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The Dolomites are the most unique, romantic, and magical mountains in the world, as well as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Seventy percent of the range is in the province of Belluno, in the Italian (and Ladino)-speaking Veneto Region (not in the Trentino or German-speaking Alto Adige/Sud Tirol). Cycling is a great way to enjoy these mountains, but if you're curious, you'll want to know what lies beyond the paved roads. It's time to grab your boots and backpack and head for the superb network of trails maintained and marked by C.A.I., the Italian Alpine Club, of which we are members. Most of our hiking is done either with a local chapter, or with Mazarol, the nature/environmental guides of the National Park of the Bellunese Dolomites, who organize weekly excursions and multi-day treks. Even seasoned hikers can learn a lot from these remarkable people, who know everything about every plant, mushroom, tree, bird, animal, insect, amphibian, type of rock, geological feature, and trace of human history in the park!

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Cima d'Asta as seen from the Val Campelle in the Lagorai range (Trentino region), where the infamous Passo Manghen is located. The Lagorai are formed from porphyry, a purplish rock of volcanic origin, and therefore are not Dolomite peaks (dolomite is a particular kind of limestone)--but they do border them.

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Riding through the Serrai di Sottoguda is a unique experience.

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Tiser, in the Bellunese Dolomites

The lunar-like plateau of the Pale di San Martino, which lie astride the Veneto and Trentino regions.

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Setting out from Rifugio Pramperet/Sommariva,
near Forno di Zoldo, with the park guides

The Cadini del Brenton are one of the jewels of the national park

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There's more to the Dolomites than mountains. Magical little villages like Vial (in the Ardo Valley north of Belluno), seemingly lost in time, enchant the visitor.

I Borghi della Schiara
offers visitors a unique opportunity to stay with the locals and immerse themselves in authentic village life

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Even when you know that the Dolomites were once under the sea, finding fossils like these (near Passo Giau) and seeing the evidence with your own eyes is still an astounding and humbling experience.

Click the mountain to see panoramic maps of the Dolomites.

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Click the compass to see a road map of Dolomite passes.

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©2001-2018 The BiciVeneto lion logo and all text and photos on this site are, unless otherwise noted, the sole property of April Pedersen Santinon. Duplication, reproduction, or use of the text, images, and photos without the author's permission is strictly prohibited.

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