Cortina d’ampezzo

Cortina d’Ampezzo (pronounced [korˈtiːna damˈpɛttso]; Ladin: Anpezo, Ampëz), commonly referred to as Cortina, is a town and comune in the heart of the southern (Dolomitic) Alps in the Veneto region of Northern Italy. Situated on the Boite river, in an alpine valley, it is a popular winter sport resort known for its skiing trails, scenery, accommodation, shops and après-ski scene, and for its jet set and aristocratic European crowd.

In the Middle Ages, Ampezzo fell under the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Aquileia, and of the Holy Roman Empire. In 1420, it was conquered by the Republic of Venice. It then spent much of its history under Austrian rule, briefly undergoing some territorial changes under Napoleon, before being returned to Austria, who held it until 1918. From the nineteenth century, Ampezzo became a notable regional centre for crafts. The local handmade products were appreciated by early British and German holidaymakers as tourism emerged late nineteenth century. Among the specializations of the town were crafting wood for furniture, the production of tiled stoves and iron, copper and glass items. Today, the local economy thrives on tourism, particularly during the winter season, when the population of the town typically increases from about 7,000 to 40,000. The Basilica Minore dei Santi Filippo e Giacomo was built between 1769 and 1775 on the site of two former thirteenth and sixteenth-century churches; it is home to the parish and the deanery of Cortina d’Ampezzo. The town also contains the Rinaldo Zardini Palaeontology Museum, established in 1975, the Mario Rimoldi Modern Art Museum, and the Regole of Ampezzo Ethnographic Museum.

Although Cortina was unable to go ahead with the scheduled 1944 Winter Olympics because of World War II, it hosted the Winter Olympics in 1956 and subsequently a number of world winter-sports events. The town is home to SG Cortina, a top league professional ice hockey team, and Cortina is also the start and end point of the annual Dolomites Gold Cup Race. Several films have been shot in the town, mostly notably The Pink Panther (1963), For Your Eyes Only (1981) and Cliffhanger (1993). Every year, from the end of July to early August, Cortina hosts the Dino Ciani Festival and Academy, which attracts pianists from around the world.