Van di Città (Van de Zità)

Van de Zita
(photo by: G. Poloniato)

Access: Val Pramper, Pramperet Mountain Hut, Piazedel, Van di Città (trails no. 523 and 514)

Isolated and lonesome glacial-karst basins
The Van di Città, high-mountain pastures situated in the heart of Schiara-Talvena group, are two glacial cirques side by side (Van di Città “de fora” and “de entro”, separated by the rocky ridge of “i Preson”), shaped by small cirque glaciers during the latest glaciation and, subsequently, by snow and karst phenomena (karst-nival basins). The itinerary leads to one of the most isolated and lonesome places of the Dolomites and gives the opportunity to observe features linked to the glacial environment (relict glacial cirques and sheepbacks, inherited by the latest glaciation), to the processes of karst dissolution (dolines, limestone pavements), and to the high-mountain periglacial environment (screes, nival banks). The rock steps of the two cirques, rounded off and smoothed by the glacial action (sheepbacks), are meticulously dug by karst pavements. Of particular interest, the spectacular overthrust of Cime di Città, an important thrust fault leading more ancient sedimentary rocks to “slip” over more recent rocks. During the folding of the dolomitic chain (compression of the Earth’s crust linked to the collision between the African plate and the European plate), the Cime di Città, consisting of Dolomia Principale, “slipped over” a slab consisting of younger rocks belonging to Vajont Limestone.

Rocks, environments, and other features

Rocks: Dolomia Principale (Cime di Città); Vajont Limestone (Piazedel; basement of Cime di Città; di Città south, bottom and step Van di Città); Igne Formation (cirque of Barancion, Van di Città de fora).
Landscape features:
Glacial features: glacial cirques, sheepbacks (rock steps of the two cirques)
Karst features: dolines (Van di Città de fora); karst pavements (rock steps of the two cirques)
Periglacial features: screes; nival bank (Van di Città de fora)

Environment / Landscape

High-mountain karst-nival environment
Among the most interesting geotopes of the Park, the Van di Città distinguish themselves for the environmental quality and the originality of the landscape (isolated and silent high-mountain nival basins).

Notes: very demanding itinerary (total difference in height: 1,300m); short exposed stretch ( di Città north)