Tre Cime di Lavaredo as seen from the Lavaredo fork, Sexten Dolomites, Italy
© AWL Images/Danita Delimon
A towering view of the 'Pale Mountains'
Behold the Tre Cime di Lavaredo, some of the most iconic peaks of the Dolomites range in the Italian Alps. The Dolomites, aka the 'Pale Mountains,' are named for the light-colored stone (dolomite) of the jagged range. This is the view from the highest point of a trail that encircles these three dramatic peaks. Usually mobbed with tourists in the summertime, autumn and spring offer a chance for a more tranquil amble along the 6-mile trail. The hike manages to reveal one stunning view after another with each turn of the route. Along the way, the hiker will pass three 'rifugios,' traditional Alpine shelters that offer drinks and meals, and even beds to stay the night.
Until 1919, the border between Italy and Austria-Hungary ran directly through the Tre Cime di Lavaredo, and there was heavy fighting here in World War I. Visitors can still see trenches and remnants of fortifications left from the so-called White War of the Alps. A small chapel, called Cappella degli Alpini, was built in memory of fallen soldiers in the area.