Resort Profile: Cortina d' Ampezzo

By adamrowden, 20 Jul '12 at 09:28

Italy's most famous and stylish resort, often ranked alongside 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 Hemingway was host to the 1956 Winter Olympics.

Located in the wide sunny Ampezzo valley, Cortina is surrounded by the spectacular backdrop of the Dolomites, with their famous vertical sides and pink rock used to great effect in the recent hit movie 'Cliffhanger' (no, that wasn't Colorado...) 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.

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 famous Dobbiaco - Cortina 42km International Cross-Country ski race on the first Sunday of February, the Winter Polo Cup and a range of ice hockey, figure skating and curling events. More distant history is provided in the museums of Paleontology and Ethnology.

The resort has a very modern lift system and has fantastic snow making capabilities that can cover over 90% of the slopes. This means that the ski season can strech from November to April. Cortina has a vast array of terrain and plenty of slopes to keep you occupied and it includes Auronzo-Misurina and San Vito di Cadore and is part of the Dolomiti Superski area.

The more challenging slopes in Cortina are rated among some of the hardest on-piste descents in the Dolomites, which means if you are an expert skier or snowboarder, you are in for a real challenge. There are also plenty of places for advanced and intermediate skiers and snowboarders to flex their muscles and beginners can be happy too as there are almost 40km of blue slopes to be explored.

For the freestylers out there, there is also an awesome funpark that has a halfpipe, plenty of rails and, of course, a load of kickers and jumps.

The Highlights

- Good cross country skiing
- Wonderfully scenic resort
- Good cross country skiing
- Cracking snow park
- Some of the most challenging pistes in the Dolomites
- Nice long season

For more resort profiles click here. Or, to find a good transfer company to take you to Cortina click here.

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