The Dolomites – spectacular colored peaks born from coral reefs on the bottom of the seas.
Sculpted by icebergs and polished by frost, the wonderful landscape of the Dolomites looks like a pile of buttresses, towers, walls and ramparts. The Dolomites are in fact a series of calcareous peaks, brightly colored, each one more spectacular than the other, separated by green valleys. They were all born as coral reefs from a sea not really deep and, around 65 million years ago they were brought to surface at the same time with the Alps rise in height.
The legend says that the Dolomites, got their pale rocky slopes when gnomes, willing to cheer up the Mean Princess, which was married to the Prince of the Mountains, dressed the mountains in a robe woven from moon light.
When he examined the rocks, in the year 80 of the 18th century, the French geologist Deodat de Dolomieu discovered that they contained small quantities of magnesium. Since then, this type of chalk was called dolomite, in the honor of the person that discovered it. I think it is pretty much clear where the name Dolomites comes from. During day time, slopes of the Dolomites have a white-grey color, but during sunset they are often baith in orange-pink colors.
In the winter season, rocky peaks majestic raise from beneath the white of the snow that covers the Dolomites. In spring, the landscape receives even more various tone: plains full of flowers spread on high altitudes and crevices shelter clusters of picturesque alpine plants, like saxifrage and edelweiss. Lower, singing birds nest in the woods, while in the valleys locals work on pastures and orchards. A network of paths stretches on lower slopes, while up, long routes cross the peaks, offering spectacular views to experimented hikers.
In the heart of the Dolomites, can be found Alpe di Siuzi, Catinaccio Mountain and Marmolada Peak, on which a iceberg rests. Crowned with an 100 meters stone pyramid and having its southern peak like a vertical slab of 600 meters high, Marmolada is a true queen of the Dolomites. Alpe di Siuzi Plateau is a fairytale realm, with grazes full of perfumed multicolored flowers edged by tall dolomite “spikes”. The imposing walls of Mount Catinaccio, which turn red on sunset and sundown, abruptly raises in the place where the legend says that Lauren’s, King of the Dwarves, rose garden flourished.
The Dolomites were under roman rule until the 14th century, when the Habsburg Empire conquered the area. It then returned to Italian rule at the end of the First World War.
South of Marmolada naked cliffs of the Pale Mountain guard the forests in the Paneveggio National Park, which once upon a time insured the Venetians with the necessary resources of wood to build their ships.
Isolated from other mountains but formed from the same dolomite rock, to the west you can see rising the peaks of Mount Brenta. They were conquered for the first time in the 19th century by some british climbers, including Francis Fox Tuckett.. Armed only with a ladder and a bat, he opened a path, through rocks that were waiting to fall and change their color to white, brown and gold. Arrived on the top he delighted himself with a piece of meat and a cup of red wine. Even to today, Brenta Cliffs are considered to be the toughest of the Dolomites.