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For other uses, see Dolomite (disambiguation).
Italian: Dolomiti
German: Dolomiten
Dolomites cablecar view 2009.JPG
View from Pordoi
Highest point
Peak Marmolada
Elevation 3,343 m (10,968 ft)
Coordinates 46°26′N 11°51′E / 46.433°N 11.850°E / 46.433; 11.850Coordinates: 46°26′N 11°51′E / 46.433°N 11.850°E / 46.433; 11.850
Dolomites is located in Alps
Location of the Dolomites in the Alps
Country Italy
Province Belluno, South Tyrol and Trentino
Orogeny Alpine orogeny
Period Mostly Triassic
Type of rock Sedimentary rocks,
including dolomite, and volcanics
UNESCO World Heritage Site
The Dolomites
Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List
Criteria vii, viii
Reference 1237
UNESCO region Europe
Inscription history
Inscription 2009 (33rd Session)
Parco Nazionale Dolomiti Bellunesi
IUCN category II (national park)
View of the Dolomites
Location Veneto
Nearest city Venice
Area 315.12 km2 (121.67 sq mi)
Established 1990
Governing body Ministero dell'Ambiente

The Dolomites (Italian: Dolomiti; Ladin: Dolomites; German: Dolomiten; Venetian: Dołomiti: Friulian: Dolomitis) are a mountain range located in northeastern Italy. They form a part of Southern Limestone Alps and extend from the River Adige in the west to the Piave Valley (Pieve di Cadore) in the east. The northern and southern borders are defined by the Puster Valley and the Sugana Valley (Val Sugana). The Dolomites are nearly equally shared between the provinces of Belluno, South Tyrol and Trentino.

There are also mountain groups of similar geological structure that spread over the River Piave to the east – Dolomiti d'Oltrepiave; and far away over the Adige River to the west – Dolomiti di Brenta (Western Dolomites). There is also another smaller group called Piccole Dolomiti (Little Dolomites) located between the provinces of Trentino, Verona and Vicenza (see the map).

One national park and many other regional parks are located in the Dolomites. In August 2009, the Dolomites were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


The name "Dolomites" is derived from the famous French mineralogist Déodat Gratet de Dolomieu who was the first to describe the rock, dolomite, a type of carbonate rock which is responsible for the characteristic shapes and colour of these mountains; previously they were called the "pale mountains," and it was only in the early 19th century that the name was Gallicized.


During the First World War, the line between the Italian and Austro-Hungarian forces ran through the Dolomites. There are now open-air war museums at Cinque Torri (Five Towers) and Mount Lagazuoi. Many people visit the Dolomites to climb the vie ferrate, protected paths created during the First World War. A number of long distance footpaths run across the Dolomites, which are called "alte vie" (i.e., high paths). Such long trails, which are numbered from 1 to 8, require at least a week to be walked through and are served by numerous "Rifugi" (huts). The first and, perhaps, most renowned is the Alta Via 1.


The region is commonly divided into the Western and Eastern Dolomites, separated by a line following the Val Badia – Campolongo Pass – Cordevole Valley (Agordino) axis.

Current classification[edit]

Based on current classifications, the Dolomites may be divided into the following ranges:


A tourist mecca, the Dolomites are famous for skiing in the winter months and mountain climbing, hiking, climbing and Base Jumping, as well as paragliding and hang gliding in summer and late spring/early autumn.[citation needed] Free climbing has been a tradition in the Dolomites since 1887, when 17-year-old Georg Winkler soloed the first ascent of the pinnacle Die Vajolettürme.[1] The main centres include: Rocca Pietore alongside the Marmolada Glacier, which lies on the border of Trentino and Veneto, the small towns of Alleghe, Falcade, Auronzo, Cortina d'Ampezzo and the villages of Arabba, Urtijëi and San Martino di Castrozza, as well as the whole of the Fassa, Gardena and Badia valleys.

The Maratona dles Dolomites, an annual single-day road bicycle racing race covering seven mountain passes of the Dolomites, occurs in the first week of July.

Other characteristic places are:

Major peaks[edit]

Tofana Group
Winter view of the Sella Group
Name metres feet Name metres feet
Marmolada 3,343 10,968 Pala di San Martino 2,982 9,831
Antelao 3,264 10,706 Rosengartenspitze / Catinaccio 2,981 9,781
Tofana di Mezzo 3,241 10,633 Marmarole 2,961 9,715
Punta Sorapis 3,229 10,594 Cima di Fradusta 2,941 9,649
Monte Civetta 3,220 10,564 Monte Agner 2,872 9,416
Vernel 3,145 10,319 Fermedaturm 2,867 9,407
Cristallo 3,221 10,568 Cima d'Asta 2,848 9,344
Cima di Vezzana 3,192 10,470 Cima di Canali 2,846 9,338
Cimon della Pala 3,184 10,453 Croda Grande 2,839 9,315
Langkofel / Sassolungo 3,181 10,427 Vajoletturm / Torri del Vajolet (highest) 2,821 9,256
Pelmo 3,169 10,397 Sass Maor 2,816 9,239
Dreischusterspitze 3,162 10,375 Cima di Ball 2,783 9,131
Boespitze / Piz Boè (Sella group) 3,152 10,342 Cima della Madonna (Sass Maor) 2,751 9,026
Croda Rossa (Hohe Gaisl) 3,148 10,329 Rosetta 2,741 8,993
Piz Popena 3,143 10,312 Croda da Lago 2,716 8,911
Grohmannspitze (Langkofel) 3,126 10,256 Central Grasleitenspitze 2,705 8,875
Zwölferkofel 3,094 10,151 Schlern 2,562 8,406
Elferkofel 3,092 10,144 Sasso di Mur 2,554 8,380
Sass Rigais (Geislerspitzen) 3,025 9,925 Cima delle Dodici 2,338 7,671
Kesselkogel (Rosengarten) 3,004 9,856 Monte Pavione 2,336 7,664
Tre Cime di Lavaredo (Drei Zinnen) 2,999 9,839 Cima di Posta 2,235 7,333
Fünffingerspitze 2,997 9,833 Monte Pasubio 2,232 7,323

Major passes[edit]

Name metres feet
Ombretta Pass (Campitello to Caprile), foot path 2,738 8,983
Langkofeljoch (Gröden Valley to Campitello), foot path 2,683 8,803
Tschagerjoch (Karersee to the Vajolet Glen), foot path 2,644 8,675
Grasleiten Pass (Vajolet Glen to the Grasleiten Glen), foot path 2,597 8,521
Pravitale Pass (Rosetta Plateau to the Pravitale Glen), foot path 2,580 8,465
Comelle Pass (same to Cencenighe), foot path 2,579 8,462
Rosetta Pass (San Martino di Castrozza to the great limestone Rosetta plateau), foot path 2,573 8,442
Vajolet Pass (Tiers to the Vajolet Glen), foot path 2,549 8,363
Canali Pass (Primiero to Agordo), foot path 2,497 8,193
Tierseralpljoch (Campitello to Tiers), foot path 2,455 8,055
Ball Pass (San Martino di Castrozza to the Pravitale Glen), foot path 2,450 8,038
Forcella di Giralba (Sexten to Auronzo), foot path 2,436 7,992
Col dei Bos (Falzarego Glen to the Travernanzes Glen), foot path 2,313 7,589
Forcella Grande (San Vito to Auronzo), foot path 2,262 7,422
Pordoi Pass (Arabba to Val di Fassa), road 2,250 7,382
Sella Pass (Gröden Valley to Val di Fassa), road 2,244 7,362
Giau Pass (Cortina to Val Fiorentina), road 2,236 7,336
Tre Sassi Pass (Cortina to St Cassian), foot path 2,199 7,215
Valparola Pass (Cortina to St Cassian), road 2,168 7,113
Mahlknechtjoch (Upper Duron Glen to the Seiser Alp), foot path 2,168 7,113
Gardena Pass (Gröden Valley to Colfuschg), road 2,121 6,959
Falzarego Pass (Caprile to Cortina), road 2,117 6,946
Fedaja Pass (Val di Fassa to Caprile), bridle path 2,046 6,713
Valles Pass (Paneveggio to Falcade), road 2,032 6,667
Würzjoch (Eisacktal to Val Badia), road 2,003 6,572
Rolle Pass (Predazzo to San Martino di Castrozza and Primiero), road 1,984 6,509
Forcella Forada (Caprile to San Vito), bridle path 1,975 6,480
San Pellegrino Pass (Moena to Cencenighe), road 1,910 6,267
Campolongo Pass (Corvara to Arabba), road 1,875 6,152
Forcella d'Alleghe (Alleghe to the Zoldo Glen), foot path 1,820 5,971
Tre Croci Pass (Cortina to Auronzo), road 1,808 5,932
Furkel Pass (Mareo to Olang), road 1,759 5,771
Karerpass or Costalunga Pass (Welschnofen to Vigo di Fassa), road 1,753 5,751
Kreuzbergpass or Monte Croce Pass (Innichen and Sexten to the Piave Valley and Belluno), road 1,638 5,374
Ampezzo Pass (Toblach to Cortina and Belluno), path 1,544 5,066
Cereda Pass (Primiero to Agordo), road 1,372 4,501
Toblach Pass (Bruneck to Lienz), railway 1,209 3,967

Major parks[edit]

360° panoramic view from Marmolada, highest peak in the Dolomites

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Huber, Alex. "The Perfect Perfume". Rock and Ice Magazine. 



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