Montclair, NJ Family Portrait Photographer Phil Cantor writes:

I hiked in northern Italy two years ago and I fell in love with it. So, I returned again this summer to an area so far north in Italy that it might as well had been in Austria. In fact, the dominant language is German, the food is hearty with sausages, the architecture is Teutonic and the scenery looks like it is right our of The Sound of Music.

I was with a group of friends staying in the little town of Saltusio (every town has two names. One in Italian, the other in German, Salthaus). The small hotel looked out on the Passiria valley and up to the 7,000 foot peaks of the Sarentino Alps. The area was settled in the 1200’s and is dotted with small towns and farms nearly all the way up to top. 

People have been hiking these trails for a thousand years and they are well marked showing how long to the next inn. The inns, called alms, are all over the place, where  you can take a rest during  your hike with a glass of beer or a wonderful meal. It’s one of the treats of hiking in Europe. 

It was not unusual for the trails to suddenly open up to a wide pasture with a vista of the mountains across the valley and the towns a mile below.

In late June, the wildflowers bloom, as if placed there by the tourist office, so that you can take a beautiful photograph anywhere you look. 

At the end of the day, it’s white tablecloth dinner of local ingredients and wine. 

Even the rain brought a full-arc rainbow. It sounds beautiful in Italian,  Arcobaleno