The Beauty of the Dolomites, a World Heritage Site

 

Imagine some good friends of yours from Northern Italy invited your for a vacation in the heart of the Italian Alps. You look forward to do nothing but relaxing and having some good chats with your old classmates you haven’t seen in years, all while tasting some great Italian food and wine.

 

Suddenly, you are kicked out of bed at 3 o’clock in the morning and you think there might be something wrong. You are taken for a long walk, on a steep trail, in the middle of nowhere –deep in the darkness. No one will tell you where you’re headed. You start getting worried when.. all of a sudden.. all around you.. the most dramatic show you have ever seen in your whole life begins:  Sunrise on the top of the Dolomites.

 

Your hair blows from a chilly, gentle morning wind.  Below you, a soft cloud looks like a giant pillow where the angels sleep while the peaks of the mountains begin emerging in colors of orange, red and purple shades. Your heart is filled by pure happiness and you feel the peace all around you. Nothing any word could ever explain.

 

No one could remain immune to the extraordinary magic of the Dolomites, a unique nature masterpiece declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site exactly two years ago on June 26th 2009.

 

In order to be included in the World Heritage List, a potential eligible site must possess “outstanding universal value”. Therefore it has to be extraordinarily representative of the cultural and natural riches of our planet, to the extent that it represents an essential point of reference not only for the territory in which it is situated, but also for the whole world. Italy, with 44 properties, is the country with the greatest number of World Heritage sites. Currently almost all of these are inscribed to the list as cultural properties, while just two are listed as natural property: the Aeolian Islands and the Dolomites.

 

 

 

The uniqueness of the Dolomites, as recognised by UNESCO, lies in their value in terms of geology and landscape, considered as the most profound and most vivid expression of the area’s identity, bringing together man and the environment over the course of centuries.

 

 

 

The nine mountain systems making up the Dolomite region are contained within five provinces (Belluno, Bolzano/Bozen, Pordenone, Trento and Udine) in Northeastern Italy, for an area of approximately 142,000 hectares.

 

The Dolomite region is characterised by around one hundred peaks exceeding 3,000 meters and a large number of small glaciers. Vertical cliffs of incredible height (from 800 to 1,600 meters) combine with deep canyons (from 500 to 1,500 meters) and amazing meadows, offering a morphological diversity which enriches the natural beauty of the Dolomites.

 

The name “Dolomite” derives from the dolomite mineral which was discovered here by the French scientist Déodat de Dolomieu (1750-1801). Due to the specific structure and composition of the Dolomitic rock, during the day the rock faces react dramatically to changes in the light. They are characterised by strong warm colors at sunrise and sunset and evanescent in the midday light, while at twilight and in the moonlight the mountains become of the same colour of giant icebergs.


The inclusion of the Dolomites in the World Heritage List is an extraordinary form of recognition, but it also implies a strong commitment and responsibility for the safeguarding and sustainable development of this wonderful region.

 

Mezzacorona could not ask for a better frame for our winery and vineyards to be presented in!

 

www.dolomiti-unesco.org

www.visitdolomites.com