Our younger selves would cringe if they could see how we have grown to embrace the more refined aspects of mountain culture as we have aged (certainly not matured!). We have always had a thing for mountain towns and years lived in Jackson, Wyoming only cemented the passion. Times change, and we have mellowed. We no longer feel the need to always be first in the tram on a big day. We don’t cry foul when a line we have had our eye on for ages, is poached from beneath our noses. We haven’t gone completely soft though. We still enjoy off piste excursions and bottomless powder in that magic land beyond the boundary rope. We have just learned to embrace the beautiful rhythm of making fast, swooping GS turns on impeccably groomed corduroy. Throw in a wine filled Alpine lunch, the staggeringly beautiful scenery of the Dolomites, and a lifestyle that the Italians do oh so well and we are yours.
What once was anathema to us has become a love. Dare we say out loud we have come to embrace groomers and apres ski life? Sleep late. No need to grab that first tram. Lunch doesn’t have to be a Power Bar, gnawed hastily against the wind. Sit in the sun, chat, imbide in all the good things that life has to offer. We are about the complete experience. We have found the sunny side of the street.
We are obviously quite fond of Northern Italy. Yes, its where we make our perfect shirts but let us run something by you. Imagine, sitting in Harry’s Bar in Venice enjoying your grilled cheese and Prosecco (Hemingway and Welles would be proud). In less than two hours time you can be standing beneath Cortina d’Ampezzo’s famous green and white bell tower, the beautiful Cinque Torre to the South, watching as the lights come on and the Piazza Venezia fills up with the well shod apres ski crowd.
Cortina is the type of place that we seem to gravitate towards. It’s a bit of a luxurious anachronism. The 1956 Winter Olympics probably found the resort at it’s heyday. Iffy snowfall and a woefully slow lift system (a bane until recent years) relegated the town to a bit of a skiing backwater. A backwater where rusty Fiats sit across the street from red Ferraris, where ski runs have mirrors at the base, and where society women of Rome and Venice pay heed to “La Bella Figura” as they browse the luxury shops while waiting for a table at any number of Michelin starred restaurants (you really owe it to yourself to tryEl Toula just outside of town). Cortina is St. Moritz or Verbier without the inconvenient presence of foreigners. It’s decidedly Italian and all the better so for it.
We are big on watching, on observing people and the nighly passeggiata doesn’t let us down. We feel woefully underdressed in our Arcteryx and Patagonia gear but are quite certain we won’t be making the leap to wearing fur. It’s the overall experience we seek and all of our senses are satisfied and coddled on a daily basis yet nothing prepares us for the colours in the landscape. In all mountain towns there is that magic moment in late afternoon or early evening when Alpenglow falls across the peaks and the world is indeed seen through rose coloured lenses. The pinks and reds of Cortina’s falling dusk take things to an absurdly different level. The colours seem somehow more real, more visceral, and of deeper hues. A magic in the air that would sum up the very soul of the place.
We came here to ski but as in all that we do we walked away with so much more. Constantly building upon our repository of experiences that guide all that we are and all that we offer you.