The Great Dolomite Road, a century later

How has the Dolomites landscape changed over the last century? What potential is there for mobility as an alternative to the private car?

In partnership with the famous photographer of the Dolomites Georg Tappeiner and the European projec MORECO (MObility and REsidential Costs), dedicated to sustainable mobility, on the 7 and 8 June 2014 Fondazione Dolomiti UNESCO travelled along the historic mountain highway, La Strada delle Dolomiti, from the Foundation’s head office in Cortina to Bolzano, where the President resides, armed with a picture book from the 1920s to seek out those same views nearly a century later. Travelling on a e-bike to be precise, courtesy of Frisbee.

From Cortina to Bolzano, the craggy peaks of Tofana, Cristallo, Cinque Torri, Sassolungo and Catinaccio are still here. The towns and villages, Cortina, Arabba, Canazei and Vigo di Fassa have grown and sometimes their buildings block out the horizon, no longer visible as it was in the days of those black and white photographs. With the decline in traditional farming, the woodland has crept up over the fields and is now close to the built-up areas. The Marmolada glacier has shrunk. The Dolomite passes are now bustling with cars and tour buses, but the old photos of the Falzarego and Pordoi passes still bring to mind those glorious bike races. The outline of the crags has changed in some places, evidence that the mountains are never a finished work and that the geological history of the Dolomites is still evolving, growing richer by the day.