Park of the Belluno Dolomites

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The National Park of the Belluno Dolomites extends from the Cismon valley until the Piave valley, and was founded in 1990 to safeguard this territory of enormous natural value, which has already achieved note throughout the centuries for the beauty of its exclusive flora (Vette di Feltre, Monte Serva) and its rarity. Consequently the decision was made to protect its 32000 hectare of 'stupendous natural panorama' from winter sport development (hotels, ski-lifts, etc).

The area is now a national heritage site of inestimate worth where, rightly, nature rules. What strikes one the most is the large variety of the environment, owing to its 'inaccessible' location on the borders of the south-eastern Alps, which in prehistoric times saw the formation of glaciers (the last disappearing over 10000 years ago).

The park encompasses areas of medium and high-range mountains, among which loom the peaks of the Schiarà, the Sass de Mura, the Pavone and the Pizzòn. In addition to its natural attractions, the area is endowed with a rich and diverse culture: the small villages within the zone facing the Piave valley (Feltrino and Bellunese) differ accordingly from those of the Val di Zoldo, which present vastly different characteristics.

Differences also exist between the Tre Cime di Lavaredo and the Bellunese Dolomites, known as the 'pale mountains' owing to the colour of the rockface. Invigorating plateaux and vertiginous rockfaces: these are the haunts of golden eagles, creatures almost legendary because of their grace, their noble and majestic soaring through the skies and the rarity of their species. The highest and most difficult to reach zones are of course the parts which enthrone the most sought-after natural surroundings, though the valley floor and other areas accessible to the non-expert climber still provide a stupendous environment, rich in streams and plants. Summer is the best time to enjoy their beauty, with their floors richly carpeted with flowers.

Absolutely not to miss are Val Canzoni, the potholes of Brenton in Val del Mis, Busa delle Vette, the Schiara group, Piani Eterni, Certosa di Vedana and the former mine of Valle Imperina.