On June 26, 2009, Italy's stunning Dolomite mountains have been declared a United Nations World Heritage Site. The nine Dolomite mountain groups, spanning 142.000 hectares and given 85 hectares of border areas for a total of 231.000 hectares, are spread over fiveprovinces: Trento, Bolzano, Belluno, Pordenone and Udine.
The Dolomites have joined the world's other cultural and natural wonders on the World Heritage List. The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation's World Heritage Committee unanimously approved Italy's bid at its meeting today in Seville, Spain. The nine groups include the Pelmo and Croda da Lago mountains in the Veneto region between the Cadore, Zoldano and Ampezzo valleys; the Marmolada massif between the Trentino and Veneto regions, boasting the highest peak in the Dolomites (3.343 metres) and the largest glacier; the Pale di San Martino, Pale di San Lucano and the Belluno Dolomites, mostly in the Veneto region but partially in the Trentino region; the Friuli Dolomites and Oltre Piave mountains, the furthest to the east and divided between the Friuli provinces of Pordenone and Udine; the Settentrionali Dolomites between Alto Adige and the Veneto regions including the Cadini peaks, the pale mountains of the Sesto Dolomites, the austere Ampezzo Dolomites, the lunar Dolomites of Fanes, Senes and Braies; the Puez-Odle mountains in the Alto Adige region and now a splendid natural park; the Sciliar, Catinaccio and Latemar mountains between Alto Adige and Trentino; the Brenta Dolomites, the furthest to the west, still home to the brown bear and all in the Trentino; and the Rio delle Foglie, a deep gorge with exposed layers of prehistoric rocks strata revealing the secrets of their creation and what the climate and the environment were like 250 million years ago.