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giovedì 10 novembre 2011

Let's meet in Cortina d'Ampezzo this winter

Aahh the mountains : the fresh air, the snow , the beauty of the nature, the walks in the woods ... Well as a Neapolitan born and raised in front of the sea I have to admit that sea, sand and coast remains my preferance . Curiously enough I spent all my childhood and teeneage years winter holidays in the mountains skiing and doing all the things you do when you go there, but when I moved to Milan I stopped going even if I was geographically closer to the Alps and the Dolomites. For some reason the mountains did not do it for me anymore but when one of my closest friends of all times who has been living in the States for many years, who I used to see regularly when I was living in NYC, told me earlier this year he was coming to Italy in his hometown the famous and tres chic Cortina D'Ampezzo I simply had to go and boy did I do the right thing! I had never been before and heard of many people who regularly went in the winter and sometimes also in the summer and loved it. Apart from the pleasure of seeing my friend after so many years I discovered a wonderful place. I didn't stay there for long but fortunately enough to get a good taste of it and the will to go back soon. The good recipe for me was "when in Rome do as the Romans by being with them " and that's why my experience was twice as interesting. When taken around by a Cortinian (I'm not even sure this word actually exists, I have probably made it up but it will do anyway) you get a completely different overlook and do the things they do. I was staying in a very nice hotel called Hotel Villa Alpina Villa Alpina , a lovely bed and breakfast where my friend and his family arranged for me to stay in on the main road: the famous Via Roma where everybody takes a stroll. In the morning all my friends went skiing (my friend and his brother were ski teachers) but I did not join them because of my damn back so I took the time to walk around and enjoy the amenities the place had to offer. Cortina is a little jewel surrounded by the mountains, that you can see from the main street. In the morning is even better to walk around since everybody is skiing so it's not crowded. People are all elegant and well dressed ( a little too much fur for my taste: I actually would prefer no fur at all). For lunch I took the cable car funivia and went to Col Drusciè a vey nice refuge on the slopes where to eat and sunbathe surrounded by a beautiful landascape.
Col Drusciè
In the evening we went to a very nice refuge out of town called Rifugio Larin. It's ten km away from Cortina up on a very bendy road up on the mountains . It's very nice drive especially when all around there's snow although mountain roads have a dreadful effect on me and my stomach. The place is in the same style . Wooden tables and mountain inspired furniture. The food also is mountain food: very rich and a little heavy but very good. Especially home made spinach or pumpkin gnocchetti and grilled local cheese. Of course for meat eaters there is a wide range of game with or without polenta. Larin.
Rifugio Larin
The next day we went to the Cinque torri: a wonderful ksy slope surrounded by five tower-like mountains. That was the time I actually cursed by back for preventing me to ski ... We had another nice lunch (it looks like I didn't do anything else but eat in this trip while the other ones were active and went skiing) and a great chat and then it was for me to go so while they were going down on the slopes skiing beautifully I headed home by taking a lift with my fiends' cousin . I was really sorry having to leave so soon : I would have stayed for many more days: the company was exquisite, the landscape breathtaking, the air so pure and inebriating, made me wanna say ahhhhh the mountains...
View from the way down from Cinque Torri
Cinque Torri