A way to tell the story of the Dolomites

The UNESCO Dolomites Foundation and the Giovanni Angelini Foundation of Belluno organised an interdisciplinary training course in geography once again this year. The event took place in Cortina from 10 to 12 July, and involved the help of the local CAI section of the Dolomiti d’Ampezzo Nature Park, the Regole d’Ampezzo, and the Municipality of Cortina.

Reading the landscape

Forty participants came to the theory lessons at the Ciasa de Ra Regoles of Cortina, including teachers from various levels and types of education, CAI trainers and guides. Everyone then donned their boots to tackle two challenging hikes: the first around the Tofana di Rozes, and the second through the Ampezzo highlands. This valuable experience allowed them to acquire a range of interdisciplinary skills in relation to the Dolomites, which they can now pass on to students and to all users of the mountains. It also has particular relevance on the eve of a school year when excursions will take precedence over classroom teaching. One of the aims of the course was to help teachers plan and implement a direct learning experience for their students, to increase their awareness of their natural heritage. It should help them develop a culture of using the mountains in a sustainable and responsible way, and of protecting their local area. Interviews with the participants indicate that the course has achieved its objectives. As Ester Cason Angelini pointed out: “When we announced we were holding the course again, lots of people rushed to sign up, simply because they were tired of distance learning. The mountains offer space and freedom and so, after our experience of COVID-19, they should be promoted as a valuable source of health and well-being.” Selina Angelini is in charge of organising the course: “Some devotees return again and again, a sign that this is a really popular initiative and a good way to explore new areas of the Dolomites. However, new people also come every year, from a wide variety of backgrounds.”

Ampezzo Dolomites: an open book

One of the speakers was the geologist Danilo Giordano, a teacher at IIS Follador: “The participants are all mountain enthusiasts, so they soak up everything; they are interested in every aspect of the local geography, geomorphology and flora. The Ampezzo Dolomites are a perfect place for such an experience, because in terms of geology they are like an open book – the outcrops are all clearly visible. What unites the various disciplines is the concept of beauty: every aspect of the geology, flora, fauna and landscape makes a complete and perfect whole.”