Making heritage available to all
The project to promote accessibility in the UNESCO Dolomites gets underway
The Foundation, together with the alpine associations, athletes and social inclusion experts have come together to make the UNESCO Dolomites heritage site accessible to everyone. The project is an important step forward in implementing the objectives of the Overall Management Strategy of the UNESCO Dolomites and it is supported by the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Tourism.
“Making the Dolomites more accessible. Heritage for everyone” is the new project sponsored by the Foundation over the summer, involving associations which work with the disabled, athletes and social inclusion experts throughout the territory to make the UNESCO Dolomites accessible to all. The project, a concrete step towards implementing one of the most important objectives of the Overall Management Strategy, has met with the favour of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, which has become a partner.
The UNESCO Dolomites are a natural heritage site like no other on the planet; their value is universal and their outstanding natural beauty conveys deep emotions to whoever is lucky enough to experience it. And as mountains go, they are also highly accessible: their unusual origin and conformation – the fact that myriad valleys crisscross them – makes access to the peaks in this World Heritage Site considerably easier than in any other mountain setting.
Making the Dolomites more accessible
The aim of “Making the Dolomites more accessible” is to give visitors and residents alike firsthand experience of this extraordinary natural environment, irrespective of any disabilities they may have, making the most of the characteristics of the mountains which tend naturally towards sustainable accessibility.
Unlike towns and cities where architectural barriers are artificial restrictions that discriminate against anyone with reduced mobility, mountains have natural obstacles which make no distinction between the able and the disabled.
The UNESCO Dolomites, with their exceptionally diverse landscapes, therefore provide the ideal platform for setting up a social inclusion project which will enable everyone – whatever their degree of mobility – to access the World Heritage Site on their own or accompanied by an expert guide.
This does not mean that everyone has to have the same experiences, but that everyone will have the chance to experience the landscape and geology of the Dolomites firsthand, which is what World Heritage really stands for. Precisely for this reason, the project caters for all visitors, although it is specifically aimed at the weaker members of today’s society (people with limited mobility, the elderly, very young children).
The first stage
The first stage of the project is a call to action to anyone and everyone who is familiar with the Dolomites to send information about itineraries which are suitable – or could be adapted – for people with limited mobility. This information will be collected and a database compiled which will provide the same, up-to-date details for the whole of the UNESCO Dolomites territory. An interactive map of the accessible itineraries in the World Heritage Site will then be drawn up and posted on the website www.visitdolomites.com. Each itinerary will be accompanied by a description with all the information visitors need to plan an excursion bearing in mind their abilities and interests.
At the same time, training activities – open to everyone in the Dolomites territory – will be organised to prepare professional figures with the necessary skills to accompany people with disabilities. The aim of these activities is to provide highly qualified mountain guides, bringing together people who are already involved in sports, outdoor experience and social inclusion in the area and getting them to work together, building a service that will operate throughout the property.
The final aspect of the project will be an educational event held to promote and raise awareness of this issue, as well as providing an opportunity to present the project with internationally acclaimed celebrities in attendance.
Here you can find the program and the registration form in Italian.
Be a part of our project!
by sending in details of itineraries which are suitable or could be adapted for people with limited mobility. Fill in the form at the link and complete the questionnaire to help us realise this project.
Foto di copertina: R. Conti