The Antelao Mountain Group (‘Nantelòu’ in the dialect of Cadore), is located in the Belluno Province of the Veneto Region and is known as the ‘King of the Dolomites’. It has the second highest summit after the Marmolada Mountain Group, peaking at 3,264 m. It is the first, though, if you consider the elevation gain between its height and it's base, thus forming one of the foremost groups of the Dolomites.
The group is formed by a central mountain group dominated by Monte Antelao, which is flanked by a further series of peaks aligned West to East, such as Punta Menini (3,177 m), Punta Chiggiato (3,163 m) and Cima Fanton (3,142 m). The other two internal mountains that make up this group are the Sorapiss and Marmalole.
Despite its substantial individuality when viewed from a distance, the mountain takes on unique ‘faces’ from different angles, as you approach the base. When viewing from Centro Cadore Antelao has the appearance of a bulky, powerful castle, while from the central section of the Boite valley it looks more decidedly like a pyramid. From Cortina the Antelao is a neat triangular shape in the distance, with a little rectangular 'house' on the top that towers above the valley.
The Antelao summit, even on clear days, is often shrouded by a crown of clouds, which has given a saying in the in the Cadore valley that the Antelao is ‘smoking the pipe’. The Mararole mountain group is located in the Veneto region of Italy and is part of the UNESCO national park.