The Dolomites’ Queen. It’s no coincidence that Cortina d’Ampezzo is renown worldwide with this nickname. In fact, this luxury hamlet on the Alpine slopes has been for decades on the top lists of Italian destinations in every season. Nevertheless, in winter Cortina’s charm reaches legendary peaks. Between breathtaking downhills, appointments with masters of literature, nights spent face to face with the star-studded sky, and inevitable rendezvous with the international jet-set, here are the unmissable events and everything you have to do in Cortina during these last months of winter.

Valentine’s Day 2018 in Cortina

Events in Cortina d'Ampezzo - Starlight Room Dolomites 360 (Photo by Giacomo Pomanin)

Events in Cortina d’Ampezzo. Starlight Room Dolomites 360 (Photo by Giacomo Pomanin)

In Cortina, the celebration of love finds its most natural scenario: the Dolomites, the beautiful mountains that get painted in every hue of pink both at dusk and at dawn.

The couples (but not only them) may choose to admire the splendour of this landscape from a point of view so special that it almost seems surreal: the Starlight Room Dolomites 360. Located on the Falzarego mountain pass, this suite is, in fact, completely made of glass, and, as its name hints, it’s capable of rotating 360 degrees on itself. Just imagine sitting comfortably in front of its small fireplace and enjoying a dinner with your special one, while the constellations turn and turn all around you.


Events in Cortina d'Ampezzo - Rifugio Soiattoli (Photo by

Events in Cortina d’Ampezzo. Rifugio Soiattoli (Photo by

Speaking of awesomeness, the rifugi (lodges) in the Tofana ski area are no short of it either. The Rifugio Averau will actually host the Week of Love, seven days to enjoy the high-quality ingredients of Sandro Sorpiaes’ cuisine arranged in the perfect lovers’ menu.

Are you still searching for the icing on the cake to complete your Valentine’s night? Then why don’t you take your other half to enjoy the view on the Dolomites’ snow directly from a sauna? The highest sauna in the area can be found at the Rifugio Lagazuoi, at 2752 metres, right in front of a scenery that words just can’t describe. Not to be outdone, the sauna Croda del Lago offers the perfect view over the lake Federa. Finally, the most audacious may try the jacuzzi-in-a-barrel at the Rifugio Scoiattoli, a spruce-wood prodigy that cuddles you with deep warmth while the snow keeps falling all around, and also lets you sip a glass of local wine while inside.

A Taste for Sports

Events in Cortina d'Ampezzo - View of Cortina from Ra Valles (Photo by

Events in Cortina d’Ampezzo. View of Cortina from Ra Valles (Photo by

While in Cortina, you’ll have no time to stay out of shape, as long as you start moving…tastefully. That’s why the Ciaspolata al Chiaro di Luna (Snowshoe walk under the moonlight) on March 1 and 30 will start with a “warm-up” aperitif. After that, a professional mountain guide will lead you towards the 2475 metres of the finish line, an easy walk of one hour and a half in the unparalleled silence of the Dolomites at night. The prize at the end will be a well-deserved dinner at the Ristorante Capanna Ra Valles. Booking is, of course, mandatory.

If snowshoes are really your thing, 2018 in Cortina could be just your year. In fact, two new panoramic trails have been inaugurated this year in the Tofana-Freccia nel Cielo ski area: the easy Trail Pian Ra Valles, and the Trail Cacciatori, a little bit more intense.


Events in Cortina d'Ampezzo - CAI Snow Run

Events in Cortina d’Ampezzo. CAI Snow Run

Do you believe that these walks won’t be enough to work off the calories of Cortina’s generous dinners? Then sign up for the Cortina C.A.I. Snow Run on February 24, the night run that will side for 17 kilometres some the most famous ski slopes in the world. Are you already feeling out of breath? Then your option could be the new mini trail version of the run, “only” 9,5 km long. The perfect way to hush up the sense of guilt for that last piece of Sacher torte at the Pasticceria Alverà.

From Dusk till Dawn: High-Altitude Delights

Events in Cortina d'Ampezzo - Dawn on the Tofana ski area (Photo by Angelica Palli)

Events in Cortina d’Ampezzo. Dawn on the Tofana ski area (Photo by Angelica Palli)

There’s one thing that you probably have already figured out: pleasures in Cortina never come one at a time, being them those for the palate, for the sight or brought by the whole wellbeing. Everything moves in synergy, each sense should be gratified, and the events organised in the area are the exact proof of this philosophy.

One above all: the ski run at dawn, with the colours of the rising sun reflecting on the white snow and conveying sublime emotions. The perfect counterpart of all this natural beauty is the breakfast delights at the Capanna Ra Valles, a glorious start for the day that is allowed by the overtime opening of the Tofana-Freccia nel Cielo cableway. The next appointment with this triumph of the senses will be on February 17.


Events in Cortina d'Ampezzo - Rifugio Mietres by night (Photo by Paolo D'Andrea)

Events in Cortina d’Ampezzo. Rifugio Mietres by night (Photo by Paolo D’Andrea)

Still, if you can’t even contemplate getting up at such an early hour, do not despair: in Cortina, you’ll find spectacular scenarios even at dusk and at night. Every Thursday, in fact, and until March 30 you’ll be able to join the Astr-dinners at Rifugio Ristorante Col Drusciè. After a great meal made of local and genuine ingredients, you’ll be led by the experts of Cortina’s Astronomic Association to the discovery of the planets and galaxies that punctuate the winter sky.

However, if you feel less contemplative and more of a dancing type, each Wednesday until March 31 you may join one of the musical dinners at the Rifugio Mietres.

Culture on Full-Throttle

In spite of the large attendance by the international jet-set and of its mundane fame, Cortina never forgets its status of a small yet significant cultural shrine, and it keeps on giving educational and entertainment inspirations in every field.

Events in Cortina d'Ampezzo - Lagazuoi EXPO Dolomiti (Photo by Giacomo Pompanin)

Events in Cortina d’Ampezzo. Lagazuoi EXPO Dolomiti (Photo by Giacomo Pompanin)

One example out of many is the Lagazuoi EXPO Dolomiti, the exhibition space that reaches high peaks both culturally and literally speaking, being it located at 2732 metres. Needless to say, this season has started in a grand way: with the archaeology exhibit ÖTZI & VALMO – When Men Met the Alps, a journey that will let you walk on the footsteps of the first inhabitants of these mountains. Until April 2.

Another feather in Cortina’s cap is the Museo d’Arte Moderna Mario Rimoldi. Known to host masterpieces of modern art by Morandi, de Pisis and Guttuso, it will display until April 2 the exhibit “Dal modo intero al cuore del mondo. Balsamo dialoga con Music” (“From the whole world to the world’s heart. Balsamo’s dialogues with Music”). Curated by Vittorio Sgarbi, the exhibit will revisit the artistic conversation between the ex-museum director and painter Renato Balsamo and the Slovenian artist Anton Zoran Music, also the author of a round of canvas inspired by Cortina’s everyday life.


Events in Cortina d'Ampezzo - Stefano Zardini, Never Lasting Street Art (Photo by Stefano Zardini)

Events in Cortina d’Ampezzo. Stefano Zardini, Never Lasting Street Art (Photo by Stefano Zardini)

On the other hand, it’s an all-female show the exhibit Alis Levi – Donna a tuttotondo at the Museo Paleontologico “Rinaldo Zardini”. This monographic exhibit on the British painter and writer is a homage to her connection to Cortina’s Soroptimist Club, of which she had been the co-founder and that stills reflect her empowering vision of women.

For those who are searching for urban contemporaneity even among these mountain landscapes, Stefano Zardini’s photographic exhibit Never lasting Street Art will be the perfect compromise to admire the street art of great metropolia such as London and New York while still breathing the pure, Alpine air. At the Ikonos Art Gallery until April 8.

New and Old, Timeless Media

Cortina becomes a meeting point between different generations of media, a forum where to debate on social and cultural issues that are as fluid as the Dolomites all around are solid.

Events in Cortina d'Ampezzo - A mountain of books (Photo by

Events in Cortina d’Ampezzo. A mountain of books (Photo by

The festival Una montagna di libri (A mountain of books) comes back for its seventeenth edition, a round of meetings with some of the most important writers and journalists of our time.  From Riccardo Falcinelli reflecting on the ubiquitous power of colours in his Cromorama to Chiara Barzini and her promising, grunge novel Terremoto; from the presentation of the new Lonely Planet Dolomiti guide to the ever-illuminating talks by Carlo Petrini, founder of the Slow Food movement. An actual mountain of books will invade Cortina until April, and you can find the complete calendar of meetings and talks on

From a timeless mean of communication such as the written word to a new, yet full of history, media. We’re talking about cinema, the absolute protagonist of the Cortinametraggio festival from March 19 to 25. This showcase of emerging movie talents has been the stepping stones for the career of many Italian artists. One above all: director Paolo Genovese, winner of the David di Donatello prize with his Perfetti sconosciuti.


Events in Cortina d'Ampezzo - Super8 Photo Contest

Events in Cortina d’Ampezzo. Super8 Selfie, Photo and Video Competition

To cap off this look at Cortina’s festivals, we couldn’t miss a photographic contest that dips into one of the youngest generations’ biggest obsessions: selfies.

With the Super8 Selfie, Photo & Video Competition, the Consorzio Delicious Cortina puts up for grabs a 2-night half board stay for two in one of the many hotels and lodges of the ski area. The winners will be those capable of best capturing the grandeur of the Super8 Ski Tour through videos, photos and, of course, selfies. All the participants must send their shots at before April 2. And, seriously we wouldn’t want to be among the jury; with landscapes such as those of Cortina’s valley, finding just one winner will be as hard as ever.

For info and events in Cortina d’Ampezzo in every season:


+39 0436 866252

Cover Photo.