The Tre Cime di Lavaredo (Italian for "three peaks of Lavaredo", Italian pronunciation: ['tre 'tʃime 'di lava'redo]), also called the Drei Zinnen (German for "three merlons", German pronunciation ), are three distinctive battlement-like peaks, in the Sexten Dolomites of northeastern Italy. They are probably one of the best-known mountain groups in the Alps. The three peaks, from east to west, are:
Cima Piccola / Kleine Zinne ("little peak")
Cima Grande / Große Zinne ("big peak")
Cima Ovest / Westliche Zinne ("western peak").
The peaks are composed of well-layered dolostones of the Dolomia Principale (Hauptdolomit) formation, Carnian to Rhaetian in age, as are many other groups in the Dolomites (e.g., the Tofane, the Pelmo or the Cinque Torri).
Until 1919 the peaks formed part of the border between Italy and Austria. Now they lie on the border between the Italian provinces of South Tyrol and Belluno and still are a part of the linguistic boundary between German-speaking and Italian-speaking majorities. The Cima Grande has an elevation of 2,999 metres (9,839 ft). It stands between the Cima Piccola, at 2,857 metres (9,373 ft), and the Cima Ovest, at 2,973 metres (9,754 ft).
The first ascent of the Cima Grande was on August 21, 1869, by Paul Grohmann with guides Franz Innerkofler and Peter Salcher. The Cima Ovest was first climbed exactly ten years later, on August 21, 1879, by Michel Innerkofler with G. Ploner, a tourist. The Cima Piccola was first climbed on July 25, 1881, by Michel and Hans Innerkofler. The routes of these three first ascents are still the normal ascent routes; the Cima Piccola's route is the most difficult of the three.
Emilio Comici was the first to climb the north face of the Cima Grande in 1933 in a party of three, after an ascent time of 3 days and 2 nights. This partly overhanging northern face is considered by climbers to be one of the great north faces of the Alps.
Tre Cime Natural Park is named after the famous peaks. The visitor centre provides information concerning the trails, natural and man-made landscapes of the Sexten Dolomites and it is located at the former Grand Hotel in Dobbiaco.
Numerous well-marked routes lead from the surrounding communities to and around the peaks. The most common route is from Paternkofel/Monte Paterno to the alpine hut Auronzo at 2,333 m (7,654 ft), over Paternsattel (Patern Pass) to the alpine hut Dreizinnenhütte/Locatelli at 2,405 m (7,890 ft), and then to the peaks. There are a number of other routes as well.
Nearby communities include Auronzo di Cadore (in the province of Belluno, region of Veneto), Toblach/Dobbiaco, Sexten/Sesto, and the Puster Valley (in the province of Bolzano, region of Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol).
The area has also staged many finishes in Giro d'Italia.
Since the front line between Italy and Austria during World War I ran through the Tre Cime peaks, there are a number of fortifications, man-made caves, and commemorative plaques in the area. To this day, the trenches, tunnels, and iron ladders around Tre Cime remind us of the fierce fighting witnessed by these peaks during the war.
A number of feature films have used Tre Cime for location shooting, including "The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: Tales of Innocence" (1999) and The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles both starring Sean Patrick Flanery.
More recently, in May 2017 it was reported that the Han Solo spin-off within the Star Wars universe was filmed at Tre Cime as well.