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Scenery Review : Drei Zinnen Natural Park by Frank Dainese and Fabio Bellini

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Scenery Review : Drei Zinnen Natural Park by Frank Dainese and Fabio Bellini


We are back into the mountains. After the excellent Mont Blanc 3D scenery only a few months ago, we shift our location now more eastwards to the Dolomite mountain ranges and the Tre Cime di Lavaredo - "Three Peaks of Lavaredo" or Drei Zinnen, set in the Sexten Dolomites of northeastern Italy.


The Dolomites are not just one range but a set of ranges set out just behind Venice (Veneto) that also borders both the Italian and Austrian borders. To note that this scenery of Drei Zinnen is just one of five packages that will cover the extensive area of the Dolomites.


This is also not the first scenery released of the Dolomite area either by Frank Dainese and Fabio Bellini, as their very first scenery was of a Dolomite package. That original version is now not available anymore, it was also very expensive and now not up to now the current standards that set out the reason to totally redo the Dolomite scenery with the latest tools and quality (the original version was also extremely heavy on your framerate).


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An overview of Drei Zinnen is first from the east looking westwards...


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....  and from the other side west looking eastwards and covers an area approx 1000 sq km.


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Unlike other sceneries in these packages the Dolomites are far harder to distinguish because the formations are more tighter and almost stalactite in forms, the peaks are not as pronounced either as many of the highest peaks are just the jutting upwards of their actual peaks from a higher mountain plateau elevation.



The main area of focus is Dobbiaco (Italian) or Toblach (German) which is in the South Tyrol in northern Italy. The Township sits in the long and wide Val Pusteria (Puster Valley), or the "green valley".


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There is only a grass strip at Dobbiaco - LIVD originally only a military airport, but the townships closeness to the areas main attraction of the "Three Peaks" does mean that from May to October the airport is also open for civilian traffic on weekends and holidays. The small military airfield has a 700m long and 50m wide grass runway and is managed by the Italian Air Force's Airport Detachment at Toblach.


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There is both a grass strip and a provided H pad, but if selecting LIVD, you are placed on the grass strip and not the H pad.


There is one other grass runway at Val Casies (LICSS) which is one valley north, it is a basic strip, but it does have an alpine hangar at the east end.


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Braies lake

Before we do the main clockwise circular route around Drei Zinnen, we will go west and to Braies lake "Lago di Braies". Our equipment is the excellent Bell 407 by Dreamfoil.


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All the townships and villages in the Puster Valley are represented, first up is Niederdorf...  there is over 13,000 3D custom objects altogether placed in the scenery to fill out mostly all of the valleys. And at various points you do see the Dolomites in the background, soaring above you.


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Once past Niederdorf, you do a hard bank left into Untergasse, then a swing right at a branch valley that takes you down to Braies. If you swinging around these alpine valleys then you will have a great time in here...


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...    deep down the valley and finally to the left then Braies lake will appear. The Lake is closed in by the towering mountains around it, and it is quite spectacular...


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...   at Braies lake there is a church, large hotel and a very nice wooden jetty... the H pad is to the right of the jetty coming in from the lake approach.


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All the buildings and the lovely alpine style jetty are really well done, so the lake is well worth a visit.


Sexten - Sesto

Going east from Dobbiaco along the Puster Valley, you will see first Innichen, or San Candido...   with Versciaco di Sotto in the distance, but you then take  a south branch off the Puster Valley down the Sesto - Moso Valley towards Sexten - Sesto, which is a major ski resort.


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Opposite Sexten is the most northern formation of Gantkofel Cima Ganda (2697m), Rocca dei Baranci Haunold (2966m) and the Croda dei Baranci Birkenkofel (2922m)...


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....   and across a very picturesque valley called the Val Campo di Dentro is the Gselknoten Cima di Sesto (2870m) and the highest peak in this area the Drei-Schuster - Spitz (3152m).


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Val Fiscalina a wide valley separates the main ranges to the south and this area is Cadore, so if you are flying southeast you have to climb over an elevation to get to Padola and then drop down into the alley of the Padola torrent.....


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The most significant mountain in this part of the range opposite Padola is the Croda dei Campo (2712m) with the Torrione Canal (2490m) set alongside...


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...   a complex group of three ranges that is that dominated to the right by the Punta Anna (2707m) set behind the Croda di Taco and Cima di Padola and forward is the Punta Lima (2612m).


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The middle group is the Selvaplana group, Campanile di Selvaplana (2741m), Sasso di Selvaplaa (2116m)....   


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....    final far left group range is the tallest in the Monte Popera (3046m), Monte Giralba di Sopra (2994m), Monte Giralba di Sotto (2881m).


The hub township of Padola that services these three ranges is also well represented in the scenery...


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There is H Pad (LIPDH) here at the southern part of the township, so you need to fly over and then return back to the pad.


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Auronzo Valley

The Auronzo Valley with the characteristic lake and the Dolomiten crown is on the southern border of the scenery...


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...   the metal walkway bridge over the Lago di Santa Caterina is represented as is also the (Dam) diga di santa caterina.


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The H Pad (LIAUH) is positioned east of the bridge on the northern bank of the lake.


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Next is of a range that looks like the spine of a dinosour is the Colle dell'Agnello (2406m), (and not to be confused with the Col Agnel (Italian: Colle dell'Agnello) in the Cottian Alps), Punta dell'Agnello (2724), Cima d'Auronzo (2918m) and at the rear the famous tooth like Croda dei Toni (3095m).


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The Lago di Cengia is noted as well, set deep into the scenery with the Croda dei Toni towering above it...


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... also deep into the spikes of formations is the largest spike of the Monte Paterno (2697m), it looks taller because it stands alone.


Three Peaks of Lavaredo

All these sensational ranges are not actually the highlight of the Drei Zinnen area, as they are called the Tre Cime di Lavaredo, or "Three Peaks of Lavaredo".


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The Three Peaks are set out quite high up on a plateau (in fact the whole area of Drei Zinnen is set on a plateau), and flying in and up from the Auronzo Valley, you have to gain quite a lot of altitude to get up there.... it is all climb, climb and climb to 7500ft ASL


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Your aim is for the Auronzo refuge, and it is perched on your horizon (arrowed)....  


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...  and get up to the Auronzo refuge and you are faced with the tightest H Pad (LIRAH) square in the scenery, it's very small and you can't make a mistake here in any form on it's concrete steep sides.


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I'm on the pad, but I also needed a walk around the room to get my nerves to calm down.


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The three distinctive battlement-like peaks of Tre Cime di Lavaredo 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") - 2,857m (9,373 ft)
  • Cima Grande / Große Zinne ("big peak") - 2,999m (9,839 ft)
  • Cima Ovest / Westliche Zinne ("western peak") - 2,973m (9,754 ft).


The most iconic view of the Three Peaks is however from the east from the Locatelli Refuge, with the Monte Paterno skyscraper as part of the viewpoint.


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A huge amount of work has gone into recreating these iconic peaks, is as noted the DEM data that is used and it is then further corrected with 3D graphics programs. Subsequently the textures were then applied in 4K resolution which are obtained from high definition photos. The positioning on the modified mesh is very accurate and respecting the dimensions and the main morphological characteristics of the terrain. And as the Dolomites are mountains with unique characteristics as they come with their large vertical and smooth walls. Of which in X-Plane with the traditional scenarios obtained only from ortho-photos are usually are washed out and blurred. So a lot of work is required to bring out all the rugged detail to make these peaks so authentic.


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The entrance (where you pay to go in) the Tre Cime Natural Park is also modeled on the Dobbiaco side of the range.


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There is another H Pad (LIRLH) Lavaredo Refuge that is set just along to the northeast from the Auronzo Refuge that situated at the base of the Cima Piccola - Little Peak.


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Other peaks in the area are also covered, and they include the Monte Piana (2324m), Monte Piano (2306m), Monte Rudo (2804m) and the Cime Passaporto (2697m).


Misurina lake

One other area to explore is the Misurina lake. This place has the best view of the Tre Cime from a lower angle, but it is partly obscoured. The route to the lake is tight flight down the Misurina valley and the entrance is the valley directly south from Dobbiaco. If you love swinging your machine though the tight valleys then you will love this one, but be careful as the more deeper down the valleys you go, the more of a labyrinth of valleys appear, so you have to work out your route, in fact it is good to note here that the whole scenery is riddled with the multiple labyrinth valleys and it is very easy to take a wrong turn and get lost.


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Again the entrance to the lake is the wrong way to land at the H Pad (LIMRH), situated on the northern shoreline, so you have to do a 180º turn back.


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I like the signs posted throughout the scenery and the "Welcome to Misurina" is one of the best.


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The Misurina lake resort is well done as there is about ten hotels with accommodation for around 500 people, if you can afford the tariffs... the Tre Cime vista is very good as well.


A full list of available ICAO H Pads and Airports are:

  • LIVD - grass Airfields - 46.72734142 012.22574365 - DOBBIACO
  • LICSS - grass Airfields - 46.7662504 012.1609550- VAL CASIES
  • LIRLC - HELIPAD 46.6367800 12.3102202 – RIF.LOCATELLI
  • LICSH - HELIPAD 46.8343924 12.2397021 - CASIES
  • LIAUH - HELIPAD 46.5442741 12.4554260 - AURONZO
  • LIPDH - HELIPAD 46.5999123 12.4805672 – PADOLA COMELICO
  • LIMRH- HELIPAD 46.5840457 12.2550331- MISURINA
  • LIRAH - HELIPAD 46.6119826 12.2958200 – RIF.AURONZO
  • LIRLH - HELIPAD 46.6179036 12.3118405 – RIF.LAVAREDO
  • LIBRH - HELIPAD 46.6992351 12.0869121 – LAGO BRAIES



Overall lighting is not the main aspect of this scenery...  there is lighting of course, but it is mainly just housing (window) lighting to create an alpine village feel...


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....  there are a few areas that are highlighted with lighting, Football (Soccer) Fields, Churches and the airstrip hangars.


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The main townships of Dobbiaco and Auronzo with their huge amount of objects do create great nightime vistas as does the larger hotels around the lakes, but the real spectacular lighting is the onset of dawn and dusk, with those magnificent peaks framed against the fading light. 


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Frank Dainese and Fabio Bellini create unique sceneries based on famous or iconic mountain ranges and their environs. Already we have had three sceneries in the Alps (Matterhorn, Eiger and Mont Blanc) and the Cerro Torre in Patagonia, South America.


This is Drie Zinnen Natural Park scenery is actually a return to their first scenery, now revisited and refined and to be recreated in five packages with this first package including the famous Tre Cime di Lavaredo, or "Three Peaks of Lavaredo".


All the numerous mountains and glaciers are all very highly created mesh from DEM data 3D graphics programs, and the Hi-Res textures are all in 4K resolution. The focus Tre Cime mountains are simply excellent in their 3D reproductions.


This package is extensive and even a bit complex until you explore and work out all the different ranges and iconic mountains and their adjoining Ski resort townships of which Dobbiaco, Padola and Auronzo are all represented as is the lake resorts of Misurina lake and Braies lake.


These excellent representations of iconic mountain areas of the world are for exploration, sightseeing or just plain exploring...  and you could throw in a bit of geography as well. All are highly detailed of the areas they represent, the mountain ranges are of course the stars and the focal point.


Hugely popular and yes I love these amazing and hugely detailed sceneries that can change your perspective of an iconic area and allow them to come to life in your simulation world...   Highly recommended, so one down and only four more Dolomites to go!




X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg


Yes! Drei Zinnen Natural Park by Frank Dainese and Fabio Bellini is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :


Dolomites 3D - Drei Zinnen Natural Park


Price Is US$24.95


Features of the Drei Zinnen Natural Park
  • Area coverage of 1000 Sq km
    • Eastern part of the Dolomites
  • Ultra High Resolution 3D Mountains
  • 2 budding airports, one in Dobbiaco (icao: LIVD) and the second at the beginning of the Val Casies (icao: LICSS)
  • Heliport, several landing points have been included in the most important points.
  • 15 3D models of the Dolomites with 4K textures.
  • All tourist locations have been reproduced with over 100 types of custom 3D buildings.
  • All vegetation mapped and reproduced. Total coverage of the territory with polygons / textures that reproduce the real terrain


WT3: Your joking of course! no, you are on your own here



X-Plane 11 

Windows, Mac or Linux
4GB VRAM Minimum - 8GB+ VRAM Recommended
Download Size: 765Mb
Release and Review version 1.0 (29th February 2020)
Download scenery file size is download 796.10mb and with the full installation installed in your custom scenery folder as there are nine install folders in order below (INI File included): 
  • Dolomiti2_lib
  • D1G_Exclusions
  • D1D_PUSTERIA_Comelico
  • D1C_CableWay_Dolomitti1
  • D1A_DOLOMITI_3D_Part1


Total scenery installation : 1.80gb


The developers note you need to adjust the X-Plane "scenery_packs.INI" so the loading order is correct and the Mesh_DOLOMITI1 must be above the Global Airport folder.



One manual with notes



Review by Stephen Dutton

29th February 2020

Copyright©2020 : X-Plane Reviews 


(Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions)


Review System Specifications:

Computer System: Windows  - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD 

Software:   - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.31

Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose  Soundlink Mini 

Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90

Scenery or Aircraft

- Bell 407 XP11 by Dreamfoil (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$35.00


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