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Slow-snow zones for the dolce vita in Cortina d'Ampezzo

First it was slow-food...and now the latest trend on the slopes is slow-snow.

First it was slow-food...and now the latest trend on the slopes is slow-snow. Well, slow skiing anyway.

Cortina d'Ampezzo is one of the first resorts in Europe to designate an area for relaxed, chilled-out skiing as part of the slow-life movement. It's all about taking things a bit easier and actually appreciating the mountains, stopping to look at the views - and not dashing about the slopes at breakneck speed trying to rack up the vertical.

The long, wide Vitelli run, the most scenic slope in the Cortina Cube area (Faloria-Mietres-Cristallo) will this winter be an official Slow-Ski zone. There will be areas designed to make it easy to stop and gaze at the fabulous views of Mount Cristallo, as well as benches strategically sited for skiers to take a break.

The slow-life, slow-ski philosophy doesn't end there. The Ski Tour La Dolce Vita is designed to persuade skiers to spend a whole day in slow-life mode. The idea is a day out in the Dolomites purely indulging your senses. You ski the most beautiful slopes, and stop at traditional mountain refuges to enjoy breathtaking vistas and gastronomic treats.

The Dolce Vita tour takes in the areas of Cinque Torri, Lagazuoi and Armentarola - with stops along the way for coffee, aperitifs and gourmet snacks. The tour finishes in style with a table reserved at the renowned Averau mountain refuge - and a gourmet meal. And as an extra treat there's an opportunity to soak in an outdoor hot-tub at 2,137-metres on the terrace of the Scoiattoli mountain refuge, sipping champagne under the stars.

"We have such fabulous scenery around Cortina, along with some of the best mountain refuges for food in the Alps, that it seemed natural to combine the two - and encourage people to slow down and savour both the views and the wonderful food," said Marianne Moretti-Adimari from the Cortina tourist office. "We really do offer the dolce vita of downhill skiing and we want our guests to think a bit more about life in the slow lane."

Cortina d'Ampezzo, which is the only Italian member of the prestigious European association Best of the Alps, an international quality trademark which brings together the 12 most famous and exclusive towns in the Alpine region.

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