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Sustainably Eloping at Cadini di Misurina, Tre Cime National Park

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A couple stands far in the distance on the Cadini di Misurina ridge trail in their elopement attire looking toward the sunset

If you plan on eloping at Cadini di Misurina (a viewpoint in the Tre Cime National Park) there are some really crucial things to consider, especially if sustainability is important to you.

Cadini di Misurina is a popular and relatively easy to get to location for photos. For that reason, it’s freaking packed. You don’t want any ugly surprises on your elopement day due to poor planning or research! So, let’s get into the dirty job of managing expectations…

Tre Cime National Park gets 10,000+ visitors A DAY in high season

The impacts of all those visitors means a couple things. Most relevant to you is that if you plan on eloping at Cadini di Misurina or other areas nearby, privacy is minimal. You’ll be sharing the trails with hundreds of other hikers and tourists of varying abilities. It’s a big place and there is room to spread out, but prepare yourself for the sheer amount of other people at times.

Remember, those 10k visitors converge on the same steep, winding toll road and in one chaotic parking area. During July and August, you might not even be able to get up the toll road without waiting in a long line of RVs and cars at the booth miles below.

To avoid this, get into the park early, especially in July and August.

Eloping at the Cadini di Misurina viewpoint might mean waiting in line

The Cadini di Misurina peaks are so famous and iconic, it attracts photographers and tourists from every corner of the globe. Its popularity means you’ll probably be waiting in line at the base of the narrow trail heading out the ridge. I’ve waited up to 1 hour here before with couples!

There are also people flying drones around the viewpoint constantly, so don’t be alarmed if one buzzes over head for the shot while you’re out there.

Mainly, consider this: although the photos look like you’re standing alone at the top of the world, you may be looking back down the trail at a line of tourists tapping their toes as they wait for you to get out of the way. It doesn’t always make for a pleasant experience if you’re someone who prefers not to be gawked at.

There have also been strict limitations on certain access roads in the Dolomites for peak times of day, and if you’re not aware of these before hand, you will be denied access.

Your behavior and impact while visiting Tre Cime and eloping at Misurina di Cadini matters

The environmental impacts of over tourism in Süd Tirol are a hot topic for locals. It’s important that visitors do their best to keep the long term sustainability of the region in mind.

To manage this, the Dolomites has imposed strict restrictions in the last few years to manage the crowds.

Here are ways to make your trip less harmful to the local economy, culture and infrastructure:

  • Where possible, travel with bus to and from trail heads to minimize traffic and road side parking
  • Do not play music from a bluetooth speaker while hiking.
  • Eat, stay and play local. Support local small businesses.
  • Try to discover and explore less popular trails. They are just as beautiful, allow you more privacy and help spread out the crowds.
  • Never leave any trash on trails, even banana peels or nut shells. They take years to fully decompose.
  • Try slow travel, and avoid “checklist” travel. Stay longer in places to better support local businesses and learn about the culture and history of the area.

Urinating in the woods while hiking happens. To keep it from being a problem, try to do your business off the trail. Stay away from water sources and take your toilet paper with you. Do not leave your wipes, TP or tissues behind. Tissues do not biodegrade quickly. Toilet paper takes 1-3 YEARS to fully decompose outdoors.

Would you want to travel back for your anniversary a year or three later and see your same pee tissue stuffed by a rock on the trail? Same goes for cigarette butts – please take them with you to dispose in a trash can.

Support local photographers and vendors for your Cadini di Misurina elopement

There are a ton of Europe based and local vendors, like photographers and videographers, with lots of experience in the area. Flying in photo/video teams (from the US, as an example) has a hard impact on local businesses.

Sales taxes are upwards of 20-23% for the Italian and Austria businesses based in the Dolomites. It’s extremely difficult, bureaucratic and risky to be self employed in Europe, especially as an artist. Please opt for supporting the very talented folks with registered businesses paying taxes locally!

A woman in a wedding dress spins in the wind, her hair and gown blowing wildly, during her Tre Cime elopement

Sustainable travel is not just about Leave No Trace while exploring outdoors, it’s about sustainable economics and tourism as well. Foreign vendors don’t pay taxes locally and many of them don’t obtain the proper work permits.

Another really important thing to consider is the lack of experience foreign photographers have with the local culture and seasonal rhythms.

A photographer from California, Arizona or New York likely won’t be too familiar shooting in the mountains. Snow levels affect higher mountain passes well into June some years. They likely won’t know how to find these things out, or where suitable backup locations might be. They also don’t know how to realistically prepare you for what the weather is REALLY like on a day to day basis, and not just in that one perfect photo they posted on Instagram.

Local artists and guides do. Because we live here.

Here’s two tragically real stories from just the week I’m posting this:

  • Client hires photographer for a boat shoot at Lago di Braies in early May. Photographer does not know the boat rentals are seasonal. They show up unprepared that the boat house is still in hibernation.
  • Client hires photographer from Arizona for an elopement at Cadini di Misurina in late May. Photographer, being from the desert, has no idea that May in the mountains can still be snowy. All higher passes are closed for at least another month in current conditions. Photographer knows no suitable backup locations, and the client is completely out of luck on their elopement day.

Sustainably eloping at Cadini di Misurina, Tre Cime National Park and the Dolomites Summary

Sustainability isn’t just about picking up your trash and staying on trail. It’s about the economic impacts of overtourism and supporting local businesses.

More than ever, it’s important we consider the impacts of our travel, and how we can make our trips a net positive for everyone.

If you want to have the most sustainable wedding or elopement in the Dolomites, where you choose to spend your dollars matters most.

Hi! I’m Mariah, a photographer and mountain addict local to Tirol and the Dolomites

I moved to Europe in 2018. I’m originally from Michigan, and I’ve used travel to search for deeper meaning and a place where I fit in. I found that in the Alps.

I believe travel and exploration helps us grow as human beings, but we have to do so responsibly.

My goal is to help you choose vendors and locations for your wedding that maximize the good in the world. Therefore, I hope you consider the topics in this post as you plan your elopement!






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