South Tyrol – Dolomites
For 250 million years, they grew out of coral-and-algae reefs in the former Tethys Sea.
The distinctive peaks and crags of the Dolomites are captivating even from a distance. It took Mother Nature 250 million years to create the distinctive formations of these famous mountains out of the algae and coral reefs. As the Alps came into being, the former seabed rose to heights of over 3,000 metres. A unique geological feature of the Dolomites is its light, almost white, bedrock: dolomite. French geologist Déodat de Dolomieu was the first to describe the rock – and the mountains thus carry his name.
Our introduction to the Dolomites today highlights a stark juxtaposition between gentle Alm meadows and steep rock formations. The very special appeal of these mountains lies in this combination. One needn’t be a mountaineer in order to experience the fascinating Dolomites first hand. Hiking trails lead deep into the heart of this unique landscape. Bolzano/Bozen is a good starting point from which to explore these mountains, which are known as the Pale Mountains and are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From this point on, picturesque mountain villages and spectacular views follow one after the other. Bolzano, the capital of South Tyrol, is a calm and relaxed city from which to enjoy the panorama of the Dolomites: behind the train station, the evening sun dips the rock formations of the Rosengarten Massif in hues of bright red. A glass of St. Magdalener – a light and fruity native red wine – together with some local Speck ham and crispy Schüttelbrot bread are the frosting on the cake.
- Go visit the most famous South Tyrolean, the glacier mummy Ötzi, at the South Tyrol Museum of Archeology in Bolzano.
- The Bolzano Wine Tasting takes place every year around 20 May: the event presents the wines from South Tyrol, which can be enjoyed at festivities inside the Parkhotel Laurin.
- At Piazza Walther, you’ll hear voices speaking German, Italian and Ladin as you sip your cappuccino.
- Alpine and Italian cooking traditions very often come together at the mountain refuges of the Dolomites. Here, Italian spaghetti and Mediterranean fish are as much at home as are Tyrolean Knödel dumplings and Speck, a local cured ham specialty.
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South Tyrol Information
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