The first time I went to the Dolomites was in -99 to explore the Via Ferratas of Brenta Dolomites for a magazine article. Since then I have come back 5 times and did a 30 minute TV documentary about the "Iron Ways" in 2005. For those who have no fear of heights and maybe have a bit of rock climbing experience (not absolutely necessary but recommended) the Via Ferrata give amazing vistas not available to those who will not or can not walk more than 40 minutes from their car. There is a great network of rifugios providing bed and food at reasonable prices (also beer, vine and grappa). It is possible to make a nice 5 -6 day hike in Brenta without coming down to towns. The hub of the area is Madonna di Campiglio, a high class winter resort, but nice and quiet during the summer. A few lifts operate during the summer to whisk hikers and Via Ferrata climbers to 2000m and the starting points of the trails.
"Serious" photos are still on Velvia, but here are a few digital snaps. First one was taken from a bus window approaching Madonna di Campiglio in the evening. Second one shows a typical Rifugio, the third one gives some idea what the Ferratas look like. Helmet, full body climbing harness and KISA (Kinetic Impact Shock Absorber) are required for safety and can be rented in town.
Best time to visit these routes are from the beginning of July (depending on the amount of snow on upper routes) to the end of September.