Wednesday, January 7, 2009
The Dolomites (Italian: Dolomiti; German: Dolomiten; Friulian: Dolomitis) are a section of 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 Adige river in the west to the Piave valley (Pieve di Cadore) in the east. The northern and southern borders are defined by the Puster Valley (Val Pusteria) and the Sugana Valley (Val Sugana). But the Dolomites spread also over the Piave river (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 (Small Dolomites) located between the Provinces of Trento and Vicenza.
The name "Dolomites" is derived from the famous French mineralogist Déodat Gratet de Dolomieu who was the first to describe the rock, dolomite, a type of carbonate rock which is responsible for the characteristic shapes and colour of these mountains.