Cortina is not really a ski resort as we know them. Rather it is an attractive, sprawling small town located at an altitude of 1,220m, surrounded by impressive peaks and about half a dozen more or less separate ski areas. Much favoured by rich weekend visitors from Rome and Milan, many of whom have second homes here, this is a stylish and fashion-conscious destination that is Italy's answer to St Moritz, Courchevel 1850 and Aspen. It may not have quite the same range and quality of ski terrain as its international competitors, but it has a stylish ambience that none of them can match.
This is a gloriously and uncompromisingly Italian destination, the perfect place for a luxurious ski holiday. Food and drink play an equally important part in Cortina’s splendid nightlife. There are some wonderful little wine-bars for aperitivi, masses of good restaurants (including Michelin-starred ones) and several lively nightclubs and discos that keep going until nearly dawn in peak season and at weekends.
Resort Altitude: 1,225m
Resort Skiing: 2,930m
Blue Runs: 45km
Red Runs: 55km
Black Runs: 20km
Part of the Dolomiti Superski area, Cortina boasts access to nearly 1,000km of downhill skiing with over 660 individual pistes served by 573 ski lifts. There really is something for everyone here. Intermediate skiers will be in their element in the Dolomiti Superski with the widest choice of runs open to them, including an impressive 3.7-mile long descent.
Cortina’s impressive ski area has lifts taking you up close to 3,000m in several places. The slopes of Faloria are accessed from close to the centre of town via a two-stage cable car. This south-facing area comprises mainly broad cruising pistes, best suited to intermediates. You can also ski across to Rio Gere, which is the base of the Forcella Staunies/Cristallo sector. The largest of Cortina’s ski areas is Socrepes, which links with Tofana. The slopes here can be accessed by a variety of lifts with lots of appealing red and blue runs.
The Tofana area in Cortina is best known for snowboarding and can be easily accessed by cable-car. The variety of terrain makes it perfect for both freestylers and freeriders. There is also a small snow park as well as some gentle slopes, which are perfect for beginners. Carvers can enjoy the nearby Sella Ronda Circuit which is well maintained and easy to follow.
There are multiple ski schools in Cortina to chosoe from, including the Cortina Ski School, Azzurra Cortina Ski School and the Snowboard Boarderline School. All schools have multiple programs for all ages and abilities with experienced and professional instructors. Most schools also offer a ski tour to take you on some of the best slopes in the area.
Gulliver Park Kindergarten caters for children aged 3 months to 12 years, offering daycare as well the chance for children to learn to ski. Bookings can be made on a half-day or full-day basis with a supervised lunch.
Most of the best restaurants in Cortina lie outside the main town. The Michelin-starred Tivoli is the best place in the region and has a very talented young chef. El Toula is a three-storey barn-style building with a great atmosphere. Leone e Anna is a friendly rustic restaurant which specialises in Sardinian food and wine. For fast and incredibly efficient service it is hard to beat the Croda Cafe.
For après ski in Cortina, there are plenty of options on the mountain and in the town. Most après bars are full with both skiers and a lot of non-skiers too, who visit the town to enjoy the lively scene in high season. La Suite Wine Bar boasts an amazing selection of good wine and LP 26 offers live music and beer at a reasonable price.
Non-skiers can enjoy the beautiful Dolomiti scenery with pedestrian access on some lifts in the area. Other winter activities include snowshoeing, ice-skating and sledging. There is also the shopping area, Corso Italia, where there are also plenty of bars and restaurants and even a few museums.