Chic, fashionable Cortina d'Ampezzo embodies the true Italian love for la dolce vita. The good life it certainly is at this stunning resort in the Ampezzo valley near Italy's Austrian border. Sitting in the ragged, imposing and striking Dolomites mountain range, the Italian jet set come here equally for the skiing and the fabulous food, wine, shopping and even sunbathing. Cortina's slopes alone offer 140 km of pistes, but the resort is also a part of the Dolomiti Superski region that offers a whopping 1,220 km of trails across 12 ski areas on one lift pass!
The terrain will suit beginners and intermediates best. There are 39 well-groomed beginner's pistes to play around on while you learn, and the lifts are often slow moving so that you can get used to hopping on and off. The intermediate skiing is limitless, with over sixty percent of the runs skiable for mid-level skiers and the views are so amazing that many an advanced skier claim to love skiing them as well. The spectacular long run down from Laguezoi to Armentarola is a must-ski. There are only a few options for expert skiers - Torfana is probably the best place to head, as well as the moguls at Forcella Staunies. This is not too much of a problem if you buy the Dolomiti Superski pass - you'll find hundreds of kilometres of terrain to explore across the resorts.
This is an attractive mountain town set in a wide bowl between vast craggy mountains. Food and wine are highly regarded here, with delicious first-class restaurants serving mouth watering Italian treats and superb wine. Shopaholics will be in trouble here too with an extensive shopping area including designer clothes, antiques, jewellery and sportswear. It can be a little expensive by Italian standards however. There is much to do off the slopes, and as the Italians often love to take a relaxed approach to skiing, you can often find large periods of time when the slopes are uncrowded. The people watching is fantastic too - as the rich and famous cruise the streets with their giant furs, or set up with some serious sunbathing involving reflective foil. The great thing about Cortina is that it has the glitz and glamour of a high-profile Alp resort, but replaces pretension with a sense of humour and a zest for life.