The Alps & Europe: Dolomites, Italy
The Dolomites in Italy, or Le Dolomiti in Italia, are some of the most jagged peaks on Earth. This region is truly an alpine paradise. These mountains were formed from ancient reefs, and therefore they pop up in clusters, or groups, instead of traditional straight ranges. Between these jagged, towering groups of mountains are gentle grassy meadows filled with colorful wildflowers and quaint alpine towns. The Dolomites are also famous for their "via ferrata" climbing routes. Translating to "iron way", these routes have fixed cables that climbers can clip into for safety, making it possible for hikers and novice climbers to safely climb large, steep routes that normally would only be the domain of experienced climbers. The via ferrate have a fascinating history; they were initially installed by Italian and Austrian troops who fought a ferocious battle against each other in the Dolomites during the First World War. Tunnels, bunkers, and other relics of the war are found throughout the peaks of this region.