• Hike and eat through Italy's Dolomites


    Once the kids have left and parents have some much needed time to themselves, many choose to travel and see the world. With more time on their hands, they can really explore a region and experience all it has to offer.

    One area that empty nesters may want to target is Northern Italy. Travelers will want to reserve plenty of time for hiking through the Dolomite mountains, a not-too-arduous journey that rewards travelers with unforgettable views of the Italian countryside.

    And in between exploring the hills and valleys, travelers will be treated to some truly fantastic meals. Despite not having the big-name appeal of Rome, Florence or Venice, the villages and mountain huts scattered around the Dolomites contain some truly fantastic cuisine, according to the New Zealand Herald. Travelers might be surprised to find small unassuming villages hiding Michelin-starred restaurants, but it's more common than one might think.

    In fact, the mountain huts are some of the best places to get food. Last summer, the local tourism board asked eight of the chefs in the region with Michelin stars to prepare dishes evocative of the mountaineering lifestyle. These were then served in the huts to tourists and residents.

    While that promotion has ended, travelers can still arrange for various tours that will point them to some of the best trails - and best places to eat.

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