A discovery tour of the Dolomites
A marvellous treasure chest full of natural and historical gems
The Pineta Pastry Hotel might be the Dolomite’s best kept secret, but it is certainly not the only one, for their majestic peaks hide a wealth of natural, historical and cultural treasures.
It is not without reason that in 2009 the UNESCO added them to the World Heritage sites, recognising their landscape merits as well as their scientific importance, especially in terms of geological value.
The Dolomites are divided into nine different mountain systems stretching across five Italian provinces: Belluno, Bolzano, Pordenone, Trento and Udine.
The 9 UNESCO Dolomites’ groups:
- Pelmo – Croda da Lago
- Pale di San Martino, San Lucano, Dolomiti Bellunesi, Vetta Feltrina
- Dolomiti Friulane e d’Oltre Piave
- Dolomiti Settentrionali
- Sciliar-Catinaccio, Latemar
- Dolomiti di Brenta
Diverse landscapes, diverse fauna − the Dolomites’ treasures
The lofty limestone concretions forming the “Pale Mountains” are a natural treasure in their own right. Gems such as the Three Peaks, the Mount Civetta and the Marmolada attract throngs of tourists from all over the world, all year round.
Their craggy peaks make them an impressive view during the day, yet it is at dusk that the Dolomites reveal their most magical side, thanks to the “enrosadira”. This quite special kind of alpenglow sets the mountains alight in fiery shades of red, pink and purple – a jaw-dropping spectacle to behold.
The Dolomites also enshrine some important natural sanctuaries, namely the Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park and the Dolomiti d’Ampezzo Natural Park. Their vegetation consisting of hardwoods and conifers interspersed with vast, undulating pastures and sprinkled with rhododendrons, thistles and edelweiss, provides a nearly unspoiled habitat to a diverse, sometimes rare fauna. Wandering in the Dolomites you might come across several marmots and deer, newts and vipers, eagles, and even some endangered species such as the Alpine finch.
From flint tips to bayonets: history immortalised
The Dolomites offer you a unique opportunity to travel in time, tracing back history’s most significant episodes from the Mesolithic age to the First World War.
These mountains are a cornucopia of historical and archaeological finds. The Vittorino Cazzetta museum in Selva di Cadore, for example, houses the famous Mesolithic Man of Mondeval, as well as numerous other pieces of great historical and geological value.
At a 15-minute drive from our hotel you find the Fursil mines which, according to the testimony of Frederick Barbarossa, provided a major economic boost to the surrounding areas from 1177 until their closure in 1945.
Another must-see for history fans is the Museo della Grande Guerra (Great War Museum), exhibiting a vast collection of finds dating back to the fierce years of the Dolomite front (1915 to 1918).
A land of legend and tradition
The charm of the Dolomites has been a source of inspiration for countless myths and tales. One of the most well-known legends stems from the enrosadira, and tells the story of King Laurin’s beautiful rose garden (“Rosengarten” is the German name of the Catinaccio massif), which was cursed to become visible only at dusk.
From the Catinaccio / Rosengarten to the lake of Misurina and the Marmolada glacier, each of the most iconic spots in the Dolomites has its own legend.
Back to the real world, the culture of the Dolomites can also be explored visiting the many museums, castles and churches that stud the area, as well as scouting for little masterpieces in the quaint handicraft workshops with their exquisite wood- and wrought iron sculptures, contemporary fruits of a century-long tradition.