One of the most popular, and certainly most luxurious Italian resorts is Cortina d'Ampezzo. It’s situated in the province of Belluno, in the region of Euganean Hills and thanks to its location in the heart of the Dolomites it’s called the winter capital of Italy. The resort is located in a valley surrounded by high peaks, thus people visiting it can enjoy breathtaking views. There’s no lack of climatic hotels built on the beginning of last century, numerous restaurants and shops. It’s worth to know that it’s a traffic free resort.
Cortina d'Ampezzo is certainly not a place for thrifty people. The city is full of branded shops and on the streets and slopes we’ll often meet Italians wearing glasses more expensive than skis. The luxury of the resort is also emphasized by the success it enjoys among rich people, movie stars and politicians. The resort was visited by people like writer Ernest Hemingway (his favorite bar was Enoteca Cortina) and movie star Sylvester Stallone.
The queen of the Italian Dolomites
Three most famous ski centers of the resort are Cristallo, Tofane and Faloria. Although they aren’t connected to each other, you can easily get to every ski run by frequently running ski buses. The visitors have at their disposal 33% of blue, 62% red and 5% black pistes. Some of them descend to the very bottom of the valley, including a trail from the top of Lagazuoi. Besides, Cortina gives skiers the opportunity to ski downhill from great heights - Monte Cristallo stretches from 3,000 masl.
As you can guess, the vast majority of routes is perfect for less advanced skiers. On Falorii there’s also a snow park with half-pipe, rails and other obstacles.
With good weather conditions, experienced winter sports enthusiasts can test their skills on the black run Canalone Staunies on Cristallo. Black is also Forcella Rossa run on Tofane. A good idea is to ski down the Olympic route Pomedes and Rumerlo to the shelter Duca d'Aosta, which once housed the Olympic flame. Those, who aren’t satisfied with Cortina runs, can equip themselves with ski passes for the runs of nearby resorts. On the other hand, beginners and families with children can try the easy slopes of Socrepes and Mietres.
Apart from that, in the resort operate many ski schools, and without any difficulty you will find numerous ski rentals. Overall, the resort offers over 140 km of scenic slopes. They’re supported by 55 modern lifts, whose lower stations are located at an altitude of 1224 masl, and the upper – at 3243 masl. Most of routes are covered with manmade snow (95%), and the season lasts from December to Easter. Every year Cortina d'Ampezzo hosts the World Cup in Alpine skiing.
Ticket prices for the season 2013/2014
In the upcoming ski season ticket prices are as follows: adult will pay € 38,00 for one-day pass in the period from 30.11 to 21.12. Children pass costs € 27.00, while senior - € 34,00. In high season, prices rise to € 48.00 for adults, € 34.00 for children and € 43.00 for seniors. Weekly pass costs from € 206.00 to € 257.00 for an adult, and from € 144.00 to € 180.00 for the child. Seniors will pay, respectively, € 185.00 and € 231.00, for a 7 day pass.
The resort offers many breathtaking paths for cross-country skiing. If you’re an enthusiast, you can visit Fiames Sports Center Nordic – a center of cross-country skiing.
The most popular route (Passo Tre Croci) stretches at an altitude of 1800m, and its length is 10 km. It’s waiting for experienced skiers as well as for lovers of alpine nature – there you can find wandering goats and deer.
What apart from skiing?
Tourists planning to visit the resort can stay in Cortina or in one of the nearby resorts. About 8 km from the resort there’s a small, typical alpine village, San Vito di Cadore. It’s located in the Valley del Boite, between few peaks (including Antalao and Tofane). You can easily get to the town by ski bus. The prices here are lower, and the standard of guesthouses and hotels at a high level. Here’s also a small ski resort with two chairlifts.
The valley attracts thousands of tourists each year. Skiers, snowboarders and other enthusiasts of snow craziness in winter, while in the summer tempts with the possibility of exploring the amazing area, with a modern swimming pool and a diverse range of entertainment. The resort also has an ice rink, which hosts such events as Disco dance (a disco on ice). The town also hosts a number of cultural events, including art exhibitions and literature meetings. Art lovers will be also pleased- there’s an ethnographic and paleontological museum and a gallery of twentieth-century Italian art. No one will get bored here.