The Dolomites | 'The most beautiful mountains in the world' - Reinhold Messner
This is what most people who have been in the presence of these gigantic rock formations say. Compared to other mountains: brighter, more colorful, more monumental, and seeming to be architecturally inspired. Formed 200,000 years ago out of the primeval ocean, today they reach 3,000 metres into the sky. Déodat de Dolomieu (1750-1801) discovered and defined the unique composition of the stone, giving the mountains their name. Now they are among the UNESCO nominees for consideration as natural heritage sites. A winter sports setting that could not be more impressive. On Friday, 26th June 2009, the Latemar and Rosengarten massifs as part of the Dolomites were placed on the prestigious list of Natural World Heritage Sites. The decision was made by UNESCO at its annual world congress.
This Dolomite massif forms a backdrop to Bolzano's townscape; it is the site of King Laurin's mythical Rose Garden and glows crimson in the sunset.The chain is situated around 20 km to the east of Bolzano between the Tires/Tiers valley and the Val di Fassa (Trentino); it extends for around 8 km from the Sciliar/Schlern area to the Passo Costalunga/Karerpass.
Name: Rosengarten (German), Catinaccio (Italian), Ciadinac (Ladin)
The German name derives from the Dolomite saga about the dwarf king Laurin who was supposed to have had a rose garden here; as a result of a curse its beauty can only be admired at twilight. The chain of Dolomite peaks is west-facing and glows like embers as it reflects the sunset.
Main peaks: Catinaccio d'Antermoia/Kesselkogel (3004 m), Cima di Catinaccio/Rosengartenspitze (2981 m), Cima Vajolet/Vajolet-Spitze (2749 m), Torri del Vajolet/Vajolet-Türme (2813 m), Croda di Re Laurino/Laurinswand (2813 m), Roda di Vaèl/Rotwand (2806 m), Croda Davoi/Teufelswand (2727 m)
Vie ferrate/Klettersteige (secured climbing routes): Kesselkogel-Klettersteig, Laurenzi-Klettersteig, Santnerpass-Klettersteig, Masaré-Klettersteig
How to get there
Take highway's exit “Bolzano Nord/Eggental”, turn right direction Bolzano/Bozen, after about 0,5 km on roundabout keep left and head towards Val d’Ega (SS 241). Keep driving up to Ponte Nova. At Ponte Nova’s crossroads, turn to the left and continue to Nova Levante and Carezza (about 30 min. from highway toll booth).