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Overview

Cortina D'Ampezzo stopped being the secret of ski fanatics when it became the venue for the 1956 Winter Olympic Games. Set high in the Dolomites, which rise around it to elevations of more than 10,000 feet, Cortina offers skiers their choice of the Dolomites’ 18 peaks with a dozen different ski trail and lift networks. Cortina D'Ampezzo’s own is the largest, with more than 30 lifts accessing runs with more than 746 miles of trails. One of the greatest thrills of skiing Cortina is riding the lifts to the snowfields at the top of the highest ridges, just underneath the mountain summits, for day-long runs that drop right into the town itself. A ...

Cortina D'Ampezzo stopped being the secret of ski fanatics when it became the venue for the 1956 Winter Olympic Games. Set high in the Dolomites, which rise around it to elevations of more than 10,000 feet, Cortina offers skiers their choice of the Dolomites’ 18 peaks with a dozen different ski trail and lift networks. Cortina D'Ampezzo’s own is the largest, with more than 30 lifts accessing runs with more than 746 miles of trails. One of the greatest thrills of skiing Cortina is riding the lifts to the snowfields at the top of the highest ridges, just underneath the mountain summits, for day-long runs that drop right into the town itself. A vibrant nightlife awaits skiers there, with après-ski fondue, hot mulled wine, and parties that drift into the late hours. Some, in fact, prefer to sleep late, shop in the boutiques and party all night, avoiding the snowy pistes entirely. Nearby ski centers, such as Val Gardena/Alpe di Siusi offer a smaller ski terrain, with over 109 miles of ski trails, without the crowds, prices or throbbing nightlife of Cortina itself. The two – and several more – can be combined in a single ski vacation, since one ski pass offers access to 12 nearby ski areas in the valleys that are formed by the Gruppo del Sella, with terrain for all ages and skill levels. Spas rejuvenate skiers' tired muscles, as well as providing a luxurious respite as vacation destinations in their own right.

Barbara Rogers
About the Expert

Barbara Radcliffe Rogers has written or coauthored more than 30 guidebooks, including The Portugal Traveler, Drive Around Portugal, City Spots Munich, City Spots Helsinki, City Spots Stockholm, Eating New England, and the Maine section of Thomas Cook's Independent Traveller USA.

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Barbara Rogers for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    December through April or May for skiing; the main road between Bolzano and Cortina is open all year.