Italy’s via ferrate (“iron paths”) were originally built by Italian soldiers as they fought the Austro-Hungarian armies during WWI. Iron cables, steps, and ladders traverse or ascend sheer rock faces, allowing those without rock climbing skills to quickly move through vertical terrain. And what terrain it is: the Italian Dolomites are clusters of fairytale spires and sheer walls thousands of feet high, all leaning over ribbons of green alpine meadows. Travel light—from refugio to refugio—as you traverse one or more of dozens of improved via ferrate with Dolomite Mountains guide service. Their cornerstone week-long Via Ferrate Traverse begins in Cortina d’Ampezzo, site of the 1956 Winter Olympics and tackles five different routes in the Dolomites, including a ttraverse of the Castelletto Tunnel, used by the Italian army in 1917 to blow up an Austrian position on the peak of the Castelletto di Tofana ($3200).