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UNESCO cited the spectacular glacial landscapes, geologic importance and fossil records when it named the Dolomites a World Heritage Site, but these pale in comparison to their scenery. Rising to elevations exceeding 10,000 feet, 18 snowcapped peaks rise in what UNESCO called “some of the most beautiful mountain landscapes anywhere.” The Dolomites are easy to tour by car via the Strada delle Dolomiti between Bolzano and the year-round resort of Cortina D'Ampezzo. This road and the side valleys accessible from it lead to spectacular views and charming remote Alpine villages. The region is a favorite for hikers and climbers in the summer and ...

UNESCO cited the spectacular glacial landscapes, geologic importance and fossil records when it named the Dolomites a World Heritage Site, but these pale in comparison to their scenery. Rising to elevations exceeding 10,000 feet, 18 snowcapped peaks rise in what UNESCO called “some of the most beautiful mountain landscapes anywhere.” The Dolomites are easy to tour by car via the Strada delle Dolomiti between Bolzano and the year-round resort of Cortina D'Ampezzo. This road and the side valleys accessible from it lead to spectacular views and charming remote Alpine villages. The region is a favorite for hikers and climbers in the summer and some of the alpine cable cars that carry skiers to the high snowfields in the winter take summer tourists to breathtaking views. Along the Strada delle Dolomiti are forests, waterfalls, Alpine lakes, stone villages and castles, even World War I memorials and battle sites. The road climbs over three passes: Passo di Costalunga, higher Passo Pordoi and Passo di Falzarengo, near Cortina D'Ampezzo. The magnificent Gruppo di Sella is only one of several clusters of peaks that overlook little Dolomite villages of Tyrolean-style buildings.

Barbara Rogers
About the Expert

Barbara Radcliffe Rogers has written or coauthored more than 30 guidebooks, including The Portugal Traveler, Drive Around Portugal, City Spots Munich, City Spots Helsinki, City Spots Stockholm, Eating New England, and the Maine section of Thomas Cook's Independent Traveller USA.

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Barbara Rogers for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Northeastern Italy, across the provinces of Belluno, Bolzano-Bozen and Trento
  • Language: German, Italian, Ladin
  • Currency: Euro
  • Research: South Tyrol | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Summer and fall for hiking and climbing; year-round for the scenery