Auronzo Misurina is the land of the Tre Cime di Lavaredo, and with its three fantastic alpine lakes, are part of the Northern Dolomites with their 78,767 hectares (53,586 of heartland and 25,181 hectares of intermediate area), the largest of the nine areas making up the Dolomite World Heritage Site.
They are part of a range of mountains shared by the provinces of Belluno and Bolzano bordering at the Pusteria, Sesto, Badia, San Cassiano, Boite and Piave valleys and containing some of the most famous massifs in the Alps: Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Cadini di Misurina, Sorapìss, Monte Cristallo, Marmarole, Antelao and the Croda dei Toni at Mt. Popera.
The Dolomites were made into a World Heritage Site on the 26th of June 2009 by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee at a meeting in Seville for their “series of extraordinarily distinctive and exceptionally beautiful natural mountain landscapes”, “their variety of sculptural forms” and “their vertical, pale peaks”. Furthermore, the area possesses a complex of values of international scientific importance given its “quantity and concentration of extremely varied calcareous formations” and unusual geological features.
In August 2009 the ceremony assigning World Heritage Site status to the Dolomites took place in Auronzo in the presence of the President of the Italian Republic Giorgio Napolitano.
Auronzo di Cadore
Located only 135 km from Venice, Auronzo di Cadore is a famous holiday resort in the Belluno Dolomites. In the northernmost part of the Veneto region near Cortina, Comelico and the upper Pusteria valley, it extends along the left bank of Lake Santa Caterina at around 900 metres above sea level.
Surrounded by forests and some of the most beautiful mountain massifs in the Dolomites – it is the only urban centre from which the Tre Cime di Lavaredo are visible – Auronzo is the ideal location for a relaxing and sporty holiday.
At an ideal altitude, its pleasant, spruce shaded walks along the banks of the lake, a level cycle and pedestrian track covering the approximately 8 kilometres of the valley, its many opportunities for entertainment and socialising, the tree lined avenue in the centre, its cultural events, its characteristic views onto hidden footpaths – all these make Auronzo one of the most sought after destinations in the Dolomites.
Special attention is paid to families in the Monte Agudo area in particular. In winter the ski school’s instructors accompany children and beginners as they try out the snow for the first time and in summer you can speed along the longest fun bob in the world or climb the trees at the Tre Cime Adventure Park.
Auronzo also offers a full calendar of sporting and cultural events beginning with Lazio football club’s summer retreat and continuing with international canoe and dragon boat competitions, mountain running races, cycling’s Giro D’Italia and Christmas evenings on the lit up slopes.
In winter, Auronzo and Misurina lend themselves to the practice of a wide range of disciplines on snow and ice from alpine skiing, with the two centers included in the Dolomiti Superski circuit, Nordic skiing, to hiking with snowshoes, and ice skating. For the more daring there are the rides on the snowmobiles and ice karts.
Also important is the cultural part of the Palazzo Corte Metto Multi-theme Museum which outlines the history of the valley, while the open-air museum of Monte Piana still recalls, after a hundred years, the tragedy of the First World War.
Further north, Lake Misurina (1,754 m), the “Pearl of the Dolomites”, reflects Cadini, Crystalo and Sorapiss mountains, while Lake Antorno accompanies the ascent to Rifugio Auronzo, the starting point of the routes around the Tre Cime. Right at the foot of the Tre Cime di Lavaredo, geology supplies an insight into marine life in the Triassic period in the immediate aftermath of the greatest extinction ever recorded in the history of the Earth: a dinosaur footprint is clearly visible in a rock face along the footpath leading from Rifugio Auronzo to Rifugio Lavaredo. This same dinosaur also appears in a large plastic model in the Palazzo Corte Metto Multi-theme Museum in Auronzo.
Halfway between Auronzo and Misurina you can find the Somadida Forest, the largest forest in the Cadore region and one of the most beautiful protected areas of the Dolomites, which can also boast a rich “Forest Library.”