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Cortina D'Ampezzo 's claim to fame...

If you like a flowing river and spectacular mountains laced with snow, then pack your bags for Cortina D’Ampezzo, Italy (at an elevation of 1,224 meters, or 4,016 ft).

Very few people refer to the town in its full name, therefore when someone talks about Cortina, know it is the same place set in the heart of the Dolomitic Alps in the Veneto region of Northern Italy.

There are numerous rivers, streams, and small lakes in the region of which the Boite river is worth mentioning as it flows through the town of Cortina.

Known for its long winters in addition to having the highest summit which is Tofana di Mezzo at 3,244 meters (10,643 ft), Cortina is a very popular ski resort. Cortina’s inhabitants grow to almost 6 times its own population during ski seasons.

Cortina ski holiday Italy Italian Dolomites
IMAG3984 SNOW Cortina travelandhome

Sightseeing & things to do in Cortina

The Basilica Minore dei Santi Filippo e Giacomo was built between 1769 and 1775 on the site of two former thirteenth and sixteenth-century churches.  It is home to the parish and the deanery of Cortina d’Ampezzo.

Also, have a look at the Rinaldo Zardini Palaeontology Museum, established in 1975, the Mario Rimoldi Modern Art Museum, and the Regole of Ampezzo Ethnographic Museum.

There are many art galleries and shops where you can up a painting at a good price – I did just that as my bit of souvenir shopping.

Cortina D Ampezzo Snow Ski Slopes
Cortina dAmpezzo Snow Fall
We had excellent snow conditions!

The best time to visit Cortina

Generally, December and January are the coldest months, but the best for skiing. With 115 km (71 miles) of beautiful pistes and 34 lifts, you are sure to enjoy the best of the snow from December to April with an average snow cover of 95%. Cortina also has ski schools for aspiring ski enthusiasts.

Getting to Cortina and transport options

We booked our flights to Venice Marco Polo Airport.

Venice Marco Polo airport is less than a two-hour drive to Cortina. The same goes for Venice Treviso airport. In addition, Innsbruck airport (Austria) is worth considering if you want to spend a night or two there prior (or after) your Cortina holiday. Innsbruck Airport is about 2h45m from Cortina (by road).

If you are there for a ski holiday, I recommend booking a private airport transfer to Cortina, or one of the many public buses. Once you’ve arrived in Cortina, you don’t need your own transport. Everything is either within walking distance or reachable by ski-bus.

The ski-bus runs a free service for skiers on lines 3 and 3A between Cortina and the Tofana-Pocol ski area. The surrounding ski villages are absolutely beautiful and well worth extending your skiing beyond Cortina’s borders. Like skiing the surrounding Italian Dolomites…

Cortina dAmpezzo Snow Falling Skibus

Being one with nature...

I was super happy to have discovered that Benedetta Caretta clearly also loves the Italian Dolomites.

Benedetta Caretta, an amazingly talented Italian singer and songwriter performs “Once Upon A Time In The West” on Italy’s majestic Dolomites. She was born on July 1, 1996, in Carmignano di Brenta, Italy. Just like the Dolomites’ impressive peaks, Benedetta has an equally impressive voice. The Dolomites and Benedetta is a breathtaking combination.

PS: Check out the video and drop a comment below!

You may also like Benedetta’s beautiful version of Hallelujah, also filmed in the Italian Dolomites. Check it out, and follow her!

When enough, is enough...

A popular question is of course how many days will be long enough to ski in Cortina. The length of stay is always a personal choice. However, I recommend two weeks if you have the opportunity. Especially if you’re interested to ski in the surrounding villages too. Otherwise, one week should be sufficient.

  • There is a great number of ski runs to do and on the days when the ski-conditions are not so good, you have a choice of sightseeing and quaint restaurants to visit.
  • In addition, there is a vast number of ski resorts bordering Cortina.
  • Rinaldo Zardini Palaeontology Museum, to view a collection of hundreds of fossils of all colors, shapes, and sizes dating back to a time when the high mountain peaks were on the bottom of a large tropical sea populated by marine invertebrates, fish, corals, and sponges.
  • Regole of Ampezzo Ethnographic Museum is in an old restored Venetian sawmill. There are objects related to everyday life, rural, and pastoral practices in the vicinity; agricultural tools; techniques; materials processing; and clothing typical of the valley.
  • The Mario Rimoldi Modern Art Museum., is an art gallery (1941) hosting  800 works by major Italian artists of the 20th century including Filippo De PisisFelice CarenaPio SemeghiniRenato GuttusoTullio GarbariMassimo Campigli, and many others. It also hosts temporary exhibitions on various topics.
  • The Chiesa della Madonna della Difesa (1750).
  • The small church Cappella della Beata Vergine di Lourdes (Chapel of Our Lady of Lourdes) (1907) with a specific focus on reconstruction sculpture.
  • The Cappella di Sant’Antonio da Padova (1791) in Chiave. The interior was damaged by fire caused by the Napoleon troops. After that, it was renovated in 1809.
  • The Basilica Minore dei Santi Filippo e Giacomo (1775) constructed over a period of six years (since 1769).
Basilicae Minoris
Basilicae Minoris
Basilicae Minoris
Basilicae Minoris
Cortina dAmpezzo Snow Falling Dolomites Skiing
Cortina dAmpezzo. skiing in the Dolomites.

Chiesa di S. Giovanni Battista

This Catholic church is in neighboring Dobbiaco, and also the most important religious building in the country. The church stands on the remains (no longer visible) of a church built by the Benedictines in the first half of the 9th century. 

Chiesa di S Giovanni Battista Dobbiaco
Chiesa di S Giovanni Battista Dobbiaco
Chiesa di S Giovanni Battista Dobbiaco Interior
Chiesa di S Giovanni Battista Dobbiaco Outside

Pocol is Sacrario militare di Pocol, cemetry and memorial

Towards Passo Falzaego in the locality of Pocol is Sacrario militare di Pocol (also known as Ossario di Pocol), a cemetery small church, and shrine from 1916 The stone tower shrine is a memorial to those who lost their lives on the Dolomite front during World War I.

Cortina DAmpezzo Sightseeing
Pocol is Sacrario
Cemetry. 1

Fun facts about Cortina

I highly recommend a ski holiday in this beautiful Italian ski village. Cortina d’Ampezzo is well worth making the bookings!

It’s a lovely town, the people were warm and friendly, every restaurant/pub we frequented was superb in food, service, ambiance, etc.  One noteworthy (and comical) experience we had was asking for Limoncello. Well, it was almost an insult. The drink instead of Limoncello in this region is Grappa. So best you ask for Grappa and you’ll win many hearts!

The ski area was impeccable and well maintained throughout our stay.

Accommodation in Cortina D'Ampezzo

Hotel Villa Neve
Meuble (Hotel) Villa Neve, Cortina d'Ampezzo

As a rule, we enjoy having breakfast at our accommodation venue and have lunch and dinner at different restaurants. That way one gets to really enjoy the local cuisine from different chefs’ perspectives.

Meuble (Hotel) Villa Neve was, therefore, a great choice. The service was super friendly and warm, and the room was clean. Not spacious, that I must add. But, we were playing in the mountains all day so it catered fully to our needs.

(PS: The car, parked in front of the establishment, was that of another guest. We opted for the town’s transport, which was super efficient.)

Where else to stay in Cortina D'Ampezzo

I’ve put together a few options to fall into everyone’s needs.