Riding the cable-cars is always a favourite thing for me :-))
An ascent to the summit of one of the two main cable-car trips requires two changes en route and an uphill ride through three separate cable-car segments. The first station is Col Druscie, at 1,753m (5,752 ft.); the second is Ra Valles, at 2,447m (8,027 ft.) and the top is Tofana di Mezzo, at 3,214m (10,543 ft.).
Favorite thing: Cortina has a picturesque square, dominated by the white church spire and flanked by two massive mountain ridges: to the east lies Cristallo (9,613 feet) and Faloria (7,690 feet); to the west, Tofana (9,317 feet) and Pocol and Socrepes (7,487 feet) areas.
Favorite thing: The church of St. Filippo & Giacomo was built in 1775. There are sculptures by Andrea Brustolon, paintings by Francesco A. Zeiler, Giuseppe Zanchi, Luigi Gillarduzzi and Giuseppe Ghedina. Between 1851 and 1858 the tower bell was built. This is today one of the symbols of Cortina.
This group of mountains - the 5 towers - we passed on our way into Cortina and saw from the cable-car trips. Torre del Barancio, Lusy, Romana, Grande, Terza, Quarta and Inglese are the names of of the "Five Towers".
They are located between the passes of Falzarego and Giau are have become more renowned since Sylvester Stallons filmed the mountain climbing film "Cliffhanger" here.
Since it is Italy's premier ski resort, Cortina boasts more than 50 cable cars and lifts spread out across the valley the Boite river. Besides of clearly designated ski trails, there are a virtually unlimited number of off-piste trails for cross-country enthusiasts.
During winter, ski lifts are open daily 9am to 4-5pm, depending on the time of sunset.
Favorite thing: Cortina boasts eight distinct ski areas, each with its own challenges and charms. The most appealing are the Tofana, Forcella Rossa and Faloria-Tondi complexes. The Pocol, Mietres and Socapres areas are specifically for novices, while the Falzarego for a very competent skiers only.
Ski passes are issued for from 1 to 21 days, which can include the lifts around Cortina - about 50 - or all the ski lifts in the Dolomites, around 464. The Dolomiti super ski pass allows unlimited access to a vast network of chairlifts and gondolas stretching over Cortina and the mountains at least ten other resorts.
The single-day pass is 33 euros, children under 8 ski free.
Favorite thing: Cinque Torri, the Five Towers, is one of the most attractive and best known peak in the close surroundings of Cortina d'Ampezzo. The highest peak of Cingue Torri stands at about two hundred meters and the whole area is used as a training ground by the famous mointaineering club called the Cortina Squirrels.
Actually, there are more then five peaks all together; Torre del Barancio, Lusy, Romana, Grande, Terza, Quarta and Inglese are the names of of the "Five Towers".
I couldn't approach closer to the Five Towers because of the high snow all around, so I took this picture from the road. Next time, in the different season, I would like to take the closer look of the area.
The area of Cinque Torri is valuable for intermediates skiers.
This is restaurant and motel at Passo Falzarego, the last one in the area before entering to Alta Badia. Here you can worm you up or have excellent mountain dish.
From the terrace of the restaurant you can observe dramatic cable car, the Funivia Faloria, which takes visitors to 2.800 meters high peak. This is your last chance to think twice, weather stay in the secure and relaxed atmosphere of the restaurant or going up with that fragile look gondola.
Favorite thing: The funicular, actualy the gondola, takes the brave ones only from Passo Falzarego up to the mountain peack which is 2800 mt. of high. Up there, there is a long, dramatic and I'd say terrifaying downhill jaunt not recommended for anyone except a very competent skier. However, the cable car is, more or less, patronized by visitors (like me) who'd never dream of skiing.
Cortina's most dramatic cable cars are the Freccia nel Cielo (what means Arrow to the Sky), which is region's longest and most panoramic, and this one called the Funivia Faloria (Faloria chairlift).
See the two gondolas in the air, looks very scary - click on the picture to enlarged it.
Favorite thing: Cortina has wonderful views of the Tofane group and Monte Cristallo and even as non skiers we enjoyed going up the cable-cars here to enjoy the scenery and watch the skiers. Tip - buying a days ski pass was cheaper than buying separate cable-car tickets. Rumour has it that you can hire fur coats here and pretend to be a snob!
Favorite thing: In case you are not intermediates or competent skier, then I recommend you to leave the area of Cortina behind. The next point is the area of Alta Badia, beautiful nature and ski resort recommendable for novices and cross-country skiing.
Cortina d'Ampezzo is an expensive town to stay, so you have to be mentally prepared. This is because it is one of the best skiing towns in Europe, having hosted the Winter Olympics before. Also, book your accomodation and transportation early to avoid disappointment especially during the crowded winter season.