Elevated between 1,224 m and 2,930 m, the Ski Resort is among the 3 highest elevated Ski Resorts in Veneto. The vertical drop from summit to base is 1,706 m. The average difference in altitude between base and summit of Ski Resorts in Italy is 916 m. Most runs are therefore relatively long.
Season starts on 18 Nov and ends on 1 May (164 days). Average season duration in Italy is 126 days.
Average snow depth during the season (18 Nov to 1 May) is 71 cm at summit elevation and 22 cm at base elevation. Snow coverage is usually best during March, offering an average snow depth of 113 cm at summit elevation and 52 cm at the base. Therefore Cortina d'Ampezzo is among the 15 ski Resorts with best snow conditions in Italy.
Boasting 120 kilometres of runs across multiple mountains, the Ampezzo area is a “dream come true” for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels. Thanks to its picturesque location in the Italian southern Alps, the area is bathed in sunshine throughout the year, with eight days out of ten offering up blue skies. And just in case the white stuff is in short supply – 95% of the trails can be artificially prepared if required. As a result, perfect conditions are pretty much guaranteed.
The Ampezzo region encompasses 3 ski areas: Faloria – Cristallo – Mietres, Tofana and Lagazuoi – 5 Torri. Faloria – Cristallo – Mietres offers a total of 24 runs, five of which are black-rated, eleven red and eight blue. The chairlift Forcella Staunies carries skiers up to a respectable altitude of 2,930 meters and rewards visitors with incredible views over the Ampezzo valley. The gentle slopes in Mietres are an ideal stomping ground for families with children.
In Tofana, most runs are blue or green rated (very simple), though the Tofana Express chairlift also links to more challenging runs, such as the famous Canalone. On the Olympia ski tour you can follow in the footsteps of the 1956 Olympians. In Lagazuoi, expert skiers will look in vain for a black-marked run, as all the slopes here are relatively straightforward blue or red-marked affairs. As a result, this area is best suited for anyone looking to practice their skiing in peace or anyone who values the virtues of laid-back carving.
Freestyle fans will find everything they need to have some fun in the Cortina terrain park. The park is 500 meters in length and boasts its own 4-person chairlift as well as two different zones: The easy line is designed with young and inexperienced freestyle skiers in mind, and offers up four jumps, a box and a ground rail. If you already have some experience under your belt, then head over to the medium line with a super box kink, a T-box, a pipe, bonk-wall and a tree bonk.
Cortina d’Ampezzo is also part of the world’s largest ski region – Dolomiti Superski. This region encompasses a total of twelve Italian ski areas boasting a whopping 1,220 kilometres of runs and 450 lifts.
On Mountain Dining
In the Faloria – Cristallo – Mietres, head over to Faloria for a laid-back lunch by the mountain station of the cable car. You can look forward to typical regional dishes as well as a large sun deck offering up unobstructed views of the valley bottom around Cortina. The view alone makes a visit to the Rifugio Lagazuoi at 2,800 metres worthwhile. You can soak up spectacular views of numerous Dolomite peaks from the terrace, including the Marmolada, Sella Group, Civetta, Pelmo and the Tofana Group.
One unforgettable highlight in the Lagazuoi area is the Armentarola run. Take the Lagazuoi cable car up to the start point at 2,800 meters from the Falzarego Pass – a journey that takes just three minutes. After successfully tackling the run, you can take a horse-drawn sled back to the starting point.
No visit to the area would be complete without taking the trail from Col Druscié down to Cortina – a descent made famous in the James Bond film “For Your Eyes Only”. The longest run in the entire ski area is the 11 km run from Tofane to Cortina d’Ampezzo, a route encompassing a vertical difference of 1,200 metres. In contrast, the Forcella Staunies run is relatively short at 2 km but incredibly tricky as it descends some 730 vertical meters. In fact, it’s the steepest run in the entire Dolomiti Superski region with a nerve-tingling gradient of 64%.
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Cortina d’Ampezzo is also a great destination for cross-country skiers with 78 km of trails winding their way through the idyllic winter landscape of the Dolomites. Other winter pursuits offered locally include the option of ice skating in the former Olympic Stadium or taking a white-knuckle sled ride.
And if you are looking for a real adrenaline kick, a snowmobile tour is sure to get your pulse racing. At Lago Antorno you can climb aboard one of these gas guzzlers and speed through the local larch forests. For a more romantic alternative, join a professional guide on one of the organised night-time snowshoe hikes under clear starry skies. It is not uncommon to see deer or ibex in the silent moonlight. Warm up and round out the night with a cosy evening meal in one of the local rifugi. Cortina d’Ampezzo itself is one of the most elegant and popular ski resorts in all of the Alps. The former Olympic resort offers typical Italian flair and great window shopping in the boutique-heavy town centre.
Après-Ski and Nightlife
Cortina d’Ampezzo is one of the real party hotspots in the Italian Alps and is therefore blessed with a wide range of bars and discos. LP 26 Prosciutteria in the heart of Cortina d’Ampezzo is undoubtedly one of the trendiest locations in the region right now. As the name suggests, it specialises in ham of all types, including classic San Daniele, wild boar ham, exclusive Pata Negra from Extremadura and Sicilian ham from the black Nebrodi hogs. The atmosphere is cracked up a few notches in the evening here with live music.
Dining and Restaurants
One of Cortina’s culinary specialities is called “Casunziéi” – crescent moon-shaped ravioli pockets filled with either beetroot or spinach. However, the Alpine influence is never far away here with plenty of dumplings and spätzle on menus across the region, while Veneto cuisine is also strongly represented with polenta and fish dishes.
The Restaurant Il Meloncino at the foot of the Tofane is a real institution locally. Franco Melon serves up his interpretation of traditional dishes, with popular creations including risotto, white polentina with scallops and porcini, and blueberry sorbet with star anise.
One of the region’s most exclusive restaurants is Baita Pie’ Tofana. Expect tempting creations like venison tatare with marinated white cabbage, mustard sorbet and juniper butter, foie gras schnitzel with caramelised pineapple and oranges, rump steaks from Nebraska and to round it out – crème brulée with lavender or peach gratin. You won’t be surprised to hear that this cosy mountain lodge is also frequently used as a film set.
Travelling by car
Cortina d’Ampezzo is easy to reach via the A27 Venice – Belluno or the A22 Brixen – Innsbruck. If you take the A22, turn off at the Brixen exit before following the E66 towards Bruneck. Then continue on to Toblach before turning right onto the SS51, which leads directly to Cortina d’Ampezzo. Turn off the A27 in Belluno and take the SS51 to Cortina.
Travelling by rail
If you are travelling by rail, head for Venice-Mestre. The Cortina Express makes regular journeys to the ski area from there and the train station in Bologna.