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Wednesday July 25, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

The Italian authorities are restricting the number of vehicles allowed on a popular Dolomites mountain pass to protect the environment from excessive tourism.



The aim is to reduce traffic by 20 per cent in the peak summer tourist season.

It's estimated that in some previous summers as many as 5,000 vehicles a day have used the Sella Pass between Canazei in the Val di Fassa and Selva Val Gardena.

The Passo Sella at 2,240 metres, separates the Sassolungo mountain range from the Sella range, and is arguably one of the most stunning routes in Europe.

Sella mountains, DolomitesSella mountains













PlanetSKI's Chief Reporter Jane Peel visited the area in September 2016 after a trip the previous winter to ski:

Jane Peel on the Passo SellaPlanetSKI's Chief Reporter on the nearby Passo Gardena













The new restrictions, which came into force on 23rd July, will be in place until 31st August.

The number of cars and motorbikes allowed to use the Sella pass will be limited on Mondays to Fridays between 9am and 4pm.

The authorities say they will allow just 200 vehicles through each morning and between 100 and 150 in the afternoons.

Motorists will be able to use the pass for a 60-minute period only, and will need to pick up a free permit from a local information point or download it from a smartphone app.

The restrictions do not apply to electric vehicles and public transport, nor to drivers who work or are staying in the area.














Tourists are being encouraged to use the extra shuttle buses that are being laid on from public car parks, or cable cars.

The Dolomites are a UNESCO World Heritage site and the aim is to reduce pollution and protect the natural environment.

DolomitesDolomites, a UNESCO World Heritage site













The restrictions follow a smaller trial last summer when cars were banned from the Sella Pass on Wednesdays.

But not everyone's impressed.

Some hotel and restaurant owners say the scheme will damage their business, destroying any chance of passing trade.

And officials in the neighbouring Veneto region fear it will divert traffic to other passes around the Dolomites.

DolomitesDolomites in summer













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