Where are the Dolomites?
December 5, 2015
Where are the Dolomites located? They are in the NE corner of Italy and are part of the Alps from which they differ morphologically. To a large extent this difference can be attributed to the underlying rock composition. Dolomite mineral rock is also found elsewhere, but nowhere in the alpine region is it as common as here.
With the help of a map we can pretty well define the borders to the north, west and east, whereas to the south it is open to interpretation as I will explain shortly.
N - The northernmost limit of the Dolomites runs along Pustertal between the towns of Mulbach and Innichen. This area is called South Tyrol, or Alto Adige in Italian. This region belongs to Italy but culturally it has remained Austrian, and the language spoken here is German.
E - The easterly limit follows an imaginary line from Innichen to Santo Stefano di Cadore and then on a southerly course along the Piave river to Ponte delle Alpi.
S - The southerly limit of the Dolomites is open to debate. Tradition and culture position it north of Belluno valley which runs from Ponte delle Alpi to Feltre and then along the Valsugana. This interpretation was accepted and validated by UNESCO by including the Schiara group, clearly visible from Belluno, as part of the Dolomites World Heritage site area.
A stricter interpretation based on geological evidence pushes this boundary further north towards Agordo. It follows a major fault line that crosses rugged mountainous terrain from Agordo to Domegge di Cadore. This view excludes the Schiara group and others from the Dolomites proper.
W -The western limit of the Dolomites roughly follows the Adige river between the cities of Trento and Bolzano (Bozen in German).
How to get there
Venice Marco Polo airport is the closest airport to the gateway of the Dolomites. It is fast becoming an international destination point with direct flights from most European countries, Dubai, Doha, New York, Philadelphia and Toronto (in season). Frequent bus service connects it with the Venice train station (35 minute ride depending on traffic) and a not-so-comfy train ride lands you in Belluno in two hours. There is a also a twice a day direct shuttle to Cortina d’Ampezzo.