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The Dolomites (Ladin:Dolomites; Italian: Dolomiti; German: Dolomiten; Friulian: Dolomitis) are a mountain range in the Alps. They are located for the most part in the province of Belluno, the rest in the provinces of Bolzano-Bozen and Trento (all in north-eastern Italy). Conventionally they extend from the River Adige in the west to the Piave Valley (Pieve di Cadore) in the east. The northern and southern borders are defined by the Puster Valley and the Sugana Valley (Val Sugana). But the Dolomites spread also over the River Piave (Dolomiti d'Oltrepiave) to the east; and far away over the Adige River to the west is the Brenta Group (Western Dolomites); there is also another smaller group called Piccole Dolomiti (Little Dolomites) located between the provinces of Trento, Verona and Vicenza (see the map).

One national park and many other regional parks are located in the Dolomites. In August 2009, the Dolomites were declared a natural heritage site by UNESCO.



During the First World War, the line between the Italian and Austro-Hungarian forces ran through the Dolomites. There are now open-air war museums at Cinque Torri (Five Towers) and Mount Lagazuoi. Many people visit the Dolomites to climb the Vie ferrate, protected paths created during the First World War. A number of long distance footpaths run across the Dolomites, which are called "Alte vie" (i.e., high paths). Such long trails, which are numbered from 1 to 8, require at least a week to be walked through and are served by numerous "Rifugi" (huts). The first and, perhaps, most renowned is the Alta Via 1.


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