The Sella Group is one of the mountain groups of the Dolomites and extends on two regions, three provinces and four valleys. This imposing massif lies in fact between Trentino, South Tyrol and Veneto, in the provinces of Bolzano, Trento and Belluno, surrounded by the valleys of Gardena, Badia, Fassa and Livinallongo. One of the most panoramic viewpoints of the Dolomites, the Sella Group has always been a favorite tourist destination both in summer and winter, since it features several interesting vie ferrate and a famous skiing and cycling tour: Sellaronda or Four Passes Tour.
From a naturalistic point of view, the Sella Group is a castle of naked rock, whereas the surrounding passes, Gardena, Pordoi, Sella and Campolongo have gentle clayey hills. The group is located right at the center of the Dolomites, a rocky massif surrounded by the other major groups: Sassolungo, Catinaccio, Làtemar, Puez-Odle-Putia, Marmolada and Pale di San Martino.
The Sella comprises two sections: from Val Mesdí to Val Badia and from Val Lasties to Val di Fassa; and three subgroups: Boé, with the highest peak Piz Boé (3152 meters), between the valleys of Lastes and Mesdí; Mesules, surrounded by the valleys Val Lasties, Pisciadú and Setus; and Pisciadú, between the valleys Pisciadú, Val Setus and Val Mezdí. There are also many tarns. Among the most famous: Pisciadú, Lech dl Dragon, Boé and Lech Dlace.
The Sella Group is the symbol of Ladin culture: the many legends revolving around this massif, which has several Ladin names, tell about traditions, jobs and everyday life of the people living in these valleys.
Sella Group in summer and winter: climbing, trekking and skiing
The Sella Group has always been a favorite destination for climbers: here in fact you find wonderful vie ferrate, some of them practicable all year round. Many famous climbers explored these peaks: the Messner brothers, Hans Kammerlander and Eisendle, to mention only a few.
Among the best known routes, the tour to Piz Boé, from Corvara or from the Pordoi Pass, is without a doubt one of the favorites. Another interesting tour is the crossing of the Sella from the Gardena Pass. Three are the mountain refuges: Boé, Pisciadú and Franz Kostner. The first can be reached from Val Mezdí, the second from the Gardena Pass and the third from the Campolongo Pass. Boé and Pisciadú are both stages of the High Route n. 2.
There are also many interesting vie ferrate: the best known is the Ferrata Tridentina, up a steep ridge and across a suspended bridge. A bit more difficult is the Ferrata delle Mèsules, whereas the most demanding is the Via Cesare Piazzetta.
As a tourist attraction, the Sella Group is a favorite destination both in summer and winter: the Sellaronda or 4 Passes Tour is in fact a famous one-day skiing tour along breathtaking landscapes, touching all the four passes around the Sella Group: Gardena, between Val Badia and Val Gardena; Pordoi, between Val di Fassa and Val di Livinallongo; Campolongo, between Val di Livinallongo and Val Badia; and Sella, between Val di Fassa and Val Gardena. Besides the ski runs of the four passes, the Sella Group offers also ski mountaineering tours, but only for expert skiers accompanied by a mountain guide. For enthusiasts: Sellaronda Skimarathon, a nighttime ski mountaineering competition.
The Sellaronda tour is practicable also in summer, by mountain bike, bicycle or motor bike; and many of its ascents were included in the Giro d'Italia. Here in summer takes place one of the biggest long-distance cycling day, the Maratona dles Dolomites, and the non-pro competition Sellaronda Bike Day, when the passes are closed to traffic to allow the race to take place.