The seasonality of Cortina

Everything you need to know about the tourist flow in the various periods of the year in Cortina.

Quick index (Click to expand) Introduction January February March April May June July August September October November December Some useful infos Conclusion

Introduction:

Cortina d'Ampezzo is a wonderful location any time of year, but depending on when you visit it, it offers very different experiences: summer and winter seasons are busier, with the periods of Christmas and August being characterized by mass tourism, events, sophistication.

...Cortina offers different experiences, depending from the seasonality...

The other months are quieter, less chaotic and more suitable for sports, relax and to enjoy the peace, surrounded by nature. In this page we want to give you an idea of what to expect, month by month, when you visit Cortina d'Ampezzo, in order to understand which period would be you favourite.

The movida of Cortina in high season
Cortina in high season.
>The relaxing calm of the off-season of Cortina d'Ampezzo
The relaxing calm of the off-season.
Tourists crowd Corso Italia in Cortina d'Ampezzo
Quiet day in Corso Italia.

January:

January calendar January is a bit of an odd month. It goes from the sold-out of the first few days to a more quiet second half of the month.
If you want to see Cortina at the height of its splendor, assuming that you like the crowd, the days between Christmas and the Epiphany are the best for sure. As you can guess, there are some downsides: you'll have to take into account the traffic, the queues at the ski lifts, the high prices of the hotels and the need to book in advance to find a place for almost everything you need, from the facilities, to the accomodation, to the restaurants. On the other hand, it will be possible to experience the most fashionable Cortina possible, with Corso Italia transformed into a kind of a "catwalk".
After the Epiphany the tourism decrease, with more presence of tourists mostly in the weekends.
If you want to visit the Ampezzo valley in January, bring warm clothes: the cold in winter is bitter and the sun, which can be seen only for a few hours, does not warm too much.

February:

February calendar February is the month of the carnival, the sport and of some Italians tradition: the "Ski holidays week". Thanks to the carnival and the "Ski week" there is a good influx of tourists, without the mess of the christmas period.
February is definitely the right month for those who love skiing and winter sports. The days start to lengthen and the sun is shyly beginning to warm the air, but remember: the temperatures are still very low As if that wasn't enough, statistically February is also the month with the lowest chance of precipitation, making it even more ideal for a ski vacation. In this period many sport events take place:

March:

March calendar March is very similar to February, and is also chosen by many tourists for the "Ski week", since the days get longer and there are good chances to have a fairly mild climate, at least if you stay under the sun.
It is a period characterized by ideal conditions for winter sports, there is more influx on weekends, and there's a little less confusion during the week. In the years where spring arrives a earlier, it is possible to find the ski slopes a little too "soft" in the afternoons. In this case we recommend limiting your skiing to the mornings, dedicating the afternoons to hiking or shopping. If you are lucky, you'll be able to see the passage of the WinteRace - Cortina d'Ampezzo, a regularity race for up to 80 historic vintage cars that crosses Cortina and other mountain passes for a total of 400km. It is amazing how some crews bravely face the weather conditions (sometimes not so friendly), especially in cars of a certain age, sometimes even convertibles.

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April:

April calendar April is a month that is deeply conditioned by Easter because usually, at the end of the holidays, some commercial activities and ski resorts begin to close, preparing for the off-season. If Easter comes at the beginning of the month, Cortina is still very popular by skiers and owners of second homes, but if it arrives towards the end of the month, many tourists could prefer to go to the sea.
Rising temperatures could lead to some problems with the snow on the lower altitude slopes, and the high altitude ones suffers from the lack of tourism. Generally the Faloria lifts, try to close on May 1st, when possible, but all the others hardly get that far ahead.
. If you decide to visit Cortina in this period, the weather will be "a surprise": you can find spring-like temperatures, as well as waking up in the morning with 30 centimeters of fresh snow.

May:

Calendario Maggio May is a very quiet month in Cortina. The ski lifts are closed, the snow probably still makes high altitude hiking difficult, but usually it's not enough to practice any kind of ski touring. Residents use this period to take a break and go for a holiday, probably to the sea.
Surely it is a month ideal for those seeking relaxation and solitude, with walks in the woods and bike rides in which you would meet very few people. On the other hand, it will be more difficult to find any accommodation facility available, and many shops will be closed for vacations. Temperatures begin to rise, but remeber to always bring a jacket, because it is not so obvious that the temperature will be warm after the sunset.

June:

Calendario Giugno June is a very quiet month for the same reason as May: the locals moves to the south, probably to the beaches, to recharge their batteries in preparation for the summer season, which starts later in the mountains. However, some events that bring a bit of liveliness to the village takes place. These are mainly running races, or maybe mountain bike races, of which the main one is definitely the Lavaredo Ultra Trail of Cortina.
Real mountain lovers, many of them foreigners, come to Cortina to find less crowded excursions and more reasonable prices, thanks also to the camping sites open. If you are looking for the best time for hiking and climbing, June is definitely the ideal month.
Thanks to the warmth, to the arrival of the first tourists and to the long days, the alpine shelters begin to open, and the whole town get ready for the arrival of the high season. Personally I think it is the most beautiful month to visit Cortina, if you are searching for tranquility, because you can live the mountain in the best way. Temperatures are generally warm, although I suggest you to go out in the evening bringing a light jacket: you probably won't need it, but if you'd need it, you'd regret not having it. June, unfortunately, is also a rather rainy month, especially in the afternoons. If you'd find bad weather during your stay, I suggest you to read the page on what to do in cortina if it rains.

July:

July Calendar July is the month that marks the beginning of the summer season in Cortina. It's not nice to say, but it's the elderly who arrive first, to escape the heat of the city. Continuing with the month, younger tourists begin to flow in greater numbers, also because in the valley the temperatures begins to be really high.
The most popular summer sports are hiking, climbing and cycling. Towards the end of the month it starts to be a good idea to make reservations before going out to eat, as you may start to struggle to find a place in the trendy locations.
The first Sunday of July takes place the Ampezzo country fair, followed by six typical country festivals, one for each weekend, until mid-August. Temperatures start to get really summery, although thunderstorms are always a possibility. If you visit Cortina in the summer and want to do some hiking, I invite you to read the page that we'll create soon on the subject.

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August:

Calendario Agosto August is the main month of the summer season in Cortina. Tourism is at its peak, the accommodations are almost full and "Corso Italia", the pedestrian zone of Cortina, is full of VIPs, tourists and curious people. This period is characterized by a great influx of people, by events, by luxury. From the Cortina country festivals to the "Festa delle Bande" (folkloric music bands festival), without forgetting "una montagna di libri" (where famous authors discuss theyr books, but 99% in italian) to all the other summer events.
It's definitely not the right month for mountain purists, who are looking for peace and who don't want to share the environment with hordes of tourists crowding the mountain paths. In this case, the only solution is to leave very early in the morning, heading for the less busy paths, perhaps with the help of a mountain guide. Temperatures in August are summery, although towards the end of the month it's not uncommon to notice a cool off in the evenings, and you could need to use a light jacket to find the perfect temperature.

September:

Calendario Settembre In September, tranquility returns. As the month progresses the tourists are less and less, but usually the accommodation facilities are still all open, at least until the reopening of the schools. As in the case of June, this is a beautiful period for mountain lovers, as it allows them to live it peacefully, without the confusion of the previous months.
Towards the end of the month the Cortina Delicious Festival is generally organized. It is a trail-running race with some "pit-stops" consisting of traditional Ampezzo dishes and snacks in all the refuges involved. The great thing is that it's not only a race for athletes. There are also many participants that don't want to make any record, but who just want to walk, eat and drink a few glasses in an amazing landscape.
Weather-wise, the temperatures are usually quite pleasant, but it's always better to have a jacket for the evening and a sweater or sweatshirt for the late afternoon.

October:

Calendario Ottobre October is a magical month, both because you can hope for the last warmth and because autumn brings incredible colors to Cortina. In the second part of the month the larches turn golden and the broad-leaved trees slowly turns red and orange.
The walks in the woods are something indescribable, the Giau pass becomes enchanting. I guess you've already figured out that October is my favorite month, especially in the second part, when the magic of autumn begins to happen.
The downsides are that in this period many structures are closed, and temperatures begin to drop. In the morning you'll find the first ice on car windows and the higher peaks may be snowy. Dress well and be prepared to find large temperature swings between day and night, but believe me when I say that coming to Cortina in autumn, to walk in a larch forest or see a mountain pass, is an experience you should do at least once in your life.

November:

Calendario Novembre November, unfortunately, is a rather "sad" month to come to Cortina. At the beginning of the month you can still enjoy the charm of autumn, but as the days go by, the panorama tends to become a bit desolate. Even in case of snow, which is quite likely, the ski lifts don't open before December. It might be possible to go walking, if it's a November where it hasn't snowed, but the low temperatures make it less enjoyable. Snow, on the other hand, is generally not enough nor ideal for ski tours. The days start to get really short. On rainy days it's not unlikely to find Corso Italia completely deserted. Despite everything, some stores and bars are still open so, even if you come to Cortina in November, you'll find something to do, even if you may get bored.

December:

Calendario Dicembre December is the month when the season starts again, the commercial activities open, everything gets ready for the 8th of December, an italian holyday called "Immaculate Conception", when the Fashion Weekend brings a large number of tourists to Cortina.
After the holyday, the town returns almost quiet until the 20th of December, when little by little it reaches the peak of the affluence, of the traffic, of the manifestations and of the sophistication. The snow makes everything magical, but if it hasn't snowed, it's still possible to ski on artificially snow-covered slopes and do some hiking. As in January, you'll have to take into account the traffic, the high prices of accommodations and the need to book in advance to find a place, both in the hotels and in the restaurants.
On the other hand, if you come to Cortina between Christmas and Epiphany, you'll have the opportunity to live in sophistication and luxury, with Corso Italia becomes a "catwalk" where you can show off your most fashionable outfits.
The peak will be on the evening of New Year's Eve, where finding a free place, without having booked in advance, could be a "mission impossible". If you have no alternative or you spontaneously decide to celebrate along Corso Italia, here are a couple of tips:

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Some useful information:

As you've probably already understand, I always recommend calling before going to some place or using some service. It's always a good idea to make a phone call: in high season it allows you to book a table or a service, while in the off-season it allows to make sure that the place is open and accessible. Mid-seasons guarantee the ideal situation, but calling ahead is always recommended, because you never know.

Piazza Dibona of Cortina in high season
Piazza Dibona in high season.
overview of the center of Cortina d'Ampezzo in low season
The center of Cortina in low season.
Piazza Dibona and the bell tower in winter season
Winter overview of the Campanile.

If you want to go skiing or on a trip, I recommend leaving early. Parking your car at 8:30 a.m. provides almost guaranteed parking, both on the ski slopes and in the spaces reserved for hikers. Leave the late wake-up call to bad weather days, and in that case try to walk to move. One of the unsolved problems of Cortina are the parking lots, always too few compared to the needs of the high season, especially at peak periods. Take a walk if you can, it's good for your health and save you some stress for parking.

If you want to have some information about parking in Cortina, which are one of the critical points of this beautiful resort, we invite you to visit the page where we have listed and described all the parking lots in Cortina, free and payment.

Conclusion:

This article is only a part of a larger information project, so I recommend you to also read the articles on what to do in Cortina in summer and what to do in Ampezzo in winter. If you have found bad weather, I recommend the page on what to do in Cortina in case of rain. Hoping that you liked this article about the monthly touristic flow in Cortina d'ampezzo, before saying goodbye, we remind you that you can read all the other articles we have written about Cortina d'Ampezzo by clicking here.

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