The Dolomites are an enchanted flawless masterpiece that form pinnacles and rock walls with plenty of snow for skiing. Let Dean Martin enliven your holiday spirit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mN7LW0Y00kE&feature=related.
The mountains include majestic landscapes and interesting rock formations like the “Cinque Torri” pictured in this post near Cortina D’Ampesso. They have five towers that soar 7,762 feet. The majestic landscape, where heaven and earth converge, can be truly admired in the area between Bolzano and Cortina d’Ampesso. The Dolomite’s verticle rock faces have been scaled by famous mountaineers like Tita Piaz, Reinhold Messner and Manolo.
The mountains are named after the French geologist Dolomieu (1750-1801) who discovered their chemical composition; stratified calcium magnesium carbonate. Between 1915 and 1917 the Dolomites were the stage of WWI battles between Italian and Austrian troops. These battles left destructive scars on the mountains from bombs and mines. Cortina D’Ampesso was a Hapsburg possession until 1920.
“Eurochocolate Ski” in Cortina D’Ambezzo will be held from December 16th until December 19th www.eurochocolate.com with chocolate-themed events including tastings, a chocolate market and chocolate beauty treatments. This Tyrolean town is considered the “Pearl of the Dolomites” and is Italy’s premier ski resort. It is one of the most exclusive resorts with 70 miles of down-hill runs with 37 ski lifts in the shadow of the Tofane trio of peaks and Mount Critallo. There are 48 miles of cross-country trails . Show boarding, snow shoeing, tobagganing and ice skating is also available. This ski area is connected to other resorts in the area with a “Dolomiti Super Pass” which gives skiiers 740 miles of runs for all ability ranges from beginner to expert. There is a torchlight parade of skiiers on Chirstmas Eve in Cortina.
For the apres-ski scene, the Regole D’Ampresso is a collection of art museums and galleries on Corso Italia. Visit the Museum of Paleontology “Rinaldo Zardini”, the Ethnographic Museum or the Rimoldi Museum of Contempory Art.
Shop along the elegant Corso Italia. Cortina is home to many fashion juggernauts including Bulgari, Gucci, Benetton and Geox. Many active-wear apparel companies have a wide array of interesting designs in Cortina.
Dine at the Michelin starred Tivoli Restaurant. In Localita Fraina have a “Vino con Vista” on the panoramic terrace of Baita Fraina with 100 different types of grappa on the menu. Take the cable car to the summit of the Dolomites from Cortina.
The first Italian Olympics should have been held in Cortina in 1944 but the war put that plan on hold. Eventually, Cortina hosted the winter Olympics in 1956 and the event generated a winter wonderland for future generations including a bobsled, ski jump and Olympic ice stadium.