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A short trip to Italy

Last week my daughter Andrea came to Europe and we decided to have some fun in Northern Italy. I immediately planned SOTA activation of a few 10 point summits in Dolomite Mountains, but soon understood that it would be a bit too much for Andrea. Her hiking experience includes two summits in Greater Adirondacks: Cascade Mountain and Blue Mountain. While these are decent hiking destinations and incidentally high score SOTA peaks W2/GA-010 (10 points) and W2/GA-022 (8 points), respectively, they are definitely not an adequate preparation for the Italian 10 pointers whose altitude is above 2500m asl. On top of that, there was clear and understandable need for visiting Venice, Padua, Trieste, and other (culturally and shopping-wise) interesting places in the region :smiley:.

So, we settled down to two peaks in Venetian Prealps area, near historic town of Vittorio Veneto: Col Visentin (I/VE-198, 1763m asl, 6 points) and Monte Millifret (I/VE-214, 1581m asl, 4 points). Long story short, we had two enjoyable afternoons in the mountains and activated two new Italian summits. Couldn’t be better.

Here are some pictures:

In front of Col Visentin mountain hut

Operating from I/VE-198

Conquering Monte Millifret

Operating from I/VE-214

And one trivia quiz question at the end: What kind of antenna is this?

A strange object spotted on one of the Venetian rooftops


Thanks for visiting our Dolomiti Mountains.
Yes our 10 point are different from the ones in other associations.

73 de IN3AQK.

Thank you, Paolo.
Next time I’m in the region, I’ll do a 10 point summit, no matter what…
Zoran / E70AA

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Hi Zoran,

Nice pics.

That antenna looks like a combination of a skew planar array and a corner reflector, and another few antennas thrown in for good measure. Interesting to know whether it is actually one antenna.

73 Andrew VK1DA/VK2UH

Thanks, Andrew.
It looks like cable TV is not very popular in Italy. I haven’t seen so many rooftop antennas in any country I’ve visited in last 20 years or so. It would be nice if our Italian friends would tell us why it is so and what is actually that antenna in the photo.

So you’ve told us about the successful aspects of your SOTA tour Zoran. What you haven’t mentioned is the cost of that success when you visited the “cultural peaks” :wink: (Quid pro quo)!
Well done!

Cable TV does not exist in Italy.
That antenna is for VHF, and UHF tv band reception.
The antenna is probably a FRACARRO FRA213202 SIGMA COMBO HD ANTENNA SIGMA UHF+VHF, 80€ on ebay.
It’s an Italian Product!!

Here the specs:

73 de in3aqk

Thanks for clarification, Paolo.

Back in the eighties, Fracarro antennas for ham radio bands used to be popular in then Yugoslavia. Fracarro Yagis that I remember had plastic caps in different colors on each element, which was vivid and memorable…

Here it is on I/LO-320 last september! :wink:


Thanks, Andy. Briefly, it’s not very expensive. But I’ll write a few more details for you and other people possibly interested in visiting the region. Hopefully, wouldn’t reach the length of the Andy’s (FMF) post-FH report :wink:

Hi Zoran

As long as you and your daughter are not fixed on 10-pointers in the Dolomiti, I can recommend the two easier 8-pointers on Alpe Siusi (Seiser Alm):

These had not yet been on the SOTA lists two years ago, but they are two nice summits in a beautiful and accessible scenery with the essentials to be popular in that region.

Vy 73 de Markus, HB9DIZ

Monte Bullacia and the surrounding Puflatschalm are lovely. My wife and I hiked around there last fall. No radio, it wasn’t that kind of trip.

Here is a photo album from that walk Puflatschalm

I think this is the summit of Monte Bullacia.


Thanks for the suggestions, Markus. Will keep it in mind the next time I get around…
Best 73!
Zoran / E70AA

Back to the cost of the trip. We rented a specious and neat apartment in the town of Vittorio Veneto for about €75 per night. Its location is ideal for a SOTA activator traveling with children: the town is not far from big cities and it’s not far from big mountains, either.

To the mountains we traveled by car. All the roads are paved and well maintained. To the cities, we traveled by some kind of commuter trains, which are really cheap and very frequent. For example, from the neighboring town of Conegliano, you can catch a train to Venezia every half an hour and the cost of a two-way ticket is €7 per person. The ride takes around one hour each way.

Restaurants are pretty expensive in Venice, a bit less in other cities, and quite affordable in our base town of Vittorio Veneto. In Venice, a fast food meal costs around €20, while in Vittorio Veneto you can get a complete lunch with a glass or two of good local wine for that money. Culinary highlights of the trip included a lunch at “Agriturismo Filippon” where we tasted truly indigenous cuisine, shopping for diary products in the neighboring “Centro Caseario e Agrituristico Cansiglio”, and our own food preparation based on locally bought ingredients and 100% organic vegetables picked up (for free) directly from the garden in the backyard of our apartment.

The only outrageously expensive thing on this trip was the highway toll we paid in Croatia. On the other hand, we have to forgive them because the Croatian soccer team plays great in Russia and make us all happy with their games and their results. Ups, maybe not all of us on this forum. Sorry, my English friends :smiley:

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