The Dolomiti d'Ampezzo
The heights of the Veneto. An itinerary taking in rugged nature and refined civilisation: for lovers of silence beyond the clouds, amidst the blue skies of the Dolomites. Combining the cultural and sporting possibilities of Cortina, to the ethnic outpost of Sappada: the fascination of the Veneto mountains.
We begin at the heart of the area. Cortina wears the crown of tourist locations within the mountains, being the most dreamed of destination throughout the world.
Situated in the famous “amphitheatre of the Dolomites” consisting of the peaks of the Tofane, Cristallo and Sorapis mountains, Cortina lies in a sun-drenched valley of great natural charm. It is also famous for having hosted the Winter Olympics in 1956.
In addition to its high-society aspect with which it is usually associated, the town boasts many interesting cultural possibilities.
We will also visit the 13th century parish church of Santi Filippo e Giacamo, restructured in the 18th century, and the Casa delle Regole in Piazza Venezia, which houses the Museo delle Regole, the Palaeontological Museum and the Modern Art Gallery.
A stroll along the Corso Italia, with its exclusive boutiques and à la mode aspect, is the perfect way to round off the day.
We move on to the domain of untamed nature.
Arabba is another reason behind the pride of our mountains: two localities basking in the beauties of the Dolomite landscape, both firm favourites of experienced skiers.
Sport and relaxation are at the maximum level of quality in this town, where the grand gastronomic tradition and the area’s folklore animate every season.
Arabba (1600m above sea level) lies in the valley Valle di Livinallogno of the Col di Lana hills, and is surrounded by the Marmolada, and thus completing the picture of a perfect winter resort.
The piste are included in the “Sellaronda” complex, and the Arabba area also forms part of the Dolomiti Superski, the largest such area in the world.
In the summer Arabba attracts tourists who come for the hiking along the Dolomite routes.
Bellunese Dolomites National Park
Our itinerary moves into the unspoilt natural wonders of the Bellunese Dolomites National Park.
The park, situated north of Cortina and extending as far as the border of the Alto Adige, lies in the heart of the Eastern Dolomites.
It originated in the Regole d’Ampezzo, the association of ancient families dedicated to the protection of their pastures and forests.
The floral symbol of the park is the sea-green found in the Dolomites, a rare plant which is found uniquely on these mountains.
In this truly unique environment one may encounter ibex, chamois, golden eagles and owls, the extremely rare three-toed woodpecker, and foxes and weasels. Recent sightings have been made signalling the presence of brown bears and vultures.
The countryside offers magical scenery imbued with silence and tranquillity, to be explored on foot or by mountain bike.
Experienced climbers can literally grasp in their hands the dream made of rock and colour.
Important sights to be seen include: the Tofane, the wartime tunnels at Lagazuoi, the Tre Cime di Lavaredo and Lake Misurina.
Lago di Misurina
The Cadore with its celebrated mountains and natural marvels possesses a further source of wealth: the shimmering expanse of water.
Lying a short distance from Cortina we find the largest natural bay in the zone, noted also for its high-quality tourist facilities: the “pearl of Cadore”: Lake Misurina.
The village of Misurina, which extends gently along the lake shore, is magnificent in all seasons, but above all in winter, when its frozen lake offers a further attraction with its international polo competition.
A perfect destination in which to relax, providing optimum-level facilities, and with all its natural beauty in full view.
We proceed northwest, to the very edge of the Veneto, where we encounter a hybrid culture of enormous fascination.
A visit to Sappada is an unforgettable experience: a true ethnic and linguistic island, founded by a group of Austrians fleeing from their kingdom.
Its principal area of interest is the folklore connotations owing to its unique origins.
Sappada hosts the important local Carnivale Sappadino, spread over three Sundays, one dedicated to the poor, one to farmers, and the third to the lords.
The village has preserved its Germanic origins in its dialect, in the old wooden houses, and in its folklore and traditions.
Wooden masks are a speciality to be acquired here, as are the local delicacies such as ricotta and ham Sappada consists of 11 suburbs, each clearly distinct from its neighbours.
The most well-preserved belong to Sappada Vecchia, with wooden houses and cottages from the 17th century.
One can admire the Casa Solero in Dorf, and visit the waterfall of the river in the district of Muhlbach, illuminated in the evening, and the Ethnographic Museum in the district of Bach.
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