Cortina d'Ampezzo

Cortina d'Ampezzo

Cortina d'Ampezzo is a town and comune in the southern (Dolomitic) Alps located in Veneto, a region in Northern Italy. Located in the heart of the Dolomites in an alpine valley, it is a popular winter sport resort known for its ski-ranges, scenery, accommodations, shops and après-ski scene. After the scheduled 1944 Winter Olympics had been cancelled because of the Second World War, it hosted the 1956 Winter Olympics as well as various world cup events and motion pictures. Much of 1963 classic The Pink Panther, the progenitor of the series, was filmed in Cortina. One of the memorable James Bond stunt sequences in 1981's For Your Eyes Only, gunners on spike-wheeled motorcycles chasing Roger Moore on skis, was filmed on its slopes, as were several scenes in the film Cliffhanger. It is also known for its jet set and European aristocracy crowd.
Cortina is situated more or less to the centre of the Ampezzana valley, encircled nearly completely by the high Dolomites. Originally it was composed of numerous frazioni, isolated villages and hamlets, but with the advent of the tourism from the 1950s it grew rapidly. Only the furthest villages and hamlets in the commune have remained secluded and isolated from the main town, which today is known for its shopping. Cortina is home to some of the most prestigious names in fashion, including Bulgari, Benetton, Gucci and Geox, and various artisan shops, antiquarians, and craft stores. It is also home to many stores which specialize in mountaineering equipment.
However, the symbol of Cortinese shopping remains La Cooperativa di Cortina, founded on June 28, 1893 under the name of Consumverein Ampezzo. In this shopping centre many trades can be found, from confectioners to newspaper vendors, toys, gift shops, skiing stores and blacksmiths. The building is divided into three levels (more a raised plan and a balcony). The cooperative in Cortina was one of the first cooperatives founded in the Italian Peninsula, and currently provides employment to approximately 200 people. Near the bridge on the Bigontina River is the Town Hall, a palace in the Tirolese style. Piazza Venezia houses several popular spots. The Ciasa de ra Regoles is one of the more important legal buildings in Cortina, where the "regolieri" — a council for the local villages that stood before the town merged — trained the community and gave administrative orders. In the same building today is also found the office of the Scuola Sci Cortina, Cortina's skiing school.

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