Dolomiti Orientali - Pale di S. Martino
The pink mountains of the Dolomites. From 19th century travellers to Dino Buzzati - the magic of Pale di San Martino
Coral in origin, Pale di San Martino is one of the most stunning mountain ranges of the Dolomites. It is dotted with spires, peaks and corners, which turn pinkish at sunset. The geological history of Pale can be traced back to approximately 300 million years ago, when massive colonies of corals began multiplying in a shallow, peaceful sea, building reefs of over one thousand meters in height. After they had surfaced, the coral reefs have been moulded by atmospheric agents into the sharp complex shapes which can be admired today.
The word dolomia (in fact, Pale is the "Dolomia dello Scilar") pays homage to the Marquis Déodat de Dolomieu, who discovered their double calcium carbonate and magnesium composition during a trip in 1788. Its austere beauty has fascinated travellers and foreign mountaineers alike since the end of the last century. However, its most striking feature - which mesmerized 19th century travellers, just like writer Dino Buzzati and present day's tourists - is its plateau. This rocky tableland raises over 2,000 m a.s.l. and features 50 km² of bare rock dotted with deep, bottomless crevices.