Grand hotels built in the 1920s and 30s lend an elegant touch to Cortina, and the hills above are dotted with the charming country chalets of important Italian families who come to Cortina for winter sports and August holiday.
Cortina, at 3970ft. (1210m.), is surrounded by many peaks over 10,500 ft. (3200 m.). Many visitors arriving in Cortina for the first time are stunned by the magnificent sight of these surrounding Dolomites - the mountain groups of Tofana, Pomagagnon, Cristallo, Sorapis and Croda da Lago - and the Boite river running through the town.
The eastern slopes of the Pomagagon and Punta Fiames mountains are spectacular at sunset; Cristallo sparkles in the afternoon sun; Tofana glems golden in the early morning sunrise. Cortina was the scene of the 1956 winter Olympic Games and has 45 lifts spread over varied slopes surrounding this beautiful valley. While these lifts service a network of over 65 miles (110 km.) of ski runs and cross-country trails, many lifts also operate in summer, bringing hikers to the beginning of fascinating day walks.
It is difficult to believe that Cortina is only a two-hour drive from the wonders of Venice, and anyone can also experience a one- or two-day walking itinerary in this magical city.Twisting, scenic mountain roads also take travelers from Cortina through the Dolomites, off the beaten track south to Alleghe's beautiful lake, and for a visit to the Agordino. A drive west through Passo Pordoi brings walkers to the Val di Fassa and Vigo di Fassa, in another valley. Cortin a is only 40 minutes from the Austrian border, close enough to Lienz, Austria, for an interesting one-day excursion.
In August, Cortina is filled with happy Italian familes who come for the healthy, dry climate and the hiking. The trails here are varied enough to meet the needs of all levels of walkers - supported by a multiple - lift system providing easy and axciting ways to visit the many rifugios in the surrounding mountains.
In winter landscape, light and snow combine together to arouse emotions. The snow embodies the mystery and silence of the landscape, embroiders broken, bare twings and restores them the original dark colour of the wood, full of sleeping life under a thin layer of ice.

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