Closed to cars

Locals want eco-friendly tourism in the Dolomites

Editorial Staff
April 8, 2010

‘We want cars out of the Dolomites.' This announcement did not come from environmentalists or local nature lovers: it came from the president of the Trentino region, Lorenzo Dellai. Politicians in Trentino are currently discussing ways to make tourism in the world-famous Dolomites even ‘greener' and a lobby has formed to limit cars during the summer months.


‘The territories that make courageous decisions in terms of alternative forms of transportation will create for themselves a new future made of high-quality tourism; the others will have to live with  whatever tourism they get,' said Dellai. He proposes a ban on pollution-causing motor vehicles at high altitudes one or two days a week in the summer months to keep the area clean and green.


This new vision of ‘green' tourism has gathered support throughout the Dolomites, named a UNESCO heritage site in July 2009. Supporters include local citizens, members of alpine clubs in Trentino, the Italian Alpine Club (CAI), and some of the world's greatest mountaineers, like Reinhold Messner.


The majority of people in the Dolomites want to promote cleaner forms of tourism in the area. However, it may be difficult to forge an agreement as the Dolomites span three provinces: Trentino, Bolzano and Belluno. Although some politicians propose selling tourists a five-euro ticket to enter the area by car, as some towns in Austria have done, the issue is not an economic one, but an environmental one.


In the meantime, some locals have already started to educate tourists on the benefits of leaving their cars parked. Michil Costa, hotelier in Corvara, says he will give his clients a bottle of Sassicaia if they leave their cars parked during their entire stay.

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