CORTNA D'AMPEZZO | BELLUNO PROVINCE

Cortina d'Ampezzo is a town and comune in the Italian Dolomites in the Veneto Region of Northern Italy. Located in the heart of the Dolomites 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. Although Cortina was unable to go ahead with the scheduled 1944 Winter Olympics because of the Second World War, it hosted the Winter Olympics in 1956 and subsequently a number of world winter-sports events. Several films have been shot in the town, mostly notably The Pink Panther (1963) and For Your Eyes Only (1981).

Cortina is situated more or less in the centre of the Ampezzo valley, at the top of the Valle del Boite in the Dolomites, which encircle the town. The mountains in the area are described as "craggy" and "soaring", "unmistakable; like a massive coral reef ripped from the sea, strung with conifers and laced with snow". The town is positioned between Cadore (to the south) and the Puster Valley (to the north), Val d' Ansiei (to the east) and Agordo (to the west). Originally it consisted of numerous frazioni, isolated villages and hamlets, but from the 1950s it grew rapidly as a result of tourism. Only the most remote villages have remained isolated from the main town. San Vito di Cadore is to the south of Cortina d'Ampezzo.

Among the surrounding mountains are Tofane to the west, Pomagagnon to the north, Cristallo to the northeast, Faloria and Sorapis to the east, and Becco di Mezzodì, Croda da Lago and Cinque Torri to the south. The town centre is located at an elevation of , although the highest summit is that of the Tofana di Mezzo, which towers at . There is a significant water presence in the territory, consisting of fast flowing rivers, streams and small lakes (Ghedina, Pianozes, d'Ajal), which fill particularly during the summer snow-melt season. Fauna include marmots, roe deer, chamois and hares.

Located in the Dolomites, probably among the three most exclusive mountain sport resorts in Europe, Cortina (Petsch-Hayden in German) is known for its first-class hotels and the shops which line Corso Italia.

It was the host town of the 1956 Winter Olympic, and its astounding landscape, surrounded on all sides by the Dolimites, were the location for movies like Cliffhanger and The Pink Panther.

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