ITALY: DREAMING OF THE DOLOMITES

September 2018 | Dates TBD


Adventure Overview

  • Dates: Sept. 2018 | Dates TBD
  • Pricing: $4,375/pp
  • Activity Level: 3/5

PROGRAM INTRODUCTION

South Tyrol, the northernmost province in Italy, is abound with contrasts: It is home to Mediterranean landscapes and the dramatic and breathtaking Dolomites, the towering and jagged limestone peaks that are part of the Italian Alps and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Here, you will find deeply rooted traditions interspersed with cosmopolitan curiosities. Italian, Austrian, and Ladin cultures intermingle peacefully and pink and yellow limestone peaks tower like monuments over quaint villages, lush meadows, wooded valleys, and sun-soaked trails.

Join Muddy Shoe Adventures for 7 adventure-filled days as we explore the Dolomites and South Tyrol. Throughout the week, we'll have a classic adventure experience:

  • Hiking through the green pastures and alpine meadows of the Alpi di Siusi (Europe's largest mountain plateau) 
  • Enjoying breathtaking views of the Dolomites as you challenge yourself and conquer your fears on a via ferrata
  • Sleeping in exquisite hotels and quaint mountain lodges that were built before the United States existed as a country
  • Indulging in the many delicious cuisines and wines of one of the world's most famous culinary and wine-growing regions
  • Exploring the unique and incredible culture and history of the South Tyrol region that make it such a magical place

Along the way, you'll be supported by Michael Bennett, MSA's Founder & Chief Adventure Officer, on your journey of personal exploration and discovery. Michael will use the trip's many adventures as catalysts for casual yet inspirational discussions that will help you learn from what you are experiencing and develop a strategic action plan for kick-starting the next chapter in your life!


YOUR PROGRAM LEADER

MICHAEL BENNETT, ED.D. | Founder & Chief Adventure Officer @ MSA

Hi there! My name is Michael, and I am pumped up and proud to be your Program Leader for this adventure through northern Italy! A little bit about me: I am a seasoned traveler, organizational consultant, accidental entrepreneur, and life/career coach. Inspired by my own transformational travel experiences and a personal struggle to find meaningful work, I dedicated my life to helping others change their lives through coaching and travel programs. I launched MSA in 2011 as way to support other people in traveling the world, pushing their comfort zones, exploring new cultures and perspectives and ideas, engaging in powerful conversations, and applying the lessons they learned to transform their lives. 

Read more about Michael's first story of transformational travel here!


DETAILED ITINERARY

DAY 1: DREAMING OF THE DOLOMITES

  • Meals: Snack, Dinner
  • Hotel: Hotel Grones (Ortisei)

ARRIVE IN ITALY + TRANSFER TO ORTISEI

Welcome to Italy! Fly into Venice, Munich, or Innsbruck and make your way to Bolzano, the capital city of South Tyrol, in the heart of the Dolomite Region. We will meet there and enjoy a bite to eat before being transferred to Ortisei, a picturesque alpine village nestled among the mountains. A special Welcome Dinner awaits!


DAY 2: DREAMING OF THE DOLOMITES

  • Meals: B, L, D
  • Hotel: Hotel Grones (Ortisei)

HIKING THE DOLOMITES

After a well-deserved night's sleep, the adventure begins! A hearty breakfast will be followed by our first hiking adventure in the Italian Alps. We'll traverse lush alpine meadows and fields while enjoying spectacular views of the surrounding Dolomite mountains. Lunch on the trail will be provided by our guides, and we'll dive into our first extensive Muddy Shoe conversation before returning to Ortisei around 4PM for some relaxation, conversation, and shopping. 


DAY 3: DREAMING OF THE DOLOMITES

  • Meals: B, L, D 
  • Hotel: Hotel Grones (Ortisei)

VIA FERRATA OR BIKING

Today, the group will decide what we do: Our options include a bike ride through the winding mountain paths and pastures of the Dolomites where we'll enjoy the magnificence and sheer magnitude of the mountains OR climbing on the via ferrata ('via ferrata' literally means “iron path,” originating from the metal ladders used by the military in WWI to navigate this mountainous region) where we'll enjoy vistas typically reserved only for mountaineers! We'll return to Ortisei mid-afternoon for a group discussion and time for yourself to explore the town. 


DAY 4: DREAMING OF THE DOLOMITES

    • Meals: B, L, D 
    • Hotel: Schlernhaus Mountain Lodge

    TREKKING THE ALPE DI SIUSI

    Depart Ortisei after breakfast and take a cable car up to the Alpe di Siusi, the largest mountain meadow in the Alps. We'll enjoy a mellow and beautiful high-level traverse of the Alpe di Siusi to Schlernhaus, an historic mountain lodge perched atop the mighty Schlern peak that offers breathtaking views in every direction. You'll have time to settle into the lodge and grab a bite to eat with the group before an afternoon MSA discussion. Before dinner, go on a hike of your own, relax with new friends, or meet with Michael. 


    DAY 5: DREAMING OF THE DOLOMITES

    • Meals: B, L, D
    • Hotel: Castel Fragsburg

    TREKKING THE ALPE DI SIUSI

    We'll depart Schlernhaus and make our way to Gostner Schwaige, a small alpine hut located on the Alpe di Siusi where we will enjoy a truly once in a lifetime meal: Local meats, cheeses, breads, wines, juices, and desserts will leave us feeling full and satisfied! After a short walk, we'll be transferred to Castel Fragsburg for a sundowner and an unforgettable dinner prepared by Michelin chef Luis Haller.


    DAY 6: DREAMING OF THE DOLOMITES

    • Meals: B, L, D
    • Hotel: Castel Fragsburg

    COOKING CLASS + WINE TASTING

    Greet the morning sun as it rises over the mountains with an optional yoga class. After breakfast, we'll be treated to a cooking class at Zmailerhof and then enjoy the fruits -- or dumplings -- of our labors while dining on the outside patio with sweeping views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. After lunch, we'll visit a local vineyard for some wine-tasting before heading back to our hotel. Dinner at the restaurant in Castel Fragsburg.


    DAY 7: DREAMING OF THE DOLOMITES

    • Meals: B, L
    • Hotel: On Your Own

    SPA DAY! + PROGRAM ENDS

    Our final morning together in South Tyrol begins with another optional morning yoga class. After breakfast, we will close our program with a discussion about what holds us back from having what we want in life and how we can overcome those obstacles! The rest of the day free to enjoy the spa, head out on one last hike in the Dolomites or travel to your next destination or your departure city.


    DAY 8: DREAMING OF THE DOLOMITES

    • Meals: None 
    • Hotel: None

    DEPARTURE

    Head to the airport for your flight home or continue your travels through Europe! We are happy to work with you to extend your trip -- Simply contact us to learn more! 


    ACCOMMODATIONS

    HOTEL GRONES (ORTISEI) | Hotel Grones is a delightful and quaint family-run 4-star hotel situated in the mountain village of Ortisei and surrounded by the mountain ranges of the Dolomites. Hotel Grones is the perfect place to relax and enjoy great conversation, drink, and food after an exciting and adventurous day in the mountains of Val Gardena.

    SCHLERNHAUS MOUNTAIN LODGE (CASTELROTTO) | For almost 140 years, the Schlernhaus (Schlern House) has been a destination for alpinists from all over the world. At Schlernhaus, you can sample the extremes that shape South Tyrol’s dramatic landscape: Pastures and meadows on the plateaus juxtaposed against the steep cliff faces and mountain peaks of the Dolomites. 

    CASTEL FRAGSBURG (MERANO) | Between orchards and vineyards, in absolute seclusion high above the rooftops of the spa town of Merano, stands the 5-star hotel Castel Fragsburg. Not only does this inimitable lodge receive its guests in a unique and sophisticated atmosphere, it also dazzles them with its unrivaled views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Castel Fragsburg is the perfect place to reconnect with yourself.


    INCLUSIONS & PRICING

    What's Included

    The following items are included in your Adventure:

    • 1 pre-adventure coaching call with Michael
    • Transfer from Bolzano to Ortisei
    • 3 nights in a 4-star hotel in Ortisei
    • 1 night in a traditional alpine mountain lodge 
    • 2 nights in a 5-star hotel in Merano
    • All meals and non-alcoholic beverages
    • All guided adventure activities (Ex: Hiking, etc.)
    • Facilitated MSA Program with your Program Leader 
    • Tips for services (Accommodation, food, guides, etc.)
    • Transfer from Merano to Bolzano
    • 1 post-adventure coaching call with Michael

    What's NOT Included

    The following items are NOT included in your Adventure:

    • International airfare
    • Transportation to/from Bolzano, Italy
    • Snacks or beverages outside of planned MSA meals
    • Alcoholic beverages outside of scheduled activities
    • Souvenirs or personal gifts
    • Items of a personal nature (medicines, toiletries, etc.)
    • Tips for MSA program leaders (optional)

    Note: Every Muddy Shoe Adventure also includes our 3-month pre-trip Call to Adventure program and our 1-month post-trip Return of the Hero process. Contact us to learn more!

    Pricing for this Dolomites Adventure is $4,395 and is based on double occupancy. Single supplement may be available upon request. Contact us for more information. We are happy to offer different payment options for you. We always strive to maintain a balance between offering our programs to the widest range of participants and running a sustainable and thriving company so that we can continue to create and share our experiences with you. Occasionally we offer scholarships and work/trade opportunities for those that are interested. Please contact us for more information.

    Note: Rates are tentative and are subject to change until all reservations are made. 


    I'M DREAMING OF THE DOLOMITES!

    Register for this Adventure!

    Ready to travel the world and transform your life? Register for this Dreaming of the Dolomites Adventure by clicking the button below! 

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    Create Your Own Adventure!

    Dreaming of the Dolomites but can't make these dates work? We are happy to create a customized Adventure for you. Click below to get started!

    Go on a Self-Guided Adventure!

    Want to explore the Dolomites on your own but want MSA's help in using your adventure to transform your life? Explore our Self-Guided Adventures!


    FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

    Below you will find answers to some of the frequently asked questions about this Adventure. Have more questions? Contact us!

    Is this program for me?

    This program is for you if you love traveling, making new friends, challenging yourself with physical activities, exploring new cultures, and engaging in informal yet inspirational conversations. You are ready to create something exciting and new in your life — a job or career or even a new company, a new relationship, and/or new perspectives and new ways of looking at things.

     

    Do I need to be in great shape to participate?

    You do not need to be a world-class athlete to participate in this program. You should, however, be fit enough to walk/hike for 4—6 hours at a time, occasionally on steep terrain. If you have questions or concerns about your ability to complete this program, please contact MSA at (424) 216—8339.

     

    How does the Your Hero's Journey process work?

    All of our Adventures follow a three-part process of exploration, discovery, and transformation that we call Your Hero's Journey. Like the Hero's Journey itself, YHJ consists of 3 stages:

    1. The Call to Adventure — A series of pre-departure calls help us get to know each other and prepare for our Journey
    2. The Adventure — We explore the world, have fun, engage in meaningful discussions, and learn from our experiences
    3. The Return of the Hero — A series of post-trip calls that help us keep each other accountable for the actions we commit to

    The goal? To create an exciting, powerful, and life-changing experience for you and your fellow travelers!

     

    What does a typical day on this Adventure look like?

    The days will be exhilarating and, in some cases, physically challenging. We'll hike on some of the most beautiful trails in the world surrounded by spiring peaks and alpine pastures and learn about traditional and contemporary Tyrolean culture. In the evenings, over a delicious meal and a beer or a glass of wine, we'll dive into casual yet inspirational conversations about what you are learning from your experiences (and one another) and how you can apply those lessons to transform your life. 

     

    How many people will be going with me on this Adventure?

    We limit the group size for all of our Adventures to a max of 8 participants. (We also require a minimum of 4 people for this trip.) Most participants for this program are between the ages of 25—45, but we've had adventurers as young as 65 on our programs. Generally speaking, we see a few more women than men on our programs.

     

    How do I sign up for this Adventure?

     

    How much is the deposit for this trip? What is the payment schedule like?

    MSA requires a $500 deposit for this program. We can break your remaining balance into two payments due 120 and then 90 days before the program starts. We'll send you en electronic invoice a few days before your final payments are due. You can pay by credit card or by check, although a 3% fee will be added to all credit card payments. 

     

    What is the cancellation policy for this Adventure?

    If you need to cancel your booking prior to departure, money will be returned less the cancellation fees based on the following schedule:  

    Days Prior to Departure: Fee Per Person

    • 91 or more days: Initial deposit
    • 31—90 days: 50% of program cost
    • 30 or fewer days: 100% of program cost

    Check out our Terms & Conditions for more info. 

     

    What's the weather like in Italy in September?

    PERFECT!! Temperatures are typically in the low- to mid-70s during the day, and can drop into the 50s (or below) at night. 

     

    What do I need to bring or pack?

    The best approach is to bring layers of clothing: Everything from shorts and t-shirts to jackets, sweaters, and gloves. We strongly encourage you to purchase trekking poles for this adventure, as we’ve found them to be incredibly valuable on day hikes, particularly when exploring unfamiliar terrain. A broken-in pair of hiking boots with excellent tread is critical. A detailed packing list will be sent out via email about 30 days prior to the program date. 

     

    Which airport should I fly into?

    You have a variety of options:

    • Venice Marco Polo International Airport (VCE) — 3 hours by train
    • Milan Malpensa International Airport (MXP) — 4 hours by train
    • Munich Airport (MUC) — 4 hours by train
    • Innsbruck Airport (INN) — 4 hours by train

    Feel free to call us if you have questions about airports, trains, etc. 

     

    What should I do if I have questions that are not addressed here?

    Simple — CONTACT US! We're happy to talk to you about any questions, concerns, or ideas you have about your program.