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Carefree Cortina d’Ampezzo

Ski Resort Guide 2022/23

by Adam Attew

In this latest ski destination profile by The Bespoke Black Book’s Winter and Lifestyle Editor, Adam, Attew, explore the pros and pros of carefree Cortina d’Ampezzo.

SKI FACTS

LOCAL AREA: Cortina d’Ampezzo

CONNECTED AREA: Dolomiti Superski

SEASON START & END: End of November – Beginning of May

SKI ALTITUDE: Ski from 1200-2850m / 1650 mt of vertical drop: From Bus de Tofana to the cable car station Freccia nel Cielo

PISTES: 70 pistes. Local Resort: 120 km / Connected Area: 1200 km

LIFTS: Total 35 (Gondola 2 / Chair lift 24 / Cable car 4 / Drag Lifts 5)

SNOW: 96% of Cortina’s ski area is covered using 36 snow cannons

SKI PASS 2022-2023:Adult Local Resort: 59 Euros – 1 day / 295 Euros – 6 days

Adult Connected Area: 63 Euros – 1 day / 317 Euros – 6 days

CROSS COUNTRY SKIING: Cortina d’Ampezzo offers 70 km of Cross country ski trails LANGUAGE: Italian / Ampezzano- local variant of Ladin

AIRPORT:: Venice 148 km, Milan 453 km, Rome 692 km

TRAIN: The nearest train station is Calalzo (37 km). Buses available to Cortina

BUS: Buses arrive and depart from the Cortina bus station

The town: a carefree atmosphere

Cortina d’Ampezzo is known as the ‘queen of the Dolomites’ for its sheer beauty, which may have something to do with why the area became a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site in 2009. The British were the first tourists to start visiting the area back in the late 18th century and then Cortina became famous when it held the 1956 Winter Olympics, the first to ever be held in Italy. Despite the area jumping between Germanic and Italian ownership over the years it has its very own unique ‘Ladin’ culture. 

Towards the end of the day, whether skiing or in town, make sure to keep an eye on the mountains for the ‘Enrosadira’ or ‘Alpenglow’ where the sunset turns the mountains a gorgeous mixture of fiery pinks, oranges and reds and then finally purple before descending into the darkness of night.

When it comes to staying in Cortina we recommend the recently renovated Càmina Suite and Spa Hotel. Boutique in nature this hotel is cosy with great views across the valley, the Italian locally sourced cuisine is sublime and the interior design is on key. Heading into town we recommend Dolom’eats All Aquila for aperitivo drinks and food, which were so good that we did not even require dinner! For those looking for more active apres ski, then head over to Cortina 360 for it is one of the most amazing climbing centres with the largest climbing walls that I have ever seen!

Cortina Credits Paola Dandrea

Skiing

Cortina has 3 main ski areas with some of them linking into other ski areas, using the local buses, your own car or a chauffeur is the best way to get around. As a UNESCO site it goes without saying that you will be skiing in some of the most amazing scenery surrounded by the Dolomite mountains, so do not forget to stop sometime and just take it all in.

Cortina d’Ampezzo translates as ‘Curtain of the Wide Valley’ which explains why the panorama feels so vast here. Wherever you ski, you will be spoiled by the choice of rustic mountain restaurants with their blend of Italian and Tyrolean cuisine. Once again Cortina d’Ampezzo is about to become famous for a second time with the Winter Olympics coming to town in 2026.

Tofana Area

Tofana is one of the largest ski areas in Cortina d’Ampezzo with many blue, red and some Black pistes to satisfy all levels of skier. Get yourself up early to experience the beautifully groomed corduroy pistes, as we did on piste Col Drusciè B, magical! As you travel higher up the mountain the steeper slopes appear, whilst the lower you go the gentler the pistes are, perfect to get those beginners hooked. We recommend the wonderful restaurant Baita Resch on the Rosà piste, however, it is also accessible from the road if you want to meet your ‘non-skiing’ friends.

Lagazuoi & Cinque Torri area

With the new Skyline Cortina Gondola (85 and 86) from the Tofana area, it is now even easier to reach the Cinque Torri skiing area from town. We love the pistes on either side of the 5 Torri chair lift, undulating and rolling through the forest with lovely steeper pitches here and there. Eat and take in the views up at the Rifugio Scoiattoli named after the local Cortina mascot, the red squirrel.

Make sure to photograph the spectacle that is the Cinque Torri or 5 Towers in English. From the Lagazuoi area you can ski over to  Alta Badia, ski the Sella Ronda Circuit or ski the ‘Hidden Valley’ Armentarola Piste  at  8 ½ km long and classed as the. ‘Most beautiful ski run in the world…’

Cortina dAmpezzo Sci Credits www.alefaedda.com 5
Faloria, Cristallo & Mietres areas 

The areas of Faloria and Cristallo are fabulous with a different feel, the views of Cortina and the surrounding mountains and other ski areas are quite spectacular. As a tip, there is not much sun in the morning in early winter, so afternoons are best it can get cold here in the shade at this time of year, so wrap up warm, but on the other hand, the snow preserves well because most of the slopes on Faloria are north facing and high.

The pistes tend to be quieter on this side, with some great red runs that start at high altitudes and then descend to tree runs. One can catch the Faloria cable car to access the area, alternatively if you have a car, drive up to the Faloria area, or perhaps drive a little further to experience the culinary delights at Baita Son Zuogo. Lower down, the Mietres area is good for the little ones to learn to ski or snowboard.

Cortina Adam attew 002 BBB Land

Beginners

In the Tofana area, most of the blue pistes are lower down the mountain and perfect for beginners. The pistes Rosà 23 and Roncato 27 are well suited to those starting their Skiing career. The Mietres is also a great place to begin.

Intermediate

Most of the resort has a vast array of pistes set up for the intermediate skier to explore. On Tofana generally, if you want to dial up the level then just go higher. Faloria is great fun for the intermediate skier with views to inspire you, but make sure that you try the skiing over at Cinque Torri for a completely different feel altogether.

Advanced

The toughest skiing is to be found in the Tofana area. The 1956 Olympic run Stratofana-Olympia is great and the Vertigine Bianca Piste 33 is one great long continuous pitch, get your short turns going with some rhythm and enjoy.

Off Piste

We recommend the local guide Pier Smaltini at Cortina 360 for all of you off-piste skiing. We went ski touring with him around Col Gallina which was a lot of fun and in the afternoon we then went snowshoeing to take in some of the local landscapes away from the pistes.

Cortina Adam Attew 005 BBB Land

Ecology and sustainability

Great attention has been paid to the environment in Cortina, especially with the whole world focusing on this Alpine valley with the coming of the Winter Olympics in 2026. ‘Sustainability’ is the key here, with a lot of work taking place to recover existing structures and resources; and anything created must have a use in the future after the games have finished.

This ‘Sustainability’ has been kept in mind when planning anything in Cortina going forward, particularly concerning economy, environmental, social, cultural and infrastructure.

For more information about Cortina d’Ampezzo visit Online.

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