Destinations Europe

A Weekend In Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy

Cortina d’Ampezzo lies in the heart of the stunning Dolomite mountains. It’s not only a famous winter sports location but also a very stylish Italian ski resort. Yes, they did let us in!

Although stylish and fashionable it is far from being pretentious. It is relaxed, charming and wonderfully Italian.

It was the venue for the 1956 Winter Olympics and still hosts world cup events. Don’t be put off if you are a non skier, there is plenty to enjoy.

The Dolomites

The ski slopes of the Dolomites

Cortina Town

The centre of Cortina is relatively small, compact and charming. As mentioned , it is stylish yet understated so if you are an oligarch and want to flash your cash, this isn’t really a place for you.

Cortina Town, Italy

In the centre of Cortina d’Ampezzo

The main shopping street through the centre of town is the pedestrianised Corso Italia. It is dominated by the bell tower which is beautifully lit up at night. Along the Corso Italia, designer clothes shop and jewellers sit next to traditional little local shops and cafes.

As in the rest of Italy, most shops are closed from around 12.30 to 3.30 but then stay open until about 8pm at night.

The Mountains

Cortina d’Ampezzo is ringed by the imposing Dolomite mountain range. The surrounding cliffs and mountains emmit a stunning pink colour as the sun rises and sets.

Cable Car

Arriving by Cable Car on a beautiful sunny day

Whether you are a skier or not you must take a trip on the Faloria cable car. It leaves from the town and transports you 2134 metres up to the Faloria ski area. Non skiers can enjoy the views as you sun yourself on the deck of the Rifugio Faloria. Enjoy the spectacular views of Cortina and the valley below while sipping coffee or preferably something stronger to warm you up.

A bit of film trivia – the Sylvester Stallone film ‘Cliffhanger’ was filmed here as well as the James Bond film ‘For Your Eyes Only’.

Cortina River

A beautiful view of the Tofana mountain

Exploring The Dolomites

Having a rental car gave us the opportunity to drive out of town and explore the magnificent surroundings, although not really recommended in snowy conditions. We drove to the pretty frozen lake of Lago di Misurina and then up towards the Nature Park of Tre Cime. This is a protected natural wilderness, there are none of the ski resorts or luxury hotels here. However it is a mecca for expert climbers who want to experience the rugged landscape and vertical rock faces.

Lago di Misurina

A beautiful frozen lake – Lago di Misurina

Getting To Cortina

We flew to Venice, Marco Polo airport and then rented a car to get to Cortina. Venice to Cortina is about a 2 hours drive and well sign posted (we did it OK without a SatNav – and no arguments!). The first part of the journey is quite an easy motorway drive (Toll – €7.50) before you get to the twisty mountain roads.

Hotel Ambra Cortina

Where we stayed in Cortina, the boutique hotel ‘Hotel Ambra’

There is the CortinaExpress bus service that takes you from the airport to Cortina but it’s not very frequent, only once or twice a day.

Treviso airport is also another option however this is a Ryanair destination and we still try to avoid Ryanair whenever we can.

During our visit  to Cortina d’Ampezzo we stayed at the very stylish boutique hotel, Hotel Ambra Cortina – you can see our video here.

Can you recommend any ski resorts that are also good fun for the non skier?

Cortina Weekend

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  • Kerry Norris
    December 21, 2016 at 11:06 pm

    Looks like a fab place. I know lots of people that cycle the Dolomites and they always say it’s beautiful x

    • Mr and Mrs W
      December 22, 2016 at 7:59 pm

      Yes we would definitely go back in the summer too. They are really trying to promote the summer activities at the moment like biking and hiking.

  • Fiona Maclean
    December 22, 2016 at 8:23 pm

    Sorry I missed you! I loved Cortina too – looking forward to going again some time soon

    • Mr and Mrs W
      December 22, 2016 at 11:37 pm

      We were close, we would also love to visit again soon. The mountains were beautiful and we love Italy.

  • Rachel
    December 22, 2016 at 9:03 pm

    Oh it looks just absolutely beautiful Mel, I have only ever been to Pisa in Italy and that was on a 2p deal for the day jobby so it is somewhere I would love to explore more of x

    • Mr and Mrs W
      December 22, 2016 at 9:13 pm

      Cortina is so beautiful Rachel. I didn’t know until yesterday that it is featured in Bridget Jones, The Edge of Reason but I saw it on TV. I recognised it straight away, as it is so picturesque

  • Rhian Westbury
    December 22, 2016 at 9:07 pm

    Looks like such a beautiful place and not far from Venice so pretty easy to get tox

    • Mr and Mrs W
      December 22, 2016 at 9:11 pm

      It’s a two hour drive from Venice and well signed posted. It may be worth staying in Venice for a few days and then driving up to Cortina to make an interesting two centre break.

  • Sarah Bailey
    December 22, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    Wow what an absolutely stunning place, I would love to go and visit Italy one day, it is such a stunning place.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      December 22, 2016 at 11:34 pm

      It was so beautiful and only 2 hours from the incredible city of Venice.

  • Amy
    December 22, 2016 at 11:01 pm

    I’ve not ever been before but looks a lovely place to visit! I really must see more of the world 🙂 ox

    • Mr and Mrs W
      December 22, 2016 at 11:32 pm

      It was a very pretty town, the cable car up the mountain was amazing.

  • Jazmin Williams
    December 23, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    Love your video and photos! Looks like such a beautiful place to visit.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      December 23, 2016 at 3:11 pm

      We would definitely go back to Cortina or the surrounding region. Love the Italian atmosphere in the resort.

  • Crystal
    December 23, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    What an amazing adventure to share. Great post.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      December 23, 2016 at 3:10 pm

      It was a really nice trip, we weren’t expecting it to be so pretty.

  • Sabeeka
    December 23, 2016 at 6:22 pm

    Looks like such a beautiful place.. Lovely pics too

    • Mr and Mrs W
      December 23, 2016 at 7:43 pm

      It is a really picturesque location. The area is very stylish but relaxed.

  • Milli Grace
    December 28, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    This looks so beautiful – i love the mountains!

  • Agness of Fit Travelling
    January 20, 2017 at 11:57 pm

    It looks like a very beautiful place, Mr and Mrs W.I love the photos you have chosen in the article.

  • Mr and Mrs W
    January 21, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    It is a beautiful place and you should visit the region if you get the chance.

  • alex muir
    February 9, 2017 at 8:14 pm

    Well, Italy is always a winner in my books and thats twice this week I’ve been told how amazing the ski resorts are. I love the little film tit-bits too, you can’t beat a good film location!