The Dolomites, truly unique mountains, have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. They are listed as a serial property because, despite its size and diversity, the entire range is considered to be a single unit. This extraordinary "fossil archipelago" consists of nine areas spread over five Italian provinces (Belluno, Bolzano, Pordenone, Trento, Udine), although the Province of Belluno is home to the greatest number of these magnificent peaks.
The Marmolada is the highest mountain in the Dolomites: she is called the Queen of Dolomites. The highest peak, Punta Penia, is 3.343 mt high. Actually the ridge is composed of several summits: Punta Rocca, Punta Ombretta, Pizzo Serauta, Piccolo Vernel e Grande Vernel. The Marmolada massif is composed of different smaller mountains: Ombretta-Ombrettola, Catena Cima Uomo, Collac Buffaure, Padon and Auta. The Queen of Dolomites is surrounded by 4 valleys: Valle Cordevole, Valle del Biois, Val San Pellegrino and Valle dell'Avisio.
Her name comes from the ancient greek "marmar" which means shining. She is composed of limestones coming from ancient barrier reefs.
Towards the south it breaks suddenly into sheer cliffs, forming a rock face several kilometres long. The cliffs can be admired from Val Ombretta. On the north side there is a flat glacier, the only large glacier in the Dolomites, and the Lake Fadaia.