The Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park and many other regional parks are located in the Dolomites. In August 2009, the Dolomites were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Dolomites, also known as the “Pale Mountains”, take their name from the carbonate rock dolomite, itself named for 18th-century French mineralogist Déodat Gratet de Dolomieu (1750–1801), who was the first to describe the mineral.During the First World War, the front line between the Italian and Austro-Hungarian forces ran through the Dolomites, where mines were used extensively. There are now open-air war museums at Cinque Torri (Five Towers) and Mount Lagazuoi. Many people visit the Dolomites to climb the vie ferrate, protected paths created during the war.
The Dolomites are renowned for skiing in the winter months and mountain climbing, hiking, cycling, and BASE jumping, as well as paragliding and hang gliding in summer and late spring/early autumn.