Surface: 2,208 hectares Provinces: Belluno, Trento Main peaks: Punta Penia (3,343 m) Punta Rocca (3,309 m) Punta Serauta (3,218 m) Gran Vernel (3,210 m) Piccolo Vernel (3,098 m) Sasso Vernale (3,054m) Sasso di Valfredda (2,998m) Cime d’Ombretta (2,983m)
Presence of rock cliffs and peaks rising sharply above 3000 meters. Its peculiar charm has inspired many writers.
Presence of stratigraphic formations; the massif presents all the features typical of the Dolomite Landscape.
The name Marmolada comes from the Greek marmar, which means sparkling. This massif is the second component part of the Dolomites serial property, included by UNESCO on the World Heritage List. Unlike the rest of the Dolomites, which are composed of dolomite, this range is composed of white limestone of coral origin. Divided between the provinces of Trento and Belluno, it was selected by UNESCO for its striking and austere beauty, for its chemical and physical characteristics, and because it provides a natural testing ground for climate change research.
Marmolada is known as the Queen of the Dolomites, and with its height of 3,343 meters is the highest peak of the Dolomites. Rising between the valleys Valle del Cordevole, Valle del Biois, Val San Pellegrino and Valle dell’Avisio, the Marmolada Group comprises a series of subgroups, like Ombretta-Ombrettola, the Cima Uomo Range, Collac-Buffaure, Padon and the Auta Ranges. The main peaks are Gran Vernel , Piccolo Vernel, Punta Rocca, Punta Penia and Pizzo Serauta. Its glacier covers the northern flank, with the Fedaia Lake at its feet.
The geomorphology of the Marmolada is characterized by an impressive rocky massif rising sharply from the gentle wood-covered hills of a post-volcanic platform. The dazzling white of the glacier combined with the grey of its southern face, a sheer rock cliff plunging for almost 1,000 meters and representing one of the most impressive vertical walls of the Dolomites, create a landscape of striking beauty.
From a geological point of view, the Marmolada is an ancient Triassic atoll with lagoons rich in fossils, and modified by later volcanic activity.
The Marmolada is also an important subject for scientific studies, especially in the fields of paleontology, glaciology and climate change research. The typical white Marmolada Limestone is essential in a study of the Dolomites.
During the First World War the Austrians built an Ice City beneath the surface of the Marmolada Glacier, a labyrinth of tunnels connecting five outposts. No trace of it remains.