Cortina d’Ampezzo Ski Resort Guide
This resort is one of the oldest in Europe, and the traditional architecture sits in the midst of craggy and beautiful scenery resulting in one of the most beautiful – and quintessentially Italian – resorts in the alps.
At only two hours (150km) by car from Venice, it is easy and relatively quick to get to.
Cortina attracts a well-off clientele, many of whom have second homes at or near the resort and come for skiing on the weekends. There are a lot of galleries, high-end shops and luxury dealers there, selling everything from expensive art to fur clothing and fine jewellery.
The central area is car-free, and features beautiful cobbled streets and floodlit bell tower that make it a great place for shopping, lounging in cafés, grabbing a meal, or just taking a walk between sessions on the slopes.
The 120km of pistes are divided over three areas, will links to an additional 400km of pistes in the Sella Ronda ski area. Skiing is ideal for intermediate skiers, but there is a decent offering for beginners and experts, even before considering the Sella Ronda area.
Snow is reasonably reliable, especially on the higher slopes, but this resort is not so popular for skiing alone, but rather as a place for combining skiing with other activities and pastimes, in a beautiful and stylish Italian environment.
The resort is known for perfectly-groomed pistes, excellent tree-lined runs and trails through the trees, and excellent, though not numerous, expert runs. Intermediates and experts alike will enjoy Armentarola, one of the longest, most scenic and enjoyable runs in the world.
The Alpine Ski World Cup is held here every year too, which makes it a great place to visit and take in some skiing as a spectator too.
Après ski in the area is not a high-powered club scene, but rather a chic array of evening events and dining in gowns and jackets. There are more casual options of course, but you won’t find the skull-thumping beats of all-night dance clubs or the raucous crowds spilling out over outdoor terraces and bars as you will at many other ski resorts.
Bars tend to be chic and sophisticated in Cortina, featuring wines and deserts rather than high-energy dancing or loud music. Favourites include Pasticcerio Lovat, and Enoteca.
Exceptions to the more sedate venues include Janbo, with dancing from 11pm, and Belvedere, a disco club located just outside of the village that features DJ music until the early hours of morning.
For a quick bite, mid-ski, try Col Taron for a basic pasta dish, dumplings, bacon and eggs, and similar fare. Rifugio Averau boasts an amazing view from the terrace and, though it’s a little more expensive than Col Taron, the dishes are more substantial, featuring local ingredients, dishes, and elevations of traditional treats, like prosecco and amaretto cake. Fine dining enthusiasts will want to visit Tivoli, or El Camineto.
Off-slope activities include some great hiking trails, shopping, and those who want to exercise their brains as well as their muscles and wallets can take in some of the fascinating WW1 history of the area.
Sight-seeing, shopping, and getting in some skiing – it’s a good getaway for those who are beginning their skiing holiday traditions, or are there for scenery and other more relaxed activities as much as they are for skiing itself.