A walk around the old Town area was quite interesting. I found some lovely old frescoed buildings and others with beautifully painted designs, some with turrets.
What I did find and like, was the Horse-man [photo 1], but I can't remember who he is!
There were lots of Cafes and Restaurants situated in a long street, so we stopped at one for lunch.
It was worth the look around, but not as good as many old towns I had previously seen.
The church of St. Filippo & Giacomo is the parish Church, built between 1769 and 1775.
On the outside, I didn't think it anything special, just a plain surface, with statues of Saints Filippo and Giacomo, who is the minor patron of Cortina d’Ampezzo.
Inside was different, it was really beautiful and worth seeing. It had a beautifully painted ceiling, and other lovely painted Altar pieces.
In the first panel near the door, is the " martyr of St. Giacomo”, in the second one “the expulsion of the Merchants of the temple”, and the third one is “the martyr of St. Filippo”.
There are several other bigger paintings in the Church.
As well as the paintings, there was very nice carving on the pews.
The bell tower, there is no way you can miss it, even when coming down the Mountain, we could easily see the tall Tower.
This Tower is not the original built in 1590, but the new one that was built in 1852.
The Tower is 69.50 metres high, and was finally finished in 1858 for the Bells to be rung on Christmas Eve.
Inside the Church, there was more than one Altar, in fact, there were many! They were lovely!
The main altar had two statues of the Saints Pietro and Paolo, made out of decorated wood and stucco, then I found another Altar of false marble and an altar-piece representing “St. Giuseppe with Child,” with relics of St. Liberale underneath.
The left Altar has the relics of St.Teofilo, and in the altar-piece ”Our Lady of Sorrows, and on the right, is the altar of the Carmine Virgin,made out of carved wood, painted and adorned.
In central niches of the nave are older altars which came from the previous church.
Coming from a "warmer" area of the World, we were quite excited to see an Olympic ski jump!
The height was impressive, the jump was impressive, definitely not for me! I always enjoy watching the Olympics and the ski- jumpers, and always think they are brave, now I have seen it in "real life," I think they are extra brave!
The 1956 Winter Olympics, officially known as the VII Olympic Winter Games, was a winter multi-sport event celebrated in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy. Thirty two Nations attended, and the events were televised world wide for the first time.
The Soviet Union made its Winter Olympics debut and won more medals than any nation, and Austrian Toni Sailer became the first person to sweep all three alpine skiing events in a single Olympics.
The Ski Jump is still used today, and is named the "Olympic Ski-jump Italia," holding national and international ski-jump competitions, World Cup competitions and the Grand Prix of the Nations.
Here are some facts for you to ponder over.....
Put yourself in ski-jumper's shoes, and imagine, going up the internal lift which is 54 metres high. Now, we are standing and looking at the 86.5m long runway, with an incline of 35°.
The landing slope is inclined by 38° at its extreme point.
Take off! and the 40,000 spectators roar!
Have I done enough to win a medal, at least I didn't crash!
What an exhilarating experience it must be!
How to get here:
The Olympic Ski Jump is located in Zuel area. By car, from the center of Cortina take the SS51 national road in direction south (Belluno-Venice) and turn right in Zuel area (after the Miramonti Hotel), at the bus stop.
Walking.....along the old railway track, until you will arrive in Zuel area.
By local bus - line 2-, get off at the stop in Zuel area, and keep going by walk for a short time.
If you want some beautiful views of Cortina d'Ampezzo, then head up Route SR48.
From this road, we had the most beautiful views of Cortina located in the very green Valley and the surrounding mountains, it was postcard perfect.
Only a short drive to be high enough to see the view!
At the Falzarego Pass, we pulled in to have a look at the Chapel and to do the Cable Car ride.
The Cable car took us to the summit of Lagazuoi (2.762m), and is another ride without any posts, so if you are squeamish, don't do it!
I hope you can, as the views are spectacular, and you can go hiking to see the bunkers and more from the Dolomite War.
This cable car is to the top of one of the highest points in the Dolomite Alp's.
In 2011.....Return fare....Adults 13.50 euros
At Falzarego Pass, near our car parking lot, is a beautiful, well looked after Mountain Chapel.
It looks so pretty, sitting on some very rocky ground, and with the Dolomites surrounding it.
I went inside and was quite surprised at how nice it was, it even had a beautiful painting and fresh flowers!
We have reached the summit of Mount Lagazuoi and are now enjoying the 360° views of the surrounding Mountains.
This time, there is sign posts pointing to the peaks we are seeing, some are Croda da Lago and Pelmo, there are a lot that I can't remember!
The view is FANTASTIC!
We didn't stop at the Restaurant, but there is one there if you want a meal or coffee.
Located just 16kms from Cortina d'Ampesso is the Falzarego Pass.
The Falzarego Pass is one of the Dolomites mountain passes, riders cross in the annual
"Maratona dles Dolomites" single-day bicycle race.
It is worth the drive, as located here, is a gondola ride to Lagazuoi (2762 m.).
It's also where heavy combat took place in World War I. The tunnel that the Italians built under the Austrian lines is open to the public.
In summer, mountain climbers come and hikers, as there is a good variety of footpaths easily accessible to all.
There is a lovely little Chapel too!
This was also the busier of the two Passes, Tour buses were here and arriving. Luckily, we did the Gondola ride just before-hand!
The skiing in Cortina d'ampezzo is some of the best to be had in Italy. From Cristallo or Tofano,
theres plenty to keep you busy. The snow is generally good through the season and is backed up by hundreds of snow making machines(just in case).
The Dolomite Mountains surrounding Cortina are of various shapes and sizes, and it is possible to take day trips/tours from Cortina out to explore these mountains. To fully appreciate these mountains, you can visit the webcam page of Cortina stated below, which I found nice to visit every now and then :) At this website, there are webcams located at the various mountains and locations around Cortina d'Ampezzo.
Cortina d'Ampezzo is most famous for being one of the best alpine sports town in Europe for its winter activities especially skiing. In fact, this town has hosted the Winter Olympic games before, thus giving you an idea of its fame. However with this fame comes many tourists during winter, which makes the place very crowded and accomodation very expensive. I was in Cortina d'Ampezzo on a day trip during summer, which is much less crowded :) If you are interested to enjoy winter in Cortina, you can check out the website below for more information.
The Brenner's Pass is perhaps one of the most beautiful mountain passes in Europe. It is not located near to Cortina, but still within the Dolomite Mountain region. To experience this pass, the best way is to take the trains from Innsbruck in Austria down to the towns of Bolzano, Trento and perhaps all the way down to Venice. Brenner's Pass is located between the border of Austria with Bolzano-Trento in northern Italy. During the train journey, you will pass by some stunning mountains of the Dolomites, as well as deep valleys, hills, charming towns etc. More photos are at the travelogue section of this VT page.
When you are at Cortina d'Ampezzo, you will not miss seeing the impressive church located at the town centre area. The architecture is very nice, especially with the tall and imposing Dolomite Mountains as the backdrop. If you like to visit Cortina d'Ampezzo, feel free to go through my VT tips as well as the website below.