Chalet Dolce Vita
Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy
Nestled in an intimate hamlet of just three chalets in this exclusive area of Cortina, Chalet Dolce Vita occupies an enviable position. The luxury chalet with spa facilities in the Dolomites looks out onto the ‘Passegiata’, giving you wonderful...
Destination Guide: Cortina d'Ampezzo
About Cortina d'Ampezzo
Surrounded by the stunning Dolomite mountains, Cortina is breathtakingly beautiful by day and, at dawn and dusk, the mountains take on a pink ‘glow’ unlike anything you’ll have seen before. But it’s not just its spectacular backdrop that makes Cortina d’Ampezzo unique as a ski destination.
The town is in many ways a holiday destination in itself and many of the Italians who flock here on vacation don’t even bother with the wonderful skiing! It’s a real fashionista town. Lots of boutiques to potter in, and places to people-spot from. And the food scene is taken as seriously as the ski scene, too. In those respects it’s a very Italian town.
And the fact that it has much more than just the powder going for it means that the skiing is quiet and very enjoyable here. Pistes don’t tend to get too crowded and you never wait long for a lift. Despite this, some world-class skiing goes on here. Cortina hosts world cups and was the host for the 1956 Winter Olympics, too – it just doesn’t like to shout about it.
There are four main ski areas: Faloria-Cristallo-Mietres, Tofana-Socrepes, Cinque Torri and Lagazuoi, each with very different terrain and elevation, making the town a great choice for beginners who want to try a little bit of everything.
Best places to eat and drink in Cortina d'Ampezzo
This is a ski resort where eating and drinking are taken seriously. Most of the better restaurants for dinner are slightly out of town – the Michelin-starred Tivoli, for example, which is well worth a visit for its local ingredients cooked with a modern twist. Also on the edge of town is El Toula, a rustic converted hay barn set on a hill and with wonderful views from the window seats.
Lunch options on the slopes are plentiful. Former mountain huts, or ‘rifugi’ pepper the mountains around Cortina and are now used as tiny restaurants where you’ll find wonderful handmade ravioli, warming beef stews and polenta dishes. Just what you need to warm you through after a few hours on the snow.
In the centre of town there is a plethora of relaxed eating spots, too, serving everything from wood-fired pizzas to Sardinian specialities.
Apres ski is stylish, lively – and late – here! The locals often don’t step out until after 11pm. For evening drinks we like Enoteca and Janbo. Lots of the wine bars serve meat and cheese platters alongside drinks to sustain you into the small hours.
Best time to visit Cortina d'Ampezzo
Cortina truly has two seasons, and out of ski season it’s a wonderful place for a summer break. Skiing runs from December to April, with March and April considered to be the best times to go, when it’s sunnier, but the best of the snow is in January and February.
What we love about Cortina d'Ampezzo
We love the vibrant atmosphere and late-night camaraderie at chic but bustling Janbo. After a day on the slopes, promenading and dining is considered as much of a serious sport as skiing in this town.
Ski area: Dolomites
Highest lift: 2,939m
Total pistes: 140km
Total lifts: 47
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