Oct
2011

CORTINA D'AMPEZZO

VENETO

Cortina d’Ampezzo is a mountain village in the Northern Veneto region of Italy. Situated in the heart of the Dolomites, Cortina is Italy’s best known mountain resort, the country’s answer to St. Moritz. Its picturesque peaks are the stage for countless movies including the original Pink Panther (1963) and James Bond’s For Your Eyes Only (1981).

Cortina d’Ampezzo is part of the Veneto, not Alto-Adige, but it has the same Teutonic flavor of the other Dolomite landmarks. The town of Ampezzo was controlled by the Hampsburg Empire until 1920 and a German-speaking minority still exists. The town didn’t become part of Italy until the country’s victory in world war one. The town has been a popular vacation destination for wealthy Brits since the 18th century and became a world-class resort destination after the town hosted the Olympics in 1956.

Scattered across the slopes of the mountains are small rifugi, culinary refuges in the snow. These small lodge-like restaurants are a far cry from on-mountain food in America. There are 56 rifugi peppering the ring of mountains surrounding Cortina, according to the town’s tourism board. Many have large terraces overlooking the slopes.