The Dolomites are called the Italian Alps, for good reason. The mountains themselves are not extremely tall, but they rise so abruptly from a low valley floor their tall jagged peaks are very impressive. The area is a mecca for skiers, hikers , mountain bike enthusiasts and para-sailing. Many inhabitants do not like that this region became part of Italy after World War I, so there continues to be a strong Austrian influence in the buildings, language and menus. We hiked most days here and learned about Italian rifugios.