The history of Cortina d’Ampezzo is touched by legend and drama, with the first settlements in the valley dating back to at least the 6th century AD. For centuries, the local community lived in the valley out of agriculture and timber trade.
Cortina has been for centuries on the border between the Republic of Venice and Tyrol, at first being part of the former, then as a territory of the Austro-Hungarian Empire for over 400 years. Towards the mid-1800s, the first wealthy Anglo-Saxon, German and Russian travellers started visiting Cortina to discover and explore its beautiful mountains and nature, starting the long history of tourism in Cortina.
Thanks to newspaper articles and guidebooks written by pioneering mountaineers, Cortina d'Ampezzo was soon known all over the world as a destination for relax, sports and exploration, and the first hotels and mountain lodges started to be built.
The Olympic tour takes in the structures and facilities that symbolize the historic winter Olympics of 1956. We start at the Olympic Ice Stadium, undoubtedly the most important and a must-see venue, which still houses the brazier in which the Olympic Flame burned throughout the games. The building has an all-year ice rink open to the public with on-site skate rental and qualified instructors.
Next stop is the legendary Eugenio Monti bobsleigh run, just a short walk from the Ice Stadium, followed by the Olympic ski-jump in Zuel. These two facilities are both currently out of use.
The legendary Olympic downhill run in Tofana still hosts the Women's Ski World Cup races.