The excitement for the World Ski Championships is palpable in Cortina: it was since the preparation for the 1956 Olympics that the town did not live such an intense phase of joint public and private investment and renovations, involving different sectors and infrastructure: accommodation, roads, electricity lines, high-speed fiber, ski lifts and slopes.
On the slopes
On the slopes, winter season 2019-20 has seen the inauguration of the new Freccia nel Cielo gondola, from the town center to the slopes of Col Druscié, as well as the opening of the new slope Lino Lacedelli for athletes training in the Cinque Torri area. As part of the resort’s on-going efforts to improve skier safety, a new anti-avalanche system is in place in the Tofana ski area, to protect the higher part of the ski domain. In addition, winter season 2020-21 had further improvements in the Tofana Ski Area: in Ra Valles there is a new chair lift with cover and automatic coupling, substituting two existing ones and dramatically decreasing the time to reach the top, making skiing in the higher part of Tofana area even more enjoyable. The lift’s valley station is at 2,203 m of altitude and the arrival area is at 2,742 m, the highest point of the whole ski area of Cortina. An intermediate stop enables skiers to stop there, making it easier to reach Rifugio Ra Valles, which offers its guests a stunning panoramic terrace and the highest Pizzeria of the Dolomites.
In town, local businesses made huge efforts to be best prepared for the 2021 World Ski Championships and 2026 Winter Olympics. In particular, the hotel sector has been buzzing with renovation works in the last couple of years, ranging from refreshing rooms and common areas to expanding properties and all the way to completely renovating properties. More renovations are taking place, and some will be ready in the next few years for the Winter Olympics in 2026.
Hotel Ciasa Lorenzi has renovated its rooms, added a new panoramic wellness area and improved its look with a makeover of the exterior.
Hotel Faloria Mountain Spa Resort after further improvements and a new meeting room has officially become Cortina’s fifth 5 star hotel.
Grand Hotel Savoia has greeted the winter as the first hotel in Cortina part of the Radisson Collection. The new management has refreshed the hotel with renewed rooms in a style balancing tradition and modern design, in line with the heritage of a hotel that hosted guests of the likes of Winston Churchill and Tolstoy.
The Franceschi Park Hotel is one of Cortina’s most traditional and well-known hotels. To celebrate the 100 years anniversary since the hotel started operating, the property has undergone renovation work to renew the rooms and become more accessible to disabled people.
Family run Hotel Natale is a cozy property close to Cortina’s town center. With the aim of offering its guests an even more comfortable stay, Hotel Natale has restructured its rooms, increasing their size and adding large balconies to all the rooms.
Càmina Suite & SPA reopened after complete renovation from a small 3* into a traditional yet modern 4* with 20 suites and a panoramic SPA in the attic.
The Hotel Columbia, a family-run, 3* property has expanded adding a new spa area. Other developments are underway.
News in the gastronomy sector
Cortina salutes winter season with many renovations, a new Michelin star and eight restaurants awarded by the Michelin and Gambero Rosso guides, two of the most renowned in the country.
The SanBrite Restaurant has been awarded for the exceptional quality of its food. SanBrite thus becomes Cortina’s second Michelin starred restaurant, joining Tivoli, which has held its star for three decades. The guide praises SanBrite’s excellent ingredients, many of which come from the family’s alpine farm Agriturismo El Brite de Larieto, located at 1,800 m above sea level. Such simple products are wisely combined with more unusual but equally local ingredients to create innovative, exquisite, gourmet dishes that can be tasted only in Cortina. Besides the superb self-produced cheese, the guide recommends the mountain-pine flavoured spaghetti and the milk and larch-buds gelato. All of this is to be tasted in a wonderful setting, defined as “intimate and warm” by the guide.
Also Gambero Rosso, a world authority on Italian food, wine and travel, awards SanBrite and Tivoli a remarkable two forks in its 2021 guide. The same recognition goes to Da Aurelio, a restaurant famous for using in its recipes the wild herbs of the alpine meadows surrounding it.
The two guides report five more restaurants in Cortina with either one Gambero Rosso fork or a Michelin Plate, namely Baita Fraina, Al Camin, Pié Tofana, El Camineto and La Corte del Lampone.
Graziano Prest, Cortina’s Michelin-starred chef, has recently opened a new deli shop in central Via Cesare Battisti. The Bottega di Graziano, by Ristorante Tivoli offers delicious products, dishes and delicacies prepared with the best ingredients following Graziano’s gourmet recipes.
Hotel Serena opened a new restaurant called La Passeggiata di Cortina (Cortina’s Promenade”), open to hotel guests and to the public alike. What makes the restaurant so special is not only its great position on the historical promenade of Cortina, where in the past the train ran, but also that their menu changes each month following the seasons, offering simple but genuine and local flavours.
Restaurant Rifugio Ospitale is a restaurant and inn located in one of Cortina’s oldest buildings, with a very rich history. Ospitale has been for centuries an inn on the road between Venice and Bavaria, a place to rest and refresh for merchants and pilgrims in their wanderings. From 2020, it has a new, experienced management offering a welcoming service and traditional dishes to be enjoyed in the unique atmosphere of a timeless setting.