Monday, March 21, 2011

Eureka, Verona!

Before leaving the subject of skiing in the Dolomites for another season, a word about getting there.

We have tried it all. We have flown into Venice, Bergamo, Bologna and this year - Verona. From these jumping off points, we have rented cars, taken taxis and taken combinations of trains and taxis.  If you want the bottom line after 7 years of trial and error of getting to Alta Badia from London, Verona is by far the best access point.

Its got an excellent airport that is big enough to have services but small enough to be efficient. The city is fantastic if you want to spend some time (more on that later). There are frequent, inexpensive train connections to Bolzano from which you can get a moderately priced, comfortable cab to the resort. (We’ve decided to leave the business of driving mountain passes in winter in all kinds of weather to the locals.)

A good local taxi company is Pescosta Alfredo, Taxi-Bus Alta Badia Tel: 0471 836393.

If you are interested in how Verona compares to other things we tried, here is a summary:

Venice – Good airport, great city but don’t go during Carnival and getting all your ski luggage on and off boats is not ideal. From there, it’s best to rent a car or use an expensive taxi service. Train connections not great.

Bergamo – Serviced by Ryanair. As they say, there is a sucker born every minute,  but we’ve had enough abuse and will not fly them again so bye bye Bergamo.

Bologna – Good airport. Nice city but longish train ride to Bolzano.

If you do decide to spend some time in Verona, here are some recommendations:

We loved the Hotel Accademia, a lovely well run hotel in the best possible location.

You won’t regret eating at any of these 3 restaurants that offer wonderful food and good experiences with excellent value:

1)   Antico Tripoli, Via Spagna 2 Tel: 045 8035756
2)   Hosteria La Vecchia Fontanina, P.tta Chiavica 5 Tel: 045 591159
3)   Al Pompiere, Vicolo Regina d’Ungheria 5, Tel: 045 8030537

Buy a Verona Card (1/3 days Eur 8/12), it pays for itself almost immediately.

Go inside Juliette’s house (as in Romeo & Juliette) even though 1) she never existed, 2) it is chaos outside and 3) looks cheesy. Inside is atmospheric and very nice. 

Photo: Holy Water Font (1495) from the Church of St. Anastasia, Verona

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