Picture yourself in the enchanting embrace of the Dolomites, a realm where majestic peaks pierce the sky, and the tantalising allure of Italian cuisine beckons. Here, amidst the Alps' finest hiking trails and scenic driving routes, an idyllic journey awaits. While the world may flock to the well-known Instagram-worthy destinations, a hidden gem reveals itself, a valley far from the realm of social media stardom.
Nestled beneath the imposing Monte Civetta on one side and the regal Monte Pelmo on the other, you suddenly begin to shed the skin of a typical tourist. In this tranquil sanctuary, amidst a less-traveled path, you discover a profound connection with nature, a genuine interaction with a traditional town that isn't yet overrun by tourists.
As you explore, you unearth the captivating tapestry of Venetian history, where the past unfolds before your very eyes. Yet, what truly piques your curiosity is their delightful connection to one of the world's most beloved desserts: gelato.
As fate would have it, this picturesque valley became my temporary sanctuary for a couple of weeks, as I had the privilege of collaborating with the Live Civetta Campsite. My mission? To breathe new life into the campsite through a fresh collection of photographs and a captivating video. Nestled under the watchful gaze of Monte Civetta, with a direct line of sight to the majestic Monte Pelmo, I was instantly awestruck by the campsite's natural beauty.
The campsite itself is a harmonious blend of long-term residents, some of whom have been making it their holiday haven for over three decades, and a collection of spots for touring campers. It exudes a warm, welcoming ambiance, where friendly greetings and relaxed expressions are the order of the day. The overall atmosphere is one of camaraderie, exploration, and tranquility.
Yet, the challenge often lies in capturing the "wow" factor that you experience in person and translating the very essence of that atmosphere onto a computer screen. My objective was clear: to convey the perfect equilibrium of friendliness, adventure, and serenity through the lens of my camera. Conversations with the campsite owners and the seasoned residents provided me with insights into what this place meant to them, allowing me to share that sentiment with a broader audience.
A prevailing theme that resonated with everyone I spoke to was the campsite's family-friendly vibe. They spoke of engaging activities for children, such as enchanting Alpaca walking tours, which I knew had to find their way into my final creation. With all this inspiration in mind, and after immersing myself in the campsite's charm for a few days, I embarked on the exciting journey of storyboarding and conceptualising my vision.
As the days of capturing the essence of the campsite unfolded, an unexpected and heartwarming dimension came to life, revealing the genuine nature of this remarkable place. What started as a professional endeavor soon transformed into a tapestry of authentic connections, lasting friendships, and unforgettable experiences. It wasn't just about the campsite's visuals; it was about the heart and soul of the valley in the Alps.
During our time there, bonds began to form, which would later evolve into more profound connections. Not only did we establish a rapport with the campsite's owners, but we also forged a special friendship with a family that had been making the pilgrimage to Civetta campsite for over three decades. The evenings were punctuated by lively conversations over delectable pizza and wine, as we delved into the tales of living a life in this serene and beautiful valley in the Alps.
One of the most memorable moments was our time spent with a local family spanning three generations. We shared homemade Italian cuisine, discussed their rich cultural heritage, explored the nuances of their music, and imbibed invaluable life wisdom from the patriarch. What had commenced as an exciting job had transcended into something far more profound – a collection of authentic connections, experiences, and friendships that proved more valuable than any financial rewards.
The content we crafted encapsulated the very essence of the campsite, and the most gratifying aspect was witnessing the campsite owners' reactions as they beheld their domain from our unique perspective.
With our work completed, our attention turned toward the formidable Monte Civetta, and the plans to conquer it began to take shape. Embarking on a three-day ascent of the mountain promised to be a spectacular culmination of our time in the valley. The journey featured a challenging Via Ferrata route that led us to an altitude just above 3,000 meters. With two charming mountain huts as our resting places along the way, the views were nothing short of breathtaking. The climb was demanding enough to maintain our interest and, at times, steep enough to quicken our pulses – a thrilling climax to an unforgettable adventure.
As our journey drew to a close, we found ourselves back in the embrace of the Val di Zoldo valley, savoring a final supper of pizza and red wine. Our hearts were filled with a peculiar blend of satisfaction and nostalgia. Val di Zoldo, with its breathtaking landscapes and warm-hearted residents, had etched its indelible mark on our souls and memories.