Cortina d'Ampezzo is a wonderful town but, like every other place, sometimes there's the risk of rain. Fortunately, on the contrary of the seaside resorts, where in case of bad weather everything becomes depressing, the mountain environment makes the gloomy days more pleasant. Going to the bar for a warm drink or an aperitif, it rains outside, has a special charm in Cortina.
...the mountain environment makes gloomy days more pleasant...
Surely it's not the best to be on vacation under the rain, but there are still some interesting and funny things to do, in the next chapters we'll see some. If you feel that we forgot any advice, don't hesitate to contact us: new ideas and suggestions are always welcome.(1) The Basilica of Cortina. (2) Corso Italia, almost deserted on a rainy day. (3) A walk on Corso Italia under the rain.
First of all, it's important to say that the weather in Cortina is very much influenced by the seasons. In some periods of the year, luckily those in which there is less affluence, the climate is rainier. During the most crowded periods, the climate is definitely better. The absolute least rainy month is February.
In peak season there are more activities that can be done on rainy days, because everything's open, while in low season many places may be closed.
This is due to the fact that the tourist presence, in certain months, is almost non-existent. Several activities prefer to close rather than pay fixed costs without
the prospect of making at least some money. However, try not to despair, there is always something to do and there are several places open all year.
If you are interested in better understanding the dynamics of tourism in Cortina, don't forget to read the article about tourism seasonality in Cortina throughout the year.
At the risk of sounding trivial, the first thing to do when it rains in Cortina is a tour of the shops. Considering that the bad weather is forcing you to stay at home or in the hotel, you'll probably find time for the purchases you haven't managed to do yet. Think about buying the padded sock or the new shoe, the technical item or the product that would have come useful but you're still missing. Another plus is that you're not in a hurry, so you can take your time to take a look at many shelves for the best price or some inspiration. The stores are almost all concentrated in the area of Corso Italia, so an umbrella will be enough to keep you dry. You can read more about what to see in Corso Italia in this article.(1) Waiting for the Cooperative to open. (2) The clothing department. (3) Guerresco showcase in the rain.
The Eden cinema or the Alexander Hall
Although not comparable to the big multiplexes of large metropolises, there is a small cinema in Cortina as well. Going down the stairs in front of the Bar Sport you'll find, on your right, the entrance of the Cinema Teatro Eden, a theater with one screen and 280 seats where you can watch a good movie. At the moment the Eden cinema of Cortina is under renovation, so the screenings take place in the Alexander Girardi Hall. If you are reading this probably you speak English so you won't understand Italian, but there's good news: in some cases films are also broadcast in the original language, but unfortunately this doesn't happen often.
In certain periods of the year the cinema is converted to a conference hall, or there are talks with the projection of short films, so it's better to check the programming.
You can see the movies scheduled on the billboard near the entrance door of the cinema and on the bulletin board displayed on the Old town hall of Cortina, near the bell tower. You can also check on the website of Se. Am. of Cortina, that unfortunately is in italian. The section of the cinema has not been translated, because it would be almost useless. If you are lucky you might find a movie in english or some interesting short films about the mountain, that would be a good way to spend a couple of hours in the dry. Before concluding this chapter you need to know that the seats are not bookable, so it's best to get in a little early to take your favourite seat.
A visit to the museums of the "Regole"
Even though they are not well advertised, there are three very interesting museums in Cortina. If you want to have detailed information about the museums of the Regole d'Ampezzo, we suggest you read our in-depth analysis by clicking here, otherwise continue below for a summary.
Inside the halls of the "Ciasa de Ra Regoles" you can visit the Museum of Modern Art Mario Rimoldi, one of the most important private collections of modern art in Italy. On display there are works by artists such as De Chirico, Morandi, Martini and Rotella, donated to the "Regole of Ampezzo" in 1974 by the widow of Mario Rimoldi, a well-known art collector and patron of the arts from Cortina.
At a little distance from the center, you can reach the Multipurpose Center Alexander Girardi Hall, where there are the other two museums: the Ethnographic Museum "Regole d'Ampezzo" and the Paleontological Museum "Rinaldo Zardini".
The first is an exhibition space that shows handicraft objects, ancient Ampezzo clothes and other artifacts of the history of Cortina. It also tells the origin of the "Regole d'Ampezzo", an old institution for the protection of the territory. This is a very interesting exhibition for those who want to learn more about Ampezzo culture and life in the mountains in the past.
The second is a museum dedicated to Rinaldo Zardini, a famous Ampezzo paleontologist known for having discovered thousands of fossils in the Cassian stratums around Cortina. The collection is one of the most complete in Europe and also includes some specimens of amber millions of years old. Not everyone knows that Cortina is a very interesting area from the paleontological point of view. Under the Tofane mountains have been discovered the most ancient invertebrates preserved in amber in the world over 230 million years old. This discovery was really very important for geologists around the world, because it's almost 100 million years older than any other find of invertebrate preserved in amber.(1) The Rimoldi Art Gallery in Cortina. (2) Paleontological Museum Zardini. (3) The museum of the Regole d'Ampezzo.
Treat yourself to a sweetness
When the sky is gray and the air is cold, maybe the best way to warm your heart is a slice of cake with hot chocolate. The pastry shops of Cortina are many and excellent, for example
Lovat or patisserie
but if I may make a suggestion, I personally think that
pastry shop Alverà
is a place that you have to visit absolutely, with a selection of monoportions and mignon that will make you dream.
If you have a car, an alternative is the pastry shop Fiori in San Vito di Cadore, a village about 15 kilometers from Cortina. Fiori pastry shop is one of the best reviewed bakeries in the area. Personally, I stop by at least a couple of times a year to eat the hot krapfen with nutella which, I assure you, alone is worth the trip (even in the rain).
Warm up with a drink
If a slice of cake warms the heart, imagine what a good glass of mulled wine can do. When the weather doesn't help, a glass of wine in company could also be a good pastime. Don't forget that you're on vacation, if you want, you can break some rules... Whether you are at the restaurant, at home or at the bar, I suggest you look out the window and, while you are thinking about the programs ruined by bad weather, instead of getting caught up in the melancholy, take advantage of the opportunity to have some fun. It's not a secret: mountain people sometimes indulge in the pleasures of alcohol, so you will find in Cortina enough bars to satisfy your desire to be distracted. And if the weather forecast says that tomorrow will also be rainy, then you are allowed to have as many drinks as you want (have fun responsibly).(1) The Aperol spritz, italian aperitiv. (2) Gin Tonic, mountain cocktail. (3) Red wine, strictly from the Veneto region.
Go to the restaurant
As you may have guessed, we consider bad weather a good opportunity to devote ourselves to the care of the spirit (the care of the body will be considered at the end of the vacations, or when the sun shines). A nice meal at the restaurant is a good option to spend some pleasant hours despite the rain. The restaurants in Cortina are many, and the quality bar is really high, it's hard to choose wrong. Whether it is a pizza, a traditional dish or the cuisine of a great Michelin-starred chef. If you want to know all we have to say about eating in Cortina, here you can read our article.(1) A second course at Pianozes Restaurant. (2) An appetizer from Baita Fraina. (3) A second dish of Piè Tofana.
In Cortina there are several indoor sports facilities. If you like ice skating I invite you to visit the
Olympic Ice Stadium,
where it is possible to find a skating rink of 30x60 meters covered and refrigerated with the possibility of being followed by a skating instructor.
Alternatively, near the stadium, there is the Indoor climbing wall Lino Lacedelli, an indoor climbing boulder with over 80 routes from 3B to 8B+ with 30 meters of width and a maximum height of 24 meters.
If you want to play tennis there is an indoor court, usually quite popular, at the Tennis Country Club Cortina. At the moment Cortina lacks a good swimming pool, but it seems that the institutions are evaluating the requalification of the historical swimming pool of Guargné, currently out of use. We'll update the page as soon as we know something precise.
Before visiting any of the listed structures, I always suggest you to call them, to verify the actual opening and the availability.
Saunas and Spas
In Cortina the swimming pool is a lack that hurts, but in compensation some saunas and wellness centers are inside hotels, but generally accessible to the public. Among those that come to mind, in absolutely random order, we want to mention the Dolomiti lodge, the Hotel Faloria, the Hotel Rosapetra, the Hotel Columbia and the Hotel Bellevue, and we don't want to forget the most prestigious Ultimate SPA of the hotel Cristallo, a prestigious 5-star luxury hotel.
If you want to enjoy the sauna experience in a dedicated environment, not attached to a hotel, you must take the car and drive a few kilometers north. The sauna culture is in fact much more rooted in Alta Pusteria, but remember, in these spas and saunas you must enter without a bathing suit. The facilities are many and very beautiful, we would like to recommend, among the others, the sauna in the Caravan Park Sexten or the Cron4 Hallenbad & Sauna Bruneck. Alternatively, there's also a wellness facility in Borca di Cadore, the Corte Spa. Before visiting any of the structures listed, we strongly recommend that you call to check the actual opening, availability and possibly book.
As you can see, the options offered by Cortina in case of bad weather are many. Unfortunately, it is a well-known fact that "the weather is unbearable", so if you find rain during your vacations, all you have to do is to have holy patience and find something to do.
If none of the above suggested activities are for you, you may consider buying a good book or spending some time doing those little jobs you never have time for, such as fixing your sports equipment, cleaning and waterproofing your shoes, giving your bike or skis a check-up and hoping the weather changes for the better.
To avoid the article about what to do in Cortina to be too long, we divided it into different pages. In this article we described what to do in Cortina if it rains, but don't forget to also read what to do in Cortina in Summer and what to do in Cortina in winter.
Hoping you liked the page on things to do in Cortina d'Ampezzo if it rains, before saying goodbye, we would suggest you to read other articles we wrote about Cortina d'Ampezzo by clicking here.
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