"First visit" Top 5 Page for this destination Cortina d'Ampezzo by PaulKirk
Cortina d'Ampezzo Travel Guide: 82 reviews and 232 photos
I've been to Cortina twice with both visits in the autumn The downside was the fact that September is the start of the close season so all the cable cars and most of the mountain rifugios were closed. The upside was we didn't care! We walked the hills around the town and took our own beer and food with us. The town was quieter as apparently in the summer it is rammed with tourists. Cortina is not easy to get to as there is no rail link and a limited bus service. The hotels are expensive so it isn't really a budget or backpacing destination. The mountains and scenery are stunning so if you can afford it I would reccommend going. When we first went in 2003 the paths and trails were not as well marked as they were in 2006 so it looks as if hikers are getting more attention. It's a pity that Setember is in the close season because it's a good month usually for weather with more chance of sun than rain but the area has to gear up for its big money spinning winter season. Whether it can retain its Jet Set status seems doubtful as the younger Jet Setters head for America and other destinations. That's good for the rest of us as the area will have to gear up for other tourists. It's fine now and there are enough bars and restaurants in town. German beer is popular whilst you can buy English beer in the excellent Co-operativa. We carted a few Ruddles County's up the hills and very nice it was too!
Cortina is an excellent area for walking even if the cable cars are closed. With them in action some of the slogging up the foothills can be avoided. The Cortina Wanderkarte is an excellent map and the trails are well marked including their degrees of difficulty. Higher up the hills and mountains the paths can be precipitous and steep but overall the many paths are safe and easy to follow. There are many rifugios in the hills to head for if they are open and the scenery is wonderful. Up on the peaks and high ridges it is very barren with no trees or vegetation. Cortina.Dolomiti.org is an excellent website if you look at Summer and Trekking on the toolbar. It describes a range of walks with maps and useful information.
The area is wonderful for seeing some of the sites of the First World War. The area around Lagazoui is a historical site and there are numerous trenches, galleries and fortifications to see. Cinque Torri also has some restored trenches whilst there are plenty of multi-lingual information boards to explain things to the visitor. Fort Sas is close by which is a renovated blockhouse. You will wonder how men could have fought in such places and just think what it must have been like inr the depths of winter. Overlooking Cortina is Pocol and you can see a tower which is the Sacrerio Militaire. Inside the tower are engraved the names of 8,000 Italian soldiers who died in the fighting in the mountains. Cortina.Dolomiti.org has pages relating to the war whilst Grande Guerra is a website which covers the war between the Italians and the Austrians.
- Pros:Great scenery and area for hiking
- Cons:It should be open in September
- In a nutshell:Get up into the hills
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