of the paths will be free of snow, unless you hike on the higher ones (but there's a plenty of choices in that area)

>And ... for the walkers among the Ziners (not a lot, but there are a
>few) ... if there isn´t so much snow, any favourite walking path?
>I am not a big fan of the vie ferrate, but maybe my mum and my
>sister would like to try one of them. We were thinking of doing a
>tour of the Lavaredo Dre Cime, going up to the Tofane, the Nuvolau
>and maybe some walk in the Sella and the Pordoi.

If you want to try a via ferrata, a terrific one is the Tridentina in the Sella Group. It's probably free of snow in that period (and more important, not dangerously crowded like in August). Anyway, it a medium/high difficulty (it requires you to be always secured to the cable). There are also easier ferrata, like the Averau (near Nuvolau). Always inform yourself in advance about the conditions of the path. The tour of the Tre Cime di Lavaredo is one of my favourites. The peaks of Tofane can be reached only with quite challenging vie ferrate. Anyway, the entire area of Tofane is really terrific! You can also consider the Val Pusteria area. That's better if you want to just relax and walk in wonderful woods. A good place is Rasun in Val Anterselva.

You can find in the internet a lot of web sites for the different Dolomiti areas, with information on hotels and room rentals.

Enjoy your holiday!

Stefano Dighero Genova - Italy