Walk in Cortina: to Lake Pianozes from the town center

An easy hike for everyone, to lake Pianozes, from the center of Cortina d'Ampezzo, along the white road known as the former powder road, also known as convent road, going back along the former railway.

Overview

Starting point: Center of Cortina
Destination: Lake Pianozes
Total length: 8.5 km (5.3 mi)
Height gain: 200 m (656 ft)
Round trip: About 2 hour

Map

Map of the hike

Introduction

On this page we will describe a pleasant walk surrounded by greenery. The starting point is the The center of Cortina and the destination is Lake Pianozes. The return is along the former railway, taken at the district of Zuel.

Lake Pianozes at Cortina d'Ampezzo and the restaurant

This walk can be found on the Tabacco Map 003 "Cortina d'Ampezzo e Dolomiti Ampezzane" and goes along the road called "Convento," then Path 432 and finally Path 449. Alternatively, you can see our route on Google Maps by clicking here .

Tabacco 1:25.000 Map 003

It is a simple walk, but the length of almost nine kilometers, five miles and a half, makes it not ideal for the elderly or small children, who might get tired. You can shorten it a lot by just doing the first part, the road of the "Convento" is very beautiful, and you can turn around to go back at any time.

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Path of the walk

The walk to Lake Pianozes starts at the foot of the bell tower . Walk in the direction of bar Lovat and head towards the big yellow house, with the writings "Corazza - Ampezzo" on the walls. Do you want to know a thing? It is one of the oldest houses in all of Cortina.

Corazza house in Corso Italia

Once there, follow the porphyry road at the right of the tiny church, in the direction of the Church of the "Difesa."

The road that leads from the Campanile di Cortina to the Chiesa della Difesa

At the church turn right and walk along the cemetery walls, until you reach the parking lot OF "Via del Parco," where a wooden table will show you the starting point of the road known as "Convento." It is easily recognisable because it's the only downhill road.

The tree-lined avenue that leads from the Via del Parco car park to the Boite River

Once crossed the wooden bridge over the Boite River, you will have to face a short but intense climb, at the top of which there are some of the most beautiful meadows in Cortina.

The bridge that crosses the Boite river

From here the panorama opens up in all directions, offering an astonishing view of Cortina, Zuel and the mountains "Faloria," "Antelao," "Tofane," and "Pomagagnon."

A glimpse of the convent road

Here you can rest on one of the benches available, or you can sit on the grass. If you see that the lawns have been recently mowed, it could also be a beautiful place to organize a picnic.

The descent towards Campo

The road continues for a few hundred meters, until the small district of "Campo di Sopra." The name, in Italian, means "upper field," and it comes from the big meadows of the area.

The descent towards Campo

After a few steps in the village, on your right, you will see a small church, it is called "Chiesetta di San Candido." This little chapel was built in 1740, to commemorate a fire that had destroyed the district of "Campo" in 1712.

The San Candido small church, at Campo

The church was rebuilt in 1928, after being almost completely destroyed by a fire in 1916. If you are interested you may want to stop and look at the beautiful wooden altar, carved in 1549 by Michael Parth.

For those interested in more information, inside the church, there are some beautiful brochures about the history of the church and its artworks.

The interiors of the chapel of San Candido, in Cortina

Proceed south until you reach the intersection with the main road, where you'll go right, in the direction of "Campo di sotto" and "Pianozes." It may be useful to memorize this intersection, for the way back, if you decide to shorten the walk avoiding the detour towards Zuel.

The road towards Lago Pianozes, in the direction of the Campo crossroads

At the end of the straight, when the road turns left, proceed straight in the direction of the wood. After a few meters, on the left, take the small bridge to Lake Pianozes. Get ready to face about 200 meters of steep slope, at the end of which you will find a cross. Take the left and, after a few meters, this beautiful alpine lake will appear.

The steep climb towards Lago Pianozes

At Lake Pianozes you can eat at the restaurant of the same name, it is quite prestigious and with prices that are not exactly popular. During summer, in peak season, a small kiosk is also available, where you can eat a sandwich, drink something or enjoy an ice cream. Approximately it's open from the mid of July to the beginning of September, the restaurant opens for longer periods.

Lake Pianozes in Cortina d'Ampezzo with the restaurant of the same name

After relaxing on the shores of Lake Pianozes, you have to decide how to continue your walk. The shorter way to go back to the center of Cortina is returning by the same road you took to arrive here.

However, we want to offer you an alternative way, a little longer, but very fascinating. Go back along the same road, at the bridge turn right, once you reach the electrical tower and the bus stop, which you can see in the photo below, turn right at the crossroad.

The bus stop of Campo

Take the asphalt road in the direction of Zuel. Along this straight you can enjoy a beautiful panorama of Mount Faloria and the vast meadows of Campo.

Road that leads from Campo di Sotto to Zuel

Follow the asphalt road, you will pass next to a camping area, across a bridge and, finally, you will face a not too demanding climb.

The last climb of our walk from Zuel to Pianozes

Once at the top of the climb you may want to take a close look at the feet of the Olympic Ski Jumping Trampoline , vestiges of the 1956 Cortina Olympics. To reach it, turn right and continue along the uphill road, the one that enters the woods. The duration of this detour should be twenty minutes, adding the time to look at the trampoline and the beautiful panorama on the side of the jump. Currently the area is a bit neglected, but it still has a certain charm.

Now you can go back to Zuel, after arriving at the first houses you will see an asphalt road that cuts horizontally. You can recognize it by the signpost "Pista Ciclabile," which means "bike path," but it's open to pedestrians too. You have to take it, turning left

In about thirty minutes, along the route of the former railway of Cortina, you'll reach the center of Cortina. If you need to rest, along the path, you will see some benches where you can take a break, with a splendid view of the Tofane.

The road of the former railway from Zuel in the direction of Cortina

Proceed until you walk on the high bridge over the road, near the Faloria Cable Car, then take the road that goes down to the left, to go back to the bell tower of Cortina, the starting point of our walk from the center to Lake Pianozes.

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Curiosities

Lake Pianozes is a small artificial lake created for tourist purposes. The restaurant is owned by the "Regole d'Ampezzo" and is given to management according to a ranking.

In 2019 the "Regole d'Ampezzo" carried out several works to improve the Pianozes area, consolidating the access road and expanding the restaurant. As a result of these interventions, the shores of the lake have been made accessible to people with disabilities and the peninsula has been expanded to host the kiosk.

If you want to walk more, once you arrive at Lake Pianozes, you could take a short but demanding walk to Lake Ajal. We talked about this hike, which will take you about two hours, on the following page:

From Lake Pianozes to Lake d'Ajal
From Pianozes to Lake Ajal A short but intense hike to see two beautiful alpine lakes: Lake Pianozes and Lake Ajal. 2h 00' - 4,5 km - Intermediate

The road "Convento" is also known as the former powder magazine road. The name comes from an old gunpowder magazine that was used for the construction of tunnels, it was built by the municipality of Cortina d'Ampezzo in 1859. The small building was renovated in 2009, a few years later we took the picture you can see below. If you decide to visit it you'll have to pass through a narrow path, unattractive and difficult to see, which runs alongside the fence of the vet's courtyard. Currently the area is not at its best, but it's a gem known by few, if you love niche things.

The former powder magazine that gives its name to the street

As you cross the large meadows of Campo, you may see Hotel Tiziano in the distance, which has been closed for several years. Many people don't know that the hotel was named so for a very specific reason. There is a theory that claims that the famous italian painter Tiziano Vecellio was not born in Pieve di Cadore, but rather in Cortina d'Ampezzo, in the locality of Campo, as we can read in this article written, in Italian, by venetostoria.com . It has been written by the famous historian Mario Ferruccio Belli. Is it true? Sincerely we don't want to enter into the merits of the discussion, we only want to tell you what we think is an interesting anecdote.

Without wishing to consider this thing neither a reason for pride nor a reason for shame, but only an historical event, Cortina was very important during the fascist period. Here the Savoy family came as guests, as well as Mussolini's daughter, Edda. In the Campo area, in 1934, took place the "Campo Mussolini," a summer camp where they were hosted three hundred young "sons of Italians abroad," as you can see in this YouTube video of the "Istituto Luce," a powerful propaganda tool of the fascist regime.

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How to get there

This walk starts in the center of Cortina, so you shouldn't have any problem getting there. The only advice we can give you is to try to move on foot as much as possible, as parking in the center could be a more difficult mission than you might think. If you want to take the car, you may want to read the page we wrote about all the parking lots in Cortina:

Parking lot in Cortina
Where to park in Cortina Valuable tips for parking your car. A complete list and map of all the car parks in Cortina. Reading time: 7 min

For any doubts you may have, you can consult the Tourist Information Office in the center of Cortina.

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Useful information

The walk to Lake Pianozes can be done at any time of the year, even in winter, as the roads are normally cleared by the snow. Consider that, along the road "Convento," in winter, it is recommended to use appropriate footwear for walking on snow.

Even if this is an easy walk, when you go hiking, you should always use comfortable shoes and bring a backpack with some water, a snack and a rain jacket. If you are not used to mountain hikes, before venturing, we recommend you read the page below:

Walking in the mountains safely
Safety tips for hikers Tips for safely going hiking in the mountains and prepare your backpack with all you need. Reading time: 8 min

We want to emphasize that, in the Dolomites, there are rules to be followed. The main ones are:

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Conclusion

We hope you liked this page about the walk from the center of Cortina to Lake Pianozes. Before saying goodbye, we would like to mention that you can find other amazing hikes in Cortina and its surroundings by clicking hereInternal link .

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