I visited Trentino for the first time this summer and quickly fell in love with the area. Mountains, waterfalls, delicious food, adrenaline-pumping adventure, charming cities, and thermal baths — what's not to love?!
One of the moments that took my breath away was the gorgeous hike to the Baita G. Segantini chalet.
It's hard to pick a hike in the Dolomites, there are so many that it's no surprise that people move to the area to explore it as much as possible. The Dolomites were named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009 and they're a dream to explore. In my opinion, they're one of the most impressive, diverse, and beautiful mountain regions in the world.
The hike from Passo Rolle to Baita G. Segantini is about 6 km and takes less than two hours to complete, though it depends how many times you stop to admire the scenery! It starts from the parking lot at the top of Passo Rolle, at 1960 meters above sea level, and ends at an elevation of 2181 meters when you reach Baita G. Segantini.
Here's a map of the itinerary for our morning, including our hike to Baita Segantini (burgundy), hike back down for lunch at Malga Rolle (orange), and return back to the car (red). Though I've included a Bing Map at the end of this article to give you a reference point of where to start and to help with directions, the map below might help you visualize it on a more granular level. Here's the full map on Mapcarta for reference.
Starting at the parking lot, the route starts uphill with a dirt-track and offers splendid views of the mountain range and meadows.
Once you reach Capanna Cervino chalet, the trail becomes a bit more demanding, but you'll be distracted by the lovely views.
We had a bit of an overcast day but we were lucky to have the clouds clear and reveal the peaks by the time we made it to the chalet.
Perhaps the star of the hike is the Cimon della Pala peak, the best-known and second-highest peak of the Pale di San Martino group. The peak, also known as The Matterhorn of the Dolomites, dominates the landscape due to its slender tip and attracts your attention every step of the way, starting with the parking lot at Passo Rolle.
The chalet is well-known for the small lagoon in front of it, but it was unfortunately still frozen-over. However, the melting snow and recent rainfall created a second, more temporary, lagoon next to it.
The chalet was undergoing renovations, as were most in the area since they don't open for tourist season until the end of June. If you're looking to have lunch here before continuing on, you should call ahead and check their schedule. Otherwise, you're better off packing a lunch that you can eat while admiring a splendid view.
Once you take in the view (and photograph your heart out) at Baita G. Segantini chalet, you can continue on one of the many trails from there, or you can turn back to Passo Rolle.
We turned around and went back towards Agritur Malga Rolle, where we can follow up a challenging hike with a homemade, traditional lunch.
What To Bring
We were there in early-June and the trail still had some snow. From time to time, portions get muddy as well, so it's important to dress appropriately.
It's best to bring a backpack with a light jacket, extra layers, and a hat just in case. You should also bring water and a camera so you can capture all the lovely views. If you're traveling before the chalets open, bring sandwiches or energy bars with you to sustain you during the hike.
Lunch at Agritur Malga Rolle
Eating a meal at 1980 meters above sea level against the backdrop of the Dolomites never gets old. After racking up an appetite hiking to Baita G. Segantini (and back!), the best follow-up activity is a hearty traditional meal.
I recommend trying the polenta, a popular dish in the Italian alpine region. Being born in Romania, I grew up eating polenta and it's one of my favorite feel-good dishes. I had to try the Italian version so I can compare the two variations, and I have to say, it did not disappoint.
We also shared a number of appetizers and I'm confident to say that you really can't go wrong with anything on the menu!
Malga Rolle is open in the summer season from June to September, and in the winter season from December to Easter.
How To Reach Passo Rolle
Passo Rolle can be easily reached by car or by bus.
Trentino Transporti has busses that circulate in the area which are convenient if you choose not to rent a car, though more inflexible schedule-wise.
Accommodation in the Region
While exploring this beautiful area, we divided our stay between the gorgeous Brunet – The Dolomites Resort in Fiera di Primiero, and the peaceful farmhouse inn Agritur El Mas in Moena. We also spent a night sleeping in the awesome Rifugio Roda di Vael mountain hut in the heart of the Dolomites. All three were excellent choices and I recommend them as starting points during your trip. Click on the links to read my experience with each.