On Your Doorstep Issue 7 - Page 6

ADRIANA BENETTI LONGHINI THE DOLOMITES The Dolomites are widely regarded as I remember visiting the Dolomites for the huts so one can stop along the way for being among the most attractive mountain first time in 1996 during my annual visits refreshments, a breather or overnight stay landscapes in the world,” states UNESCO*. to my home in Italy whilst still living in during summer and early autumn. Many Recently inscribed onto the UNESCO South Africa. I remember clearly the first of the mountain huts close during winter World Heritage List, on June 26, 2009, time I saw the majestic Sassolungo peak months, so it is always best to check these mighty mountains hold a wide that is visible through the pine forests before planning a trip. appeal for hikers, climbers, skiers, cyclists, as one approaches Ortisei, a beautiful historians, and naturally photographers. alpine town in Val Gardena,a world famous Other distinctive peaks are Sassolungo, They are a mountain range in the northern valley in the heart of the Dolomites. Sassopiatto and the Sciliar massif to the Italian Alps, with over 18 peaks which From that moment on, I knew that they south-east, which with its unmistakable rise to above 3,000 metres in altitude would become part of me, and my future. profile are visible from the famous Alpe di and feature some of the most beautiful Now that I am living here in my home in Siusi plateau, also known as Seiser Alm, mountain landscapes anywhere, with northern Italy and am a short distance the largest high-altitude Alpine meadow in vertical walls, sheer cliffs and a high from them, I have taken my time to get Europe. density of narrow, deep and long valleys. to know these impressive mountains, not only the scenery that is so popular and One can decribe at length the beauty of The range and its characteristic rock take frequently photographed, but the lesser the Dolomites and its spectacular peaks, their name from the 18th-century French known but equally spectacular areas. but perhaps one of my favorites is Mount geologist Dieudonné Dolomieu, who made Nuvolau with its magnificent south facing the first scientific study of the region and Perhaps the most photographed tower Ra Gusela and Mount Averau its geology. These dramatic mountains mountains in the Dolomites are the Tre situated on the Giau pass a short drive up are famous for their unique colours. Cime di Lavaredo (Drei Zinnen) and are the from Cortina D’Ampezzo. Many walks and Once known as the Pale Mountains, they symbol of the Dolomite UNESCO World hikes can be done from this mountain pass, become firey at sunrise and sunset, and Heritage site. The distinctive shape and both for novices and experienced hikers. ethereal purple during the dawn and color of the Three Peaks make this massif dusk alpenglow. The verticality provides a easily recognizable: the “three dolostone Another magnificent peak to visit and dramatic contrast to the verdant, pastoral fingers” stretching towards the sky easily accessible by cable car from Ortisei valleys beneath, and they provide a pure comprise of Cima Grande (2999 m), Cima in Val Gardena is Seceda. At the top station haven for photography. Ovest (2973 m) and Cima Piccola (2857 of the cable car and a short walk to a m).The Tre Cime are dotted with mountain viewpoint, you can enjoy a marvellous Reflecting the Tre Cime peaks 6