Italy’s most famous and stylish resort, often ranked along side St Moritz (you can play polo on snow at both), Cortina d’Ampezzo is certainly one of the world’s best known ski centres. The resort, beloved by James Bond Roger Moore and earlier Ernest Hemmingway, was host to the 1956 Winter Olympics. Notably, it will play Winter Olympic host for a second time in 2026, when it co-hosts the Winter Olympics with Milan.
Located in the wide sunny Ampezzo valley, Cortina is surrounded by the spectacular back drop of the Dolomites, with their famous vertical sides and pink rock. Despite being only 40km (25 miles) from the southern Austrian border, Cortina differs from most of the other resorts in the Dolomites in that there is no strong Germanic influence, common in the South Tyrol. Instead the resort is very Italian and very chic, beloved by the great and the good of Milan, Rome and Venice, many of whom have second homes here.
However, it’s not just a resort for spectacular views and luxury leisure. Cortina is a part of the absolutely huge Dolomiti Superski area, which offers 1,200km of slopes across twelve resorts and is a must-visit for serious skiers and snowboarders. The unique landscapes provide a backdrop for some of the world’s best ski runs, as well as impeccable gastronomy and cosy mountain huts. Skiers of all levels are sure to find themselves more than entertained with the area’s 1,200km of piste. If you do want to stay closer to home, the area local to Cortina offers a very respectable 120km of slopes and guarantees good snow conditions.
Cortina’s long history as a world class ski resort, dating from the sport’s earliest days, is reflected by the variety of long-standing annual international competitions staged here, including the Women’s Ski World Cup every January, national and international bobsleigh competitions, the Winter Polo Cup and a range of ice hockey, figure skating and curling events. More distant history is provided in the museums of Palaentology and Ethnology.
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