Why is Italy so underrated for skiing?
What’s the highest mountain in Western Europe? Mont Blanc of course. Nobody answers with Monte Bianco, even though it’s also in Italy. We all know the Matterhorn of Switzerland, not Monte Cervino of Italy, but it’s the same mountain.
If only the Italians had invented Toblerone instead of the Swiss, there’s no way they would have sold off a national icon to Kraft Foods. Plus, we might accept that Italy has epic mountains, not just pizza, opera and the Colosseum.
Okay, that last part is an exaggeration. But Italy is generally known as the destination for history, food, culture and long summer evenings. Not as an incredible winter ski destination.
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Cortina d’Ampezzo is known as the Pearl of the Dolomites, as it’s completely surrounded by big snowy mountains. Giulia Wedam, Sales & Marketing Manager at Faloria Mountain Spa Resort explained the vibe to us.
“In the main street of downtown Cortina you have fashion shops like Moncler, Celine and Louis Vuitton, in between small local shops specialising in cheese and ham. And there is fine dining everywhere.”
Oh yes, Italian food. That’s not just for summer. On the same slopes where the Ski World Cup takes place, you’ll find fine Italian dining. And wine. Cortina d’Amepezzo is located in the Veneto region, the region where Prosecco is made.
This is another reason Italy is so underrated for a skiing holiday – it’s not just skiing. Just imagine five days of skiing, followed by two days of Prosecco tasting in Belluno, then end your holiday with a weekend in Venice or Verona. All without leaving the Veneto region.
“We are located in the Dolomite SuperSki Area, which covers more than 12 different ski resorts” says Giula. “From our property it’s a five-minute shuttle to the Cortina ski centres. It’s also easy to start from a different resort within the Superski area.”
Like France and its Trois Valleys, you can end a day of skiing a long way from where you started.
Faloria was built in the 1950s around the time of the Winter Olympic Games here (you need good snow to host the Olympics). Their restaurant has an almost 360-degree view of the Dolomites, including the legendary Olympic ski jump. Flaviano Capriotti was the architect in charge of Faloria’s recent renovation. He’s famous for designing and directing all the Bulgari Hotels & Resorts, since the birth of the Bulgari brand. At Faloria he has stayed true to tradition and the Dolomites.
“There is a lot of wood, colours from the surrounding environment and details of the alpine flora. He also kept the best of the hotel’s original features. The bathrooms are completely made from Dolomite stone, a very light-coloured granite that causes the mountains to turn pink and rose at sunset.”
All the rooms have mountain views with big windows. The renovated spa features a Finnish sauna, Turkish hammam and near-Olympic-sized pool. After a day’s skiing order an aperol spritz at the bar, this being the region where the drink originates.
December to March are the best months for skiing, although the season does extend until the end of April. Venice is the closest international airport and this makes it very convenient for a twin-destination holiday. Why not combine superb skiing with the Venice Carnival, from February 12th to March 1st 2022?