More than a Skischool

Skiing in the Dolomites - Holidays in the UNESCO Heritage Site

UNESCO was enchanted by the beauty of the Dolomites. After rising 250 million years ago from the depths of the primordial sea, the Dolomites have been shaped by the untiring forces of nature, the creator of this masterpiece. Rocky formations sculpted by water, wind and ice over the millennia, coloured in unique tones which change throughout the day. At sunset, the Dolomites burn with a red flame, then become violet as night falls – it is the Enrosadira, a phenomenon accentuated by the particular geological composition of the Dolomite rock. A natural show that has no equals.

It was the French geologist Deodat de Dolomieu who, in 1791, established the mineral and chemical composition of the Dolomite rock. In 1864 the English painter Josiah Gilbert and the naturalist George Churchill published a report of their trip, titled “The Dolomite Mountains”.

On 26th June 2009 in Seville, at their 33rd annual congress, UNESCO placed these limestone mountains in the north east of Italy on their list of the most beautiful landscapes of the world. With this act, the United Nations have officially recognised, through their organisation for education, science and culture, the unique and special nature of the Dolomites, which are now a part of the natural World Heritage.
UNESCO looks after a worldwide list of natural paradises and protected treasures, which are designated as being of particular value. A special commission studied the criteria and gave a favourable judgement with the reason that the Dolomites are considered to be one of the most beautiful alpine landscapes in the world, even though they are not the highest mountains or the largest glaciers. Amongst their values were listed the extraordinary beauty, the geological uniqueness and the wealth of flora.

The Dolomites are amongst the 50 most beautiful landscapes of Europe and amongst the 199 most beautiful in the world. Included are the Pelmo and Croda da Lago group, the Marmolada massif, the Pale di San Martino, the Pale di San Lucano with the Dolomites of the Belluno region, the Dolomites of Friuli and Oltre Piave, the Dolomites of Sesto and the Ampezzo valley (Cortina), the natural parks of Fanes, Sennes and Braies, Puez-Odle and the Sciliar group, the Catinacci and Latemar, and the Brenta Dolomites. In Italy the Dolomites are only the second site to be names as World Heritage, after the islands of Eolie, which were placed on the UNESCO list in 2000.