You will find Cortina d’Ampezzo in the heart of the Dolomitic Alps. It belongs to the Veneto region, however its sweeping landscapes seem to create a whole world of their own. It has an extremely long history as a tourist destination, and offers access to twelve other alpine ski resorts. In fact, ever since the 1800s and the arrival of the railway, wealthy anglo-saxon, German, and Russian travelers would come to revel in this natural haven. These days roughly 6000 people inhabit Cortina, although this number swells to a staggering 50,000 in peak season!
Originally a farming settlement, Cortina’s strategic position on the border soon brought it to greater things. Most notably, it served 400 years as a vital communication gateway for the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Today it provides an extremely well-equipped and popular ski destination. It hosted the first live-broadcast Winter Olympics in 1956. In fact, Cortina still hosts the Women’s Ski Championships, and in 2021 it will host the Alpine Ski Championships.
Sometimes nicknamed “Queen of the Dolomites“, the name is not awarded to the resort for nothing. In winter, you can of course enjoy stellar ski and snowboard opportunities. Other than these, you can also take ski tours, go nordic skiing, snowshoeing, and snow-biking. In the evenings, you can revel in wonderful après-ski bars and food, before heading back to your chalet to relax. In case you need a break from the physical exertion of skiing, you can also take the trails around the original Olympic facilities. Alternatively, take a trip to the Olympic ice rink and experience it yourself! This is open year-round.
Of course, Cortina is also much-loved in summer. The melting of the snow reveals lush greenery and wildlife, and opens endless opportunities. For example, popular activities include hiking, mountain and road biking, trail running, golfing, and various other family activities. Although not as busy as during ski season, Cortina d’Ampezzo remains very much alive and thriving in these months. Enjoy the paradisal landscapes in this little nature bubble, before relaxing with some exquisite wine, and delicious alpine cuisine!