Running in the Italian Dolomites

A look at running in the Italian Dolomites and its Alta Via 1.

By on August 31, 2011 | Comments

[The iRunFar team is currently relaxing in Italy (Courmayeur to be exact) after covering and running The North Face Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, so we thought now would be an appropriate time to publish the following piece on trail running in another part of Italy – the Dolomites. Below, world renowned outdoor sports photographer Dan Patitucci shares his thoughts on and PatitucciPhoto’s images of the Italian Dolomites and the range’s Alta Via 1 trail.]

Running in the Italian Dolomites
by Dan Patitucci

The fact that I came and never left pretty much sums it all up.

I am a mountain sport athlete: road biker, mountain biker, backcountry skier, climber and trail runner.

My idea of running is putting in huge days in the mountains, climbing peaks along the way and exploring new areas, all in a stunning environment.

The Dolomites offer a lifetime of terrain, a mind boggling vast trail system with backcountry huts complete with fresh Italian food, espresso machines and comfy accommodations.

The Alta Via 1
The destination trail is the Alta Via 1. During the summer months of July through September, the trail is loaded with hikers from all parts of the world. They come for the opportunity to travel north to south through the heart of the Dolomites. Utilizing the socially stimulating mountain huts, evenings are spent eating Italian specialty foods, sipping fine wines and communicating in a wide variety of languages.

The Alta Via 1 is the premier long trail in the Dolomites, the PCT of the region. Most parties spend 10-12 days on the 120km long trail. While Topher Gaylord did it in just under 20 hours, we have run it comfortably in four days, using the huts along the route for food, drinks and sleeping.

120km in four days through arguably the worldʼs most beautiful mountains? Eating great food? …and with only a hydration pack? Yes, itʼs possible.

For complete information & inspiration for traveling to the Dolomites, visit the Patitucciʼs DolomiteSport.

For information on running the Alta Via 1, both on a guided or self guided trip, visit the regionʼs Tour Operator for Mountain Sport Athletes.

Dan & Janine Patitucci are two of the outdoor industry’s leading photographers as well as fulltime athletes. Their work is used by Patagonia, Mountain Hardware, Smartwool, GORE-TEX and countless others. Their portfolio and blog is

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