Rifugio Locanda Ospitale

Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy

Photo Credit: Jered Gruber

Originally built in the 12th century, the Rifugio Locanda Ospitale Hotel is one of the oldest lodges in Europe located in the Dolomite mountain range in northeastern Italy. Bearing a historic facade, the Hotel is lauded for its beautiful views of surrounding national parks, lakes, and the Passo Cimabanche, a popular high mountain pass.

Also known as Gemarkpass, the pass marks the border between the Veneto and Trentino Alto Adige regions, During the winter months, a small cross-country skiing circuit operates in the area, and when it gets warm, the pass becomes a popular route for cyclists.

From the mountain summit, the Tre Cime di Lavaredo is visible, one of the most distinctive peak structures of the Dolomites. Nearby is Strong Point No. 4 (Blockade Cimabanche Pass), a large bunker constructed in the mountainside rocks as part of the Alpine Wall, the defense line built in the Italian Alpines by the fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. During its use, the armament consisted of three machine guns.

Since 1992, the hotel has been run by the Alvera family. Aside from skiing, guests can rent bicycles, go horseback riding, hiking, and cycling. If you ask nicely, the owners will provide the key to the fresco-filled 13th century church nestled below the hotel.

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