RAI tells the story of the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Dolomites

The instalment of the series by RAI entitled “Siti italiani del Patrimonio Mondiale” (“World Heritage Sites in Italy”), about the natural heritage sites and therefore also the Dolomites, is available on RaiPlay. With spectacular footage and enthralling narration based on in-depth research carried out on the ground, the programme takes the viewer on a tour of the World Heritage sites in Italy: Monte San Giorgio, the Dolomites, the Aeolian Islands, Mount Etna, and the ancient beech-woods. There are only 5 natural sites in Italy that are on the World Heritage List, compared to 48 cultural sites.

Natural Sites: “A few good ones”

Tim Badman, the director of the IUCN World Heritage Programme, explained that this lack of proportion is because the areas with the highest number of cultural sites (Western Europe) are also the most anthropised. Mr. Badman also adds that Italy requested and obtained, in the first years after the programme was set up, only the recognition of Cultural Heritage. The inclusion on the World Heritage list of a vast and complex natural asset like that of the Dolomites therefore assumes even more value and is testament to the will of the country to protect its extraordinary environment.

During the instalment, the voice of the scientific advisor of the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation, Cesare Micheletti, alternates with those of Professor Piero Gianolla, geologist at the University of Ferrara, and Marcella Morandini, the director of the Foundation.

In excellent company

The RAI documentary also covers the other natural sites in Italy that share UNESCO World Heritage status with the Dolomites: Monte San Giorgio, a site straddling the border between Italy and Switzerland, and home to an abundance of Triassic fossils that provide an insight into how life on Earth was 240 million years ago; the ancient primordial beech-woods which have remained intact for centuries, found in various regions around Europe and, in Italy, in the National Parks of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise, Sasso Fratino, Monte Raschio, Foresta Umbra, Cozzo Ferriero and Monte Cimino; and then there is the extraordinary volcanic landscape of the Aeolian Islands and Mount Etna, which, like the Dolomites, are like an open-air department of geology.