June 27, 2009

Italy's Dolomites a new World Heritage site

Well, of course I’m not neutral about this particular issue, and therefore I feel like I am not responsible for any exaggeration I might be guilty of in dealing with the decision taken yesterday in Seville, Spain, by the United Nations agency’s World Heritage Committee: Italy’s Dolomite mountains have been added to the World Heritage list!

I think it’s simply great that one of the most beautiful mountain landscapes anywhere was awarded with this prestigious acknowledgement. One moment, you may say this is my first exaggeration.., well not exactly, those words are not mine, but rather they come from the panel itself!

The truth is that the Dolomites are completely unique—they cannot be compared to any other mountain range in the world. Their beauty derives from the contrast between the green of the meadows and the vertical rock faces and the composition of the rock itself, which changes color throughout the day. It also comes from the fact that each mountain in the range has its own unique, recognizable face and its own peculiar characteristics.

Yet another exaggeration? Well, it may be so, but, once again, I have intentionally omitted the inverted commas, since it was Reinhold Messner, the famed mountaineer who has been climbing in the Dolomites for six decades, who spoke those words. But, er, I can understand his enthusiasm, because the Dolomites are.. beyond human description, and furthermore—to say it à la Thomas Carlyle—“they are my own mountains!”


  1. It's interesting to note that Italy happens to lead the list of heritage sites followed by Spain.

  2. Congratulations! The Dolomites are the most beautiful mountains in the world!