Soaring mountain spires surround you, while Alleghe Lake calms in shades of cornflower blue and turquoise.
Adding a warm and homely touch are wooden houses that welcome you with impossibly overflowing window boxes and balconies of flowers.
This is the enchanting world that awaits when you turn around a mountain pass... and discover your good fortune to have arrived in Alleghe on a summer's day.
Near the southern tip of Alleghe Lake and around a mile from Alleghe town is the Hotel La Maison Wellness and Spa - definitely the best option in the area
We love simply sitting on the benches, watching nothing much happen out on the lake, apart from the occasional family of swans drifting by.
Once my son convinced me to hire one of the pedalos that are available to rent by the hour.
Out we went, pedaling gently, only to cause offence to a male swan. He set about our boat with the anger of a lifetime of frustrations bottled up inside of him. My son and I literally flew across the water, pedaling as if our lives depended on it and, just maybe, they did. That swam looked mean.
Finally, he decided that gliding gracefully across the lake was more swan-like than attacking us.
So, if you want some great exercise, simply hire a pedalo and go a little too near a solitary male swan.
If you'd rather just relax there's a little beach to do that.
Not much in the way of historical sites to see but it is still very pleasant to wander the town admiring the wooden houses and hotels with their incredibly impressive flower-boxes. I wish my flowers would grow like theirs!
The area around the church is very pretty too - a great place to sit and enjoy an aperitivo after a long day of walking etc.
There are plenty of great hikes nearby and some rather more adventurous pastimes like the blood-curdling San Tomaso Zip-Line that plunges down a cliff. I can't tell you how wonderful it is to feel as if you are plummeting into oblivion.
Why can't I tell you? Because I'm too old and scared to have tried it.
If you want to do this or other "adventure" experiences like tip-toeing across a tightrope stretched across the tree canopy at the Civetta Adventure Park, climbing the surrounding mountains etc., then speak to the tourist office in Piazza Kennedy. They'll be able to help with advice on hiking routes too.
Great fun for mountain bike enthusiasts is to take your bike up in one of the cable cars and descend down the MTB tracks.
More relaxing is to hire an electronic bike (e-bike) in town from C.Elle Sports in Piazza Kennedy and explore the trails through the forests and up the mountains.
Most trails begin from Alleghe and the tourist office can provide a map of these. I can tell you that most are difficult, with lots of uphill, so an e-bike is the answer. The easiest one to do on a normal bike is the Serrai di Sottoguda which begins by the lake.
In winter there are plenty of options - our ski guide has all the info.
Sadly, I've never had a good meal in Alleghe town - best of a bad lot has always been Pizzerea Rudatis in Corso Italia 11. After my last visit though a friend told me that he and his family ate really well at Il Postin - about five minutes drive north of the lake in Piazza Dogliani. Definitely worth a try - his recommendations are always spot on.
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