Like a great work of art sculpted by Mother Nature, the Dolomites were slowly formed during the long and drawn out geological time that we measure in millions of years. Before orogenesis caused the dolomitic rocks to tower at more than 3000m, nature made it possible for them to be formed. In the very distant past, during the Triassic period (200-250 million years ago), sands, silts and slurries deposited on a tropical seabed and were transformed into rocks through the process of lithogenesis.
During the Eocene period, between 40 and 50 million years ago, Africa and Europe continuously and progressively approached one another by a few centimetres a year. Within a few million years, this short distance became kilometres and the Dolomites started to rise up. Approximately 15-20 million years ago the sea beds were deformed, pushed out of the water and eventually rose to the height of mountains.
The characteristic appearance and landscape that we know today came into being around 2-3 million years ago through the erosion and dismantling of rock segments caused by atmospheric agents. After the last Ice Age, which started 80,000 years ago and ended 8,000-10,000 years ago, the indescribably beautiful landscape that we know today appeared. The final touches were added after the Ice Age. The melting of the ice, which was sometimes up to 1,500m thick, created streams, torrents and rivers that dug up and carried away rock debris. Freed of ice, some slopes gave way and collapsed into the valley.