Cortina d’Ampezzo

Cortina d’Ampezzo Italy

A drive to Cortina d’Ampezzo should be undertaken simply for the pleasure of the drive, although not in the winter. The majestic beauty of the Dolomite Mountains is a must for mountain-lovers. The recommended scenic route is north on the SS45bis then take the A22 to Bolzano. The final 68-mile stretch of the route from Bolzano to Cortina d’Ampezzo is truly a breathtaking white knuckle ride of twists and turns which are rewarded by spectacular mountain scenery. For those who only think of Italy as having rolling hillsides and vineyards, it comes as a startling revelation. The road is truly a feat of engineering as it clings to the mountainside.


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Winter Spoerts in Cortina d’Ampezzo

Cortina d’Ampezzo is known as the ‘Pearl of the Dolomites’. In winter, at 4000 feet it is Italy’s premier ski area and has some of the best skiing in Europe. It enjoys 95 miles of ski runs and is perfect for the advanced or intermediate skier. It is also a popular location for films including James Bond’s ‘For Your Eyes Only’, ‘Cliffhanger’ and the ‘Pink Panther’.

Outside the winter sports season it is a wonderful place to visit for its beautiful rugged countryside and excellent hiking trails. It is also a great place to practice the art of ‘Il dolce far niente’ which means doing absolutely nothing! Relax, shop, people watch and enjoy leisurely 2-hour lunches which is what Cortina d’Ampezzo is great for.

In the centre of the square is the statue of Walther von der Vogelweide, a 13th century traveling entertainer known as a ‘troubadour’. He was apparently born in this area and is honoured in the square.

Other Sights in Cortina d’Ampezzo

The town itself is a charming place to stroll around with its typical alpine buildings and architecture. It is well known for its designer shopping and delightful gourmet restaurants but it is best known for its Cooperativa di Cortina, a shopping centre which sells everything from newspapers and gifts to skis and winter clothing. Near the bridge on the Bigontina river is the Town Hall, an elegant palace built in typical Tyrolean style. Beyond the town there are many waterfalls, lakes and streams and hikers may see marmots, deer, chamoises and hares as they explore the trails.
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