RS Bletterbachschlucht person
RS Bletterbachschlucht person

GEOPARC Rio delle Foglie

The Rio delle Foglie Gorge near Aldino and Redagno is known as the “Grand Canyon of South Tyrol”

The Bletterbachschlucht, also known as Rio delle Foglie Gorge, is South Tyrol's largest gorge located at the foot of Mt. Corno Bianco (2,317 m a.s.l.) in the south of the region. Over millions of years the stone has been eroded so that nowadays you can see the singular layers. Here you can discover at first hand how the stunning Dolomites developed: The lowest layer is porphyry, above in the middle we find sandstone and at the top Dolomite limestone, of which also Mt. Corno Bianco is made. The interesting GEOlogic Trail takes you through the fascinating gorge.

Starting point is the visitor centre in Aldino: In autumn 2023, it will be extended by a larger visitor centre with ancillary areas, storage rooms, conference rooms, reception areas and toilets. An area of 780 sqm will be added to the present one, its walls will resemble those of the canyon. 16 information panels through the canyon tell you all about the different layers and stones. Moreover, they inform about such precious findings as carbonised plants and woods, primeval sea animals, corals and mussels or the imprints of dinosaurs. What an extraordinary experience to stand between the up to 20 metres high stone walls! The gorge, covering an area of 818 hectares, is open from May to October and is part of the Dolomites as World Heritage site.

There's another visit centre in Redagno: The GEOMuseum shows important findings from the gorge as well as the characteristic rocks. Recently, a pilot project has been implemented to enable an inclusive nature experience for everyone, regardless of environmental, physical or linguistic barriers. Part of the project are 4 online tools, including a webapp for multimedia content and a visitor experience with virtual reality, which permits to immerse barrier-free in the nature of the gorge. The Rio delle Foglie Canyon has also been used for several years for training sessions for ESA, NASA and JAXA astronauts to learn more about geology - it shows striking similarities to Mars.

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Winter closure of the GEOPARC Rio delle Foglie from early November to the 1st of May, season start 2024 of the visitor centre in Aldino on April 23 and of the gorge itself on the 2nd of May.

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