Discovering Wedding Venues in the Dolomites, Part 2
Thursday was high energy day. The Via Ferrata is a popular activity in Cortina and we were all going to undertake one of the routes up a mountain overlooking the town. Via Ferrata is where a cable is attached to the side of a mountain and you climb up attached to the cable by ropes and clips. A bit like climbing with the route already mapped out for you and attached to something that shouldn't break!
When we arrived at the mountain I took one look and thought there was no way I would be able to climb up there. I'd never been climbing before and had no idea what to do. Nevertheless, I gave it a go, and with quite a lot of effort I made it up 3 metres before our guide (who had climbed K2 and is quite famous locally) decided that he didn't fancy hauling me the whole way up the mountain and made me abseil down instead! I can't say that I was too disappointed as my whole body was shaking already, so two more hours of that was looking a bit daunting. Although, if you are a sporty couple climbing a Via Ferrata and getting married at the top of the mountain would possibly be a good option?
I went for a walk down the mountain instead while the others climbed, and the pine trees, warm air and blue sky felt much better with two feet on the ground!
Lunch was held at the refuge Lagazuoi on a peak above the town. This is where some of the scenes from the film Cliffhanger were filmed and our Via Ferrata guide had worked on the film helping with the safety aspect. We were so high up there was still snow on the ground in June, and the views from the terrace were amazing. Some more excellent food gave us the energy to tackle the afternoon walk to the refuge where we were staying that evening.
Averau overnight. Newly refurbished, this refuge is immaculate, with plenty of wooden décor, dormitories sleeping up to ten people and a few rooms for those who would like more privacy. The deck looks out towards a simply stunning view of valleys and peaks still tipped with snow. Averau has a kitchen which makes all the local specialities and keeps quite a substantive wine list too. Our meal that evening was excellent and I could see how it would make a cosy and intimate wedding reception location. (Averau doesn't have a licence to hold weddings, so you can't actually have the ceremony there, but it does cater for receptions).
After a slightly hot night in our five person dorm with en-suite, we awoke to another sunny day. I could see a glacier on the peak outside our room, and as the sun came up it glinted off the snow.
Following a quick breakfast we went on a mountain walk from Averau around to the Scoiattoli refuge by the Cinque Torri peaks. Our route took us down the valley in front of Averau, and then along a very up and down trail in the neighbouring valley. Four hours later I was tired from all the effort at altitude (at 2400 metres breathing is a little bit harder), but the views of the mountains were incredible when I stopped to catch my breath. If you're a couple who enjoys hiking then getting married here would make an amazing backdrop to your ceremony.
A bit later than anticipated we made it to the Scoiattoli refuge for lunch. This refuge does have a licence for weddings and is located next to the Cinque Torri peaks which can be seen throughout the valley below. Scoiattoli is also well known for its excellent food and has even been mentioned in the New York Times. After an energetic morning we all tucked in to their mouth watering food in silence!
We had an hour or so to chill out on the large bean bags on Scoiattoli's terrance before taking the chairlife back down to Cortina to pack and catch our flights home. Our four days in Cortina were full and fun-packed. I can see why so many outdoor enthusiasts come to the area – hiking, mountain biking and running in the summer, skiing and snowboarding in the winter. It's visually stunning, there is a lot to do, the food is excellent and the welcome warm.
Cortina has many gorgeous locations for a wedding and the planners here are very laid back – if you can see a location you like they'll see if you can marry there. Even if you aren't into sports Cortina makes a unique wedding location, so why not come here and see for yourself!
See wedding providers in Italy here