The silvery moon coloured mountains
Do you know that the Dolomites are also called the “Monti Pallidi” (Pale Mountains)? This is due to the pale grey colour of their rocks – which is completely different to those of all other mountains – lending a palish grey hue to these mountains that resembles that of the moon’s surface. Read this legend and discover the reason for this!
A long time ago the Dolomites were not as pale as they are today; they were dark coloured and covered with woods. In the Dolomite valleys lived a young prince, who stayed awake every night to see the moon and dreamed of reaching it. One day he finally succeeded and landed on the moon, where he met the beautiful moon princess. It was love at first sight. The prince stayed with her up there, but the moonlight hurt his eyes more strongly as time went by. Therefore, he returned to earth with the beautiful princess.
However, the princess was not happy on earth. Those dark mountains scared her and she missed the whiteness of her beloved moon. The prince did not know what to do and every morning he left his castle for long walks in the woods, trying to find a solution. By chance, one day he met a small man with a long beard: he was the king of dwarves who, on seeing him so sad, asked why. The king of dwarves, hearing his story, told him not to worry and that he had a solution. He would bring back the smile on the beautiful princess’ face, provided the prince would allow him and his subjects to live on those mountains. The prince agreed and the king promised that on the first full moon he would fulfil his promise.
As the days went by, the princess became sadder and paler. Luckily though, the night of the full moon finally arrived. The prince saw the dwarves come out from their small houses and climb up to the top of the Dolomites. Immediately, a flicker of bright wires spread across the mountain slopes: it was the dwarves who were spinning the moonlight. This went on all night until they created big silvery balls. With these they wove a huge blanket of moonlight that covered the entire Dolomites, giving them the pale colour, we still admire today.
The moon princess, seeing this magnificent sight, started to smile again and decided to stay on earth with her husband and live there in the shade of the marvellous Dolomites.