Itinerari in biciIn bici nelle VenezieThe Long Route of the Dolomites
The bike route from Calalzo to Cortina d´Ampezzo
Cortina-Dobbiaco - Dobbiaco-Lienz Flag


The point of departure is the train station at Calalzo di Cadore (altitude 740 m or 2,430 ft above sea level) end of the line of the train from Ponte nelle Alpi-Conegliano. Trains are not very frequent but to compensate they always provide bike transport.

First opened in 2003 the bike path is being gradually improved by the paving of several unpaved sections and improving directional signage, which was rather poor; in 2009 major work was underway for resurfacing and completion of the overall bike route; already accessible is the new stretch between S. Vito di Cadore and Acquabona (although still unpaved near Acquabona); in July 2009 another missing section was being completed, that between Valle di Cadore, Peaio and Vodo di Cadore, which is undergoing resurfacing and which is being expanded to three lanes, two for cyclists, one for pedestrians.

Upon leaving the train station at Calalzo, turn to the left, and shortly after a steep, uphill street, also to the left, takes one to the beginning of the actual bike path; it is worth the time to stop a moment and admire, behind you, the spectacular view of the Marmarole Range; the bike path proceeds with a bit of climb through two, lighted tunnels, arriving at a wide, open space, which is nothing more than the site of the former Pieve di Cadore train station.

Here it is possible to take a brief side-trip: taking the very steep small street to the right, you will arrive at the central Piazza Tiziano, dominated by the statue dedicated to the great painter [in English, Titian ca. 1488-1576], who is Cadore’s most celebrated son; it is possible also to visit the house where Titian was born, only a short distance from the piazza.

After Pieve the bike path reaches Tai di Cadore where one crosses the statale [the state highway, SS 51], here follow along for a few hundred meters on local roads until you see signage which directs you across the town parking area and into the village of Valle di Cadore, where the bike path again crosses the statale, goes through several tunnels (illuminated) and passes near the old train station; after you leave the community of Valle di Cadore the bike route follows along the statale.(*)

One needs to pedal on the statale for about 4 km [2.5 miles], until you get to the village of Vodo di Cadore, where there is a bike path, that was restored during 2009; here you can get on the newly-paved bike path, all the way to Borca and S. Vito di Cadore; this is the most spectacular section with expansive views over the valley dominated by Monte Pelmo to the left and Monti Antelao and Sorapiss to the right; at S. Vito the bike route finishes on a sidewalk and then in a piazzale [large piazza], where the train used to run on a viaduct that no longer exists.

Cross the piazzale and you will get back on a section of newly placed asphalt (2009); at the end a steep descent and an underpass take one to a new stretch of bike path, built between 2006 and 2008, which runs through the woods with some ups and downs (more ups than downs in this direction); the asphalted section ends shortly after the village of Dogana Vecchia [old customs house]; the name reminds us that until 1918 this marked the border between Italy and Austria; today this is simply the boundary between the communities of S. Vito di Cadore and that of Cortina.

The bike path continues through the woods on an unpaved road to the village of Acquabona, where, on the left, you join the bicycle/pedestrian lane along the statale, but separated from the road by a wood guardrail; the bike path continues in a slight but steady climb up and into the town of Cortina d’Ampezzo, ending at the piazzale of the old train station (1,230 m or 4,035 ft above sea level) which now is the station of the Dolomiti Bus line, just a few meters from the parochial church of SS. Filippo and Giacomo, the most visible landmark of Cortina.

After Cortina the bike path continues to the pass at Cimabanche and then to Dobbiaco, near the Austrian border.

Obviously, and depending on the mileage that you are willing to put on, you can stop at any point along the route and return to Calalzo; remember that coming this far has been slightly uphill the entire way; subsequently the return trip, being slightly downhill, will take less time (about 2/3) than the uphill leg.

Last visit of this route:

As of 2009, work was well underway for the continuation of the bike path as far as Vodo di Cadore. X