In this page we are going to describe a panoramic walk in Cortina d'Ampezzo that will allow you to walk around the shores of the Pianozes Lake. The walk starts from the district of Zuel, from where we will head to Pian da Lago. We will then cross the woods that leads to the Pianozes Lake, and then we'll continue on asphalt roads to "Campo" and finally back to "Zuel". This walk is strongly inspired by the famous running race El Siro de Pianozes, (the loop of Pianozes) of which it retraces a good part of the route. This is an easy walk, suitable for everyone, even untrained people and children. Even though the ramble is easy, we recommend that you wear adequate clothing, starting with your shoes, which must be comfortable. Always bring with you a backpack with at least some water, a snack and a jacket for the rain.
To reach Zuel, the starting and ending point of our walk, is possible:
- Take bus n°2 from the center of Cortina, you can find more info at the ticket office at the Bus Station.
- Use the car. In this case you can park at the Trampolino Italia of Zuel or at the soccer field of Zuel.
- Reach Zuel walking, following the route of the former railway. If your intention is to start from the center of Cortina, the walk will take about 30 minutes more. In this case, however, we suggest you read this other page, where we describe the variant of the former powder magazine, which is really very beautiful.
The walk begins in the central area of the district of Zuel. From here we'll head to the Zuel football pitch, which is located on the landing strip of the olympic ski jump trampoline. From here we need to proceed towards the unromantic industrial area of Pian da Lago along the paved road. When you find the parking of the first industrial building, continue straight along the gravel road. Walk along the sheds until you reach a large intersection, identifiable by the sign indicating the direction of Socol. We are aware that the walk may be quite shabby for now, but continue confidently to the bridge that crosses the River Boite. Once you reach the wooden signboard, follow the path 449 towards "Lago de Pianozes" (Pianozes Lake).(1) From Zuel to Pian da Lago. (2) Bridge over the Boite in Socol. (3) The signoboard to "Lago de Pianozes".
Now you have to face a short climb that will take you to a panoramic point, from which it is possible to clearly see the mount Tofana, the Boite river and the rear side of the Zuel ski jump hill. Continue along the road, being careful to follow the most beaten path, as you may cross some forest minor roads that could confuse you. When you walk in Cortina you may come across some not marked intersections. In this case it's always a good idea to follow the most trodden road, as what appear to be shortcuts could turn out to be hunting trails or roads for mechanical timber cutting machines. In any case, you can use the navigator or our GPX track to be sure.
We will now face a simple climb and an easy descent, then we'll cross a wooden bridge. Immediately after you'll see, on your left, two benches with a table and a strange wooden column containing books. This nice project was born from the collaboration between the students of the Artistic school of Cortina, the "Regole d'Ampezzo" and the Ulda (Union of the Ladini of Ampezzo). It is the Librasción, a fusion between the words Libro (Book) and Brasción (tree, in dialect). It is a "bookshop" in the woods, where you can read a book surrounded by nature. The concept is the same as for book crossing, so you can bring your own books to add to the collection and pick up one of them if you like it.(1) Panorama on mount Tofana. (2) The relax of a road in the woods. (3) The Librasción.
Continuing a few more minutes you will reach the Pianozes Lake, a suggestive mountain lake. On its shores there is the homonymous restaurant. If you want to stop, in the high season, you can eat an ice cream or have a drink at the kiosk. If you want to eat you can go to the restaurant, which is of excellent quality. Consider that the prices are in line with the quality of the products that are first choice. In my case it was the end of October, so both the restaurant and the kiosk were closed. I recommend walking around the lake before continuing along the asphalted descent that will take you to Campo di Sotto. Once down, at the intersection, you have to turn right two times, walking along the lawn that will bring you to Zuel. It is a nice paved road from which you can enjoy a beautiful view of Mount Faloria.
If you don't want to walk too much, and you are in the right hour, you can do this last trait with the bus. The stop is located on the Electricity tower, shortly after the end of the descent from Lake Pianozes.
Once you reach the bridge over the River Boite, the last climb awaits you, before reaching the village of Zuel. Once here you can reach your vehicle or take a quick visit to The ski jump trampoline Italia, vestige of the 1956 Cortina Olympics. Today is a little shabby, but it's always fascinating. To reach it you will have to go up the road you find on the right. If you have any doubts, click on its name, the map will open to make everything clearer.(1) The bus stop. (2) Road that leads from Campo di Sotto to Zuel. (3) The last climb of our walk.
On the square of the trampoline every August the Zuel Country Festival is celebrated, a traditional village festival where you can drink, eat and have fun.
The Lake Pianozesit was created artificially, for tourism purposes. The restaurant is managed by the Regole of Ampezzo and is currently managed by Massimo Alberti. In 2019 the Regole of Ampezzo improved the access road and expanded the restaurant. The shores of the lake have also been made accessible to people with disabilities and the peninsula has been enlarged, and a kiosk that serves sandwiches, toast and cold drinks has also been added.
Hoping that you liked this page on the walk of the loop of Pianozes, before saying goodbye, we remind you that you can read all the other hike paths we recommend you to do in Cortina, or alternatively read all the other pages we have written about Cortina d'Ampezzo and its surroundings.
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