(Courtesy of TJT) Northern Italy is a very popular kosher vacation destination, with half a dozen kosher hotels in the area. Some of the hotels are open for the summer and some are open for all or part of the year. Some of the kosher hotels host Sukkot programs and Pesach programs. Central and southern Italy are very hot during the summer months, with temperatures reaching into the 90s during the day. The temperatures in the northern part of the country are more comfortable with average temperatures in the mid-80s, making it a great choice for a kosher summer vacation. The weather during Passover and Sukkot is usually mild, with temperatures in the mid-60s. Northern Italy has beautiful landscape and scenery and many activities for a lovely family vacation.
Lake Garda has everything for the perfect kosher family vacation. There are spectacular views and hikes, rich history and culture as well as extreme sports. Hike in the Botanical Park or Nature Reserve or visit the museums. For the more adventurous travelers, head out for rope climbing in Jungle Park, paragliding in Monte Baldo or mountain biking. There are a variety of fun family activities including the “Natura Viva” Zoo-Safari, a bicycle ride in the alleys of Brescia, and sailing on a boat in Lake Como. Children will love the rides at the nearby amusement parks—Gardaland, Movieland and Canevaworld. Take day trips to nearby cities: Venice, Florence, Milan, Verona, Como and Bologna. Drive time varies between half an hour and up to two-and-a-half hours.
There are two kosher hotels in the Lake Garda region that are open for the summer and most of the year. The Hotel Riva Del Sole in Moniga Del Garda has a kosher restaurant offering breakfast and dinner on weekdays, Friday night dinner, Shabbat lunch and holiday meals. There is also a small shop in the hotel selling kosher products. The hotel has a shul with a sefer Torah that is available for its guests. Moniga Del Garda is a small lakeside town located on Lake Garda, the largest lake in Italy. Yonik Garda Crown is a boutique hotel located in the heart of the town of Spiazzi, 800 meters above Lake Garda. The hotel offers kosher meals during the week and full board on Shabbat and holidays. There is a synagogue on site, kosher wine bar and Mediterranean restaurant. A Chabad house recently opened in the Lake Garda region, which will enrich the Jewish life in the area. Check TJT’s Lake Garda Kosher directory for more information: https://bit.ly/3OIBZdV.
The Italian Alps and Dolomite Mountains
There tends to be some confusion among tourists regarding the Alps and the Dolomites. The Alps are a mountain range running through eight different countries in Europe: France, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco, Austria, Germany, Slovenia and Liechtenstein. The Dolomites are technically part of the Italian Alps, but most locals call the mountain range in Italy’s northeast corner the Dolomites and those in the northwest, the Alps.
The Dolomites were named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009. The Dolomites consist of 18 peaks rising above 3,000 meters and feature some of the most beautiful mountain landscapes anywhere. The Dolomites are great for a summer vacation. Enjoy the breathtaking views of the mountains or take a hike. There are tons of hiking trails for all levels. Go swimming in one of the lakes in the area or visit the local town and villages.
My Kosher Hotel is located in the heart of the Italian Dolomites and is open all year round. They offer a large breakfast buffet, afternoon tea and four-course dinners. Head over to the American Bar for a cocktail or ice cream. In addition to Mehadrin kosher food, the hotel also offers a synagogue and mikvah on the premises. My Kosher Hotel is located in Canazei, at the foot of the Dolomites. Enjoy the lovely village, walks in nature and stunning views. Take a ride on the cable cars, visit the local natural reserve and waterfall, go rafting on the Avisio River or take a day trip to Venice.
Summer is a great time to visit the Alps, when everything is green and the flowers are blooming. Any time of year is great for hiking, climbing and cycling in the Alps. Via ferrata (iron path) hiking is very popular. These climbing routes are secured with cables, pegs, rungs and ladders, allowing climbers to safely manage tricky passages. If hiking and climbing aren’t your thing then head for the cable cars to reach the tops of the mountains.
There are two kosher hotels in the Italian Alps for the summer. The Hotel La Torre in the Italian Alps will be operating as a kosher hotel, run by Beit Reuven from August 8-28. Enjoy the beautiful views, parks and activities. Take day trips in the Italian Alps or a train to Torino for a tour and shopping. There is a synagogue on-site and meals are kosher Mehadrin. The Hotel Sestriere in the Italian Alps will be open for July and August. K-Vacations will be operating the hotel and offering kosher meals. There are many nearby touring opportunities, golf, adventure parks and many more activities to entertain the entire family.
Grand Hotel Michelacci in Gabicce Mare on the Adriatic Coast of Italy will be open for the summer. Kosher Holidays is running this seaside resort with a kosher kitchen, dining room and synagogue. Enjoy a private beach, pools, spa and other hotel amenities. Take day trips to nearby attractions or other cities in Italy.
Northern Italy has long been a popular vacation destination. Many Italians escape the summer heat by heading to the cooler temperatures in the north, on to the mountains. There are kosher hotels to choose from in the summer months and a few that are open all year round. Make sure to check TotallyJewishTravel.com for Sukkot programs and Passover offers. Lake Garda, South of Tiro, the Dolomites and the Italian Alps are beautiful areas with many outdoor activities, local attractions and day trips to keep you busy. There are also amazing lakes small and big. (Lake Garda is the biggest lake in Italy.) A kosher family vacation in northern Italy any time of year allows you to relax and enjoy nature.