Traditions as a way of life

For every event in life, like birth and marriage, there are rituals and customs handed down through generations

The traditions of the Ampezzo Valley have their origins in a simple and essen­tial way of life.

The daily reality of a mountain valley set in such a charming, yet severe landscape, has taught the local people the importance collabora­tion and mutual support.

The traditions and way of life of the Ampezzo people are very similar to those of other Ladin and Tyrolean valleys, as they have a shared history that goes back hundreds of years. For every event in life, like birth and marriage, there are rituals and customs handed down through generations, such as "sbara fora", greeting of the bride and groom on the eve of the wed­ding; or "ra zarcogna", a gift to the new­born.

The traditions are often linked to religion. For example, every village has its own festival, with time for prayer fol­lowed by a festive gathering "inze stua" enjoying a plate of "carafoi" (fried sweets with icing sugar).

Important celebrations like Corpus Christi, First Communion, Confirmation or Weddings see large gatherings of people in traditional dress, namely the Ampezzo costume that until the last century was worn daily.

The festive version was distinguished from the simpler work clothes by details such as the cut, the rich colours, and the jewellery in silver filigree that adorn the women's hair.

The members of the popular corpo musicale (musical band) of Cortina d'Ampezzo still proudly wear the traditional Ampezzo dress when they perform. During the last Sunday of August one can admire the traditional costumes of all the nearby valleys as they gather for the popular “Ra festa de ra Bandes" a celebration of local tradition and music.

On the Sunday of Carnival, a folkloristic celebration takes place in town with theatrical performances on local life in Ladin language.

Other important local events include the Winter Palio, a traditional relay race on cross - country skis, and the "ra Sagra d’Anpezo" on the first Sunday of July, with games and challenges between the Cortina d'Ampezzo townships.