Surrounded by some of the highest and most famous mountain peaks of the Dolomites, Cortina is not only jaw-droppingly beautiful but also Italy’s most fashionable resort.
Standing at 1225m in the Dolomite mountain range, Cortina d’Ampezzo, or Cortina as it is more widely known, is located in a large valley in the Veneto region of Northern Italy. Situated on the Boite river, the resort is renowned for its spectacular scenery with dramatic limestone cliffs surrounding the resort.
This captivating town has previously hosted the 1956 Winter Olympics, and is set to host the 2021 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. At the heart of the resort is the cobbled Corso Italia, a traffic-free area lined with chic shops selling everything from designer clothes, jewellery and furs to art and antiques. Frequented by Italian glitterati, Cortina has a friendly atmosphere and is as much about lunching and shopping as skiing.
Part of the Dolomiti Superski, one of the largest ski circuits with 1,200 km of slopes across twelve ski regions accessed with a single ski pass, Cortina has a good mixture of slopes above and below the treeline. Linked by buses, Cortina has several areas of crowd-free slopes spread across the resort and is ideal for beginners.
“Whilst the skiing is good, the dining in Cortina is even better with many culinary hot spots worth visiting.”
Situated at the very top of the Cinque Torri ski area at 2,400m, Rifugio Averau offers exceptional food which can be enjoyed on a large terrace with incredible views to the Civetta and Marmolada.
www.rifugioaverau.com / +39 0436 4660
For great food and wine in a fantastic setting, Rifugio Scoiattoli is the place to to head. Built in 1969 by mountain guide Lorenzo Lorenzi, the restaurant is still run by the same family and has recently been renovated to make the most of the wonderful panoramic views. Using fresh high quality products, the dishes are of local Ampezzo tradition and include delicious homemade pasta flavoured with blueberries.
www.rifugioscoiattoli.it / +39 0436 867 939
Il Meloncino al Caminetto
One of the most raved about restaurants in town, Il Meloncino al Caminetto has a fantastic location overlooking the mountains and ski slopes. As well as serving traditional dishes of the Ampezzo valley including Casunziei, the restaurant has a wide variety of plates that are far from mountain specialities.
www.ilmeloncino.it / +39 0436 866 219
Prized for its creative take on classic mountain restaurants, Tivoli is a Michelin-starred restaurant a short stroll from the centre of town, overlooking Cortina and the Belluno Dolomites. There is a particularly interesting wine list, the ambiance is quiet and intimate, and the service excellent.
www.ristorantetivolicortina.it / +39 0436 866 400
“The nightlife in Cortina is lively yet understated with a good selection of popular wine bars dotted around the resort.”
Popular at tea time, Pasticceria Lovat is the place to go for delicious cakes and pastries teamed with note-perfect hot chocolate or espresso. The setting is sophisticated and the apple strudel divine.
+ 39 0436 3307
Located in the centre of town, under the bell tower, Enoteca is renowned for the quality and wide selection of wines from Italy and around the world. Enjoy a glass of your favourite vintage accompanied by a platter of excellent cheese and meats in a relaxing atmosphere.
+39 0436 862 040
Ideal for late-night drinking and dancing, Jambo is at the centre of nighttime action in Cortina with live music, DJs and a very fashionable clientele.
For cocktail o’clock , Bar Sport is the go-to venue, serving quality beers and cocktails with a smile. Decorated with old ice hockey gear, the bar has an authentic feel to it and a welcoming and friendly atmosphere.
+39 0436 868 444
“Modest in extent, the slopes of Cortina are ideal for beginners but when conditions allow, the off-piste can be superb.”
Spread across the mountains, Cortina’s slopes are easily accessed from town. A two stage cable car to Faloria links to Cristallo and the tiny Mietres ski area, whilst a second cable car to Col Druscie links to Ra Valles and the highest and most spectacular area, Tofana. Accessed by road, Cinque Torre links into Col Gallino and Lagazuoi ski areas and the beautiful ‘Hidden Valley’. From here you can access the Sella Ronda circuit.
Whilst the snow record is erratic, 95% of the pistes are covered by excellent snowmaking, so cover is good if temperatures are low. The resort is excellent for beginners with fantastic nursery slopes and progression runs in the Pomedes area. For experts, on-piste is limited, but the steep black slope at Tofana is enjoyable and Staunies from the top of Cristallo is particularly challenging. For cross-country skiers there are around 70 km of trails which are suitable for all standards.
Scuola Sci Cristallo
Offering both private and group lessons for all ages, Scuola Sci Cristallo has a team of highly qualified instructors offering lessons both on the slopes of Cortina and the ski network Dolomiti Superski.
www.scicristallocortina.com / +39 0436 879 483
Founded over 150 years ago, The Guide Alpine offers off-piste skiing and touring as well as heli skiing, ski mountaineering, ice climbing and snowshoeing.
www.guidecortina.com / +39 0436 868 505
“Snowsports is just one of Cortina’s many draws and the town is filled with fun and relaxing activities to enjoy.”
For those in search of a new adventure on the slopes, then snowkiting fits the bill. Combining kitesurfing and skiing, this is a fantastic new way to experience the power of the slopes. Individual and group courses are available for beginners to advanced.
www.kite4freedom.it / +39 331 488 5789
Built for the 1956 Winter Olympics, Cortinas Olympic ice rink is open all year round for leisure, lessons or figure skating. Team activities such as curling and ice hockey are also available.
Located at an altitude of 1,780m, the Helmut Ullrich Astronomical Observatory at Col Druscie is equipped with two domes containing an impressive telescope and other instruments for observing the sky, planets and galaxies. The observatory organises group activities and guided visits on request.
www.cortinastelle.eu / +39 338 616 3428
Country Club Wellness Centre
For those that wish to relax in style will be in expert hands at Cortina’s Country Club. Recently renovated, the club offers a bio sauna, Finnish sauna, Turkish bath, Jacuzzi, Winter Garden and Relaxation Room. There are also many treatments on offer from manicures to massages.
www.centrobenesserecortina.it / +39 0436 862 127