Cortina d'Ampezzo | Welove2ski
Ski Resorts

Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy

Thanks to excellent snow conditions, the ski season in Cortina has been extended by more than three weeks, with the Faloria area remaining open until May 1.
Cortina d'Ampezzo | Welove2ski
Photo: © D.Bandion/Turismo Cortina.

The Stats

Altitude: 1224m

Top Lift: 3243m

Ski area: 1220km of piste

Adult lift pass: 213-242€ for six days

site Official Site | site Ski Map | site Webcam

In a Nutshell

Once upon a time, Cortina d’Ampezzo was the undisputed king of the Italian ski scene. You couldn’t say that anymore – although the resort does have many virtues, the most obvious being the stupendous Dolomite scenery.

Essential Advice for the Perfect Trip

Italy’s smartest winter destination, dominated by its magnificent green-and-white bell tower and a glittering confection of grand 19th-century mansions, sits in splendid linguistic defiance of its neighbours, a two-hour drive from Venice.

Cortina d’Ampezzo is used to being in the public eye: it hosted the Winter Olympic Games in 1956, and was the location for the Peter Sellers film The Pink Panther in 1963, the famous chase on skis in the James Bond film For Your Eyes Only took place here in 1981, and the Hollywood movie Cliffhanger starring Sylvester Stallone was located on the mountains here in 1993.

Despite being variously occupied over the centuries by foreign invaders, Cortina has stubbornly maintained a spiritual independence of its own. While the residents of surrounding towns and villages primarily speak Italian or German, native Cortinese cling to their ancient Ladino language to converse among themselves.

The town is surrounded by soaring cathedrals of dolomitic limestone that rise to over 3000m. These distinctive mountains, named after French geologist Deodat de Dolomieu, turn a surreal shade of pink in the final rays of the setting sun. Encroaching twilight is the signal for Cortina to come out to play. A colony of voluminous fur coats and designer ski wear gathers noisily in the Piazza Venezia at the start of the evening passeggiata.

Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy | Welove2ski
Photo: © Paola Dandrea/Turismo Cortina

Shopping, eating out and apres-ski are more important than skiing

The actual business of skiing plays second fiddle to the social sport of seeing and being seen in the elegant boutiques and antique shops that line the Corso Italia, the pedestrianised main street. Much later, the perpetual party atmosphere is transferred to intimate wine bars, expensive restaurants, and a smattering of softly-lit nightclubs.

The skiing has plenty of appeal for all standards. But one reason for the resort’s failure to attract a significant international clientele in recent decades is inevitably related to the lack of regular investment in high-speed mountain transport. However new detachable-chairs have been added in the past few seasons – in each of the Cristallo, Faloria, and Tofana areas. This is at least a start.

“The reason why I love Cortina is that it isn’t just a common mountain resort, it’s more,” said a reporter. “The scenery (probably the best in the Alps, St Moritz doesn’t even come close), the beautiful centre, the shops…walking on a snowy Corso Italia window shopping while drinking a vinbrulè is priceless.”

See also our feature 8 Things We Love About The Dolomites.

The Loveometer

Where to Ski Loveometer 73% | Welove2ski

We Love

We Hate

tick The stunningly beautiful mountain scenery.
tick The variety of shops, bars and restaurants in town.
tick The buzzing atmosphere on the high street after skiing.
tick The superb mountain restaurants.
cross The traffic and uncertain buses.
cross The disjointed ski areas.
cross The parking at the lift stations.
cross The fact that some of the hotels have seen better days.

Continue Exploring Cortina d’Ampezzo

About the author

Felice Hardy

Felice was one of the founders of Welove2ski and regularly contributes, as well writing for a range of other publications including The Evening Standard, The Guardian, Conde Nast Traveller, Tatler, Harpers Bazaar, Country Life, BA Highlife and House & Garden. She started skiing at the age of three. She also enjoys hiking with her dogs and mountain biking in the Alps.


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  • Hi there!
    Nice to see a spotlight on an Italian resort. Cortina is truly a beautiful place. But I think your last ´We Hate´ point is a bit misleading if look back on the last two years…I mean afterall…how many days was the resort shut this season due to TOO MUCH SNOW? Now if Cortina could modernize like it´s sister resorts nearby I´m sure it could return back to its glory days…
    Thanks, keep up the great work.