Italy's stunningly beautiful Dolomite Mountains form a natural border between Italy, Austria, and southeastern Switzerland. A visit to any part of the Dolomites is well worth your time, whether you want to relax in a mountain meadow, hike to a pristine lake, or climb the world's first via ferrata. Winter sports draw thousands of visitors to the Dolomites every year, and the high country of the Dolomites is extremely popular with summertime adventure travelers.
The cities of Trento, Bozen/Bolzano, and Belluno are your gateways to the splendors of the Dolomites. Trenitalia and trains connect Rome to all three cities. You can also fly to Verona or Venice and take a taxi, train or bus from there. Driving from Rome to the Dolomites is a good option if you want to explore the inviting towns and breathtaking vista points in the region. Bus travel is a less-desirable alternative, as it takes longer than traveling by train or car.
As you travel from Rome to the Dolomites, consider visiting other iconic Italian cities along the way. If Trento or Bozen is your destination, a stopover in Florence, Bologna, or Lake Garda could be in order. If, on the other hand, you are heading to Belluno or Cortina d'Ampezzo, you might want to stop in Padua, Vicenza, or Venice.
Duration: 4-10.5 hours, depending on destination
Trenitalia Frecce and ItaloTreno trains offer frequent departures from Rome to Trento (4-5 hours), Rome to Bozen/Bolzano (4.5-6 hours), and Rome to Padua, changing trains in Florence, with bus connections from Padua to Belluno (6-10.5 hours, depending on the length of your layovers).
By Plane, Car, and Train
Duration: 5 hours
Verona is the closest airport to Trento and Bozen/Bolzano. Alitalia offers several flights per day from Rome's Leonardo da Vinci Airport (Fiumicino) to Verona's Valerio Catullo Airport. From there, take a bus or taxi to Verona Porta Nuova Station, where you can catch a train or FlixBus or hire a taxi or private driver to take you to Trento or Bozen/Bolzano.
To get to Belluno, fly to Venice's Marco Polo Airport. Take a taxi or travel by FlixBus to Venice's Mestre Station, where you can board a train to Belluno. If you prefer, you can hire a taxi or private driver to take you directly to Belluno, which is just one hour away by car.
By Rental Car or Private Transfer
Duration: 6.5 hours, depending on destination
The fastest way to drive from Rome to Trento (365 miles/478 kilometers) or Bozen/Bolzano (398 miles/640 kilometers) is via the A1/E35 and A22/E45 toll highways. The A1/E35 takes you past Florence, Bologna, and the southern end of Lake Garda. From the A22/E45, you can take a quick side trip to Riva del Garda at the northern tip of Lake Garda.
To get from Rome to Belluno (384 miles/618 kilometers), take the A1/E35, A4/E70, A57/E70, and A27 toll highways. You will pass Verona, Vicenza, Padua, and Venice, all worth a visit if time permits.
As you drive, be aware of the average speed cameras on the toll highways. You will be ticketed if your average speed between cameras exceeds the posted speed limit. Fixed speed cameras abound on state roads.
Most large cities and tourist destinations in Italy have some kind of Zona a Traffico Limitado (ZTL), or limited traffic zone, either in the historic city center or in high-traffic areas. If you do not have a permit to drive in the ZTL, do not attempt to do so. Drivers without permits are ticketed if they enter a ZTL.