Masks, disinfectant gel, social distancing—one could think Covid-19 would destroy the Alpine hiking season but not in the Dolomites which saw a dramatic increase in Italian visitors and heroic efforts by those running the refuges to remain open.
Cembra – Italy. Since the Dolomites were made World Heritage sites by UNESCO in 2009, the number of Alpine hikers and tourists has grown exponentially. But if you tire of the crowds and of finding mountain refuges and valley hotels booked out weeks and months in advance; if your mind spins from juggling the Südtiroler German names with those the Italians have been trying to impose on Alto Adige ever since they annexed it from Austria after WWI (how does Grassleitenpass become Passo Principe?), there is a valley not yet over-run by the international tourist industry and which is pure Italy without the noise, hustle and bustle: the Val di Cembra.