April 10, 2016

Cortina and Venice - pasqua

We spent our Easter holiday skiing in Cortina d’Ampezzo, and visiting Venice.

Prior to our departure, we wondered whether or not Easter would be 'high season' in Cortina. Indeed it was! We had not pre-booked a hotel except for the first night. But luckily they managed to squeeze us in for the four nights at Hotel MeubleVilla Neve.

The hotel has a great atmosphere. Everyone working here is sweet, and made us feel very welcome. Located in the center of town, close to the ski lift (funivia) for one of the skiing areas, plus the ski-bus to the other skiing areas was right outside the hotel.

Skiing in the Dolomites

Rifugio at Cristallo skiing area (Tofano)

Funicular/funivia, at Faloria

Easter egg - Cortina style

Taking a break in the sun
Cortina town
Cortina is a good size town compared to many other alpine towns. A wide pedestrian street runs through the town center. It is lined with expensive shops. At night, the main street was crowded with Italians doing their stroll (passagiata), people waching and showing off their outfits.

We ended up eating at the same restaurant every night because we enjoyed it so much. RistoranteAriston Bar – it was also very popular among the locals. 

Rifugio Faloria

Skiing at Faloria
From Cortina town you can access two different skiing-areas. They are not linked, so you have to make a choice between the Faloria and Tofana area. We spent two days in Faloria and one day in Tofana. We found the Faloria to be the most fun. It has a good variety of pistes and some nice restaurants to stop for drinks and lunch.

The Tofana area has a spectacular ride to the top of Tofana at 3224 m. The funicular is in itself a sizzling ride. When you get to the top, the view is panoramic. ForcellaRossa 

Although it is extremely steep, you can actually ski from the top of Tofana. But this is truly an expert piste - as black as it gets (which is stated on a sign at the top of the piste). When we reached the bottom, we felt a great sense of achievement. I would not recommend doing the piste unless you are a skilled skier.
At the top of the funicular at Tofana, 3224 m

View from Tofana
After three days skiing in Cortina, we drove to the airport, delievered our rental car, and took the bus into Venice. It was our first visit to Venice, and unfortunately we only had one day and night to spend. But we will defenetly be back to this unique and special town in the future. 

We spent our time walking all over the city, and taking the Vaparetto (water bus) on canal grande. It was such a treat to stroll the pedestrian streets along the canals, crossing the narrow bridges. 

Especially in the early morning, you can experience how the canals functions as transportation roads in this town. All kinds of goods, people, garbage etc. are transported on the deck of small freighters; substituting commercial vehicles.

Venice is for sweethearts
Canals and gondolas - icons of Venezia

Great B&B in Cannaregio
We chose to stay at the B&B Antico Portego in Cannaregio (booked it through booking.com), and were extremely happy about our accomodation and the neighbourhood. The hotel goes straight into my list of favorite hotels - it was not expensive either.

The Antico Portego is a beautifully restored old Venetian home, furnished with antiques, and has tall ceilings with frescos. The proprietor was most welcoming, and she told us about the restoration of the building. Our room was large, and the common rooms are very unique. The hotel is a short walk from the train station at S. Lucia.

Restaurant recommendation
We had lunch at: Osti Contemporanei, Campo S. Silvestro, San Polo, Venezia. Phone: 3356303918. It is rustique and contemporarily decorated. Cool atmosphere - not touristy. Great food, of course.

Gondola parking, Canal Grande

Gondoliers on a break

Foggy morning

Calm waters