Not wanting to miss out on this opportunity and turn it into a regretful woulda-coulda-shoulda afterthought, I’m grabbing a hammer, some nails and a saw to join Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge. This time around it’s all about WOOD.

Catching some rays/sleep in Val Badia, Italy | photo courtesy ©Stefano Sacchiero

On a recent settimana bianca (white week) up in the Dolomites of northern Italy, I was surrounded by WOOD —  above, around and below.

Alpine cordial on the bar | ©Tom Palladio Images  Herder's alpine refuge

From the bed on which I slept, the hotel where I stayed, the tables where I ate, the bars where I drank (a lot!), and the rest stops along the slopes that I skied, WOOD was on display morning, noon and night.

Skis resting in a line | ©Tom Palladio Images  P1070135

Like most, if not all, mountain areas around the globe, the WOOD of the indigenous trees that grow out of the freshly fallen snow around the Dolomites provide the source and strength — and inspiration — for the infrastructure and detail of every home, hotel and baita/hütte/rifugio (refuges) — small wooden structures that are scattered about Italian alpine pastures for herders of sheep, goat and cattle; and, more recently, built up and out to accommodate the growing need of restaurants and watering holes for the hungry and thirsty seasonal sports enthusiasts.

Val Badia winter scene - Corvara | ©Stefano Sacchiero

Up in the Dolomites you’ll find the biggest and richest trees in all of Europe. Here you can admire Beech, Birch, Pines (Black, Cembra, Mugo and Sylvester), Golden Chain, Larches, Maples and Willows.

Ahhh. There is nothing quite like the fresh, natural smell of WOOD high up in the mountains during wintertime. The wood-planked ambiance — the lumber and the over-served imbibers — immediately brings one warmth, comfort and lots of enjoyment.

Beer lantern at a Dolomites refuge | ©Tom Palladio Images  Frosty stein of German beer | ©Tom Palladio Images

Enjoy the music-video of the barns, bars, beams and baite that I enjoyed during my ski holiday, and do let me know if I NAILED it.

©The Palladian Traveler | ©Tom Palladio Images



Written by The Palladian Traveler

Tom traded his hometown St. Louis Cardinals' baseball cap in the United States for a Borsalino and he now hangs his "capello" in the Veneto region of northeastern Italy. A veteran print and broadcast journalist, with well-worn passports that have got him in and out of 49 countries and counting, Tom fell in love with the "Bel Paese" years ago. As he notes, "I'm inspired by the beauty I find in all things that are very, very old, and reliving history, or at least meandering along cobblestone streets that were laid down over a thousand years ago and just looking up and marveling at what occupies the space still today, really gets my 'Vespa' running." Tom has a good eye behind the lens and is a graphic storyteller, but he'll let you decide as he keeps his camera batteries fully charged and the posts flowing from his creative hideaway somewhere in the Veneto. You can also follow his dispatches from the cobblestone at and


    1. Emily — Thanks for the thumbs up. I rather enjoy putting the frames with music and creating a short video at the end of my posts. Less chance they’ll be lifted, and I can get them all in — those that didn’t get top billing along with the text above.

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