This Town In The Italian Dolomites Is Known For Tasty Food, Friendly Locals, And Scenic Hikes

In the valleys of Northern Italy, beneath the jagged spires of the Italian Dolomites, lies a quaint South Tyrolean town far from fairy tale or myth. Known as the Pearl of the Dolomites and the "place of crows" in Latin, Corvara captivates all who visit with its natural beauty, offering more than just vistas. Seated in the heart of Alta Badia, adventurers, gourmands, and culture seekers can immerse themselves in the region's unique offerings.

Since its first mention in the 12th century as Kolfuschg, Corvara has become the center of Ladin folklore and traditions. It represents a community of about 1,400 Italian citizens who converse in Ladin, an ancient Rhaeto-Roman language spoken by the earliest settlers of the Dolomite valleys. This linguistic and cultural heritage is a foundational aspect of the town's identity, so don't be surprised if you arrive and hear little to no Italian spoken.

During your visit, you'll discover various dining options that blend Italian zest with Tyrolean traditions — from cozy mountain huts offering hearty traditional fare to upscale restaurants with a sophisticated spin. Several of them, like La Stüa de Michil, are Michelin-approved restaurants. One must-try regional dish is the "Tris di Canederli" — three bread dumplings stuffed with speck (cured ham) served in broth or with butter and cheese, perfect comfort food after a day in the mountains. Local cheeses like Graukäse offer a taste of the town's dairy craftsmanship, often accompanied by a glass of natural wine.

Hiking and scenic adventures in Corvara

Renowned for its breathtaking scenery, Corvara is a gateway to some of the best views of the Dolomites and is located just 1 mile from the base of Mt. Sassongher. This colossal 8,743-foot-tall mountain is also the symbol of Corvara. For those ready to tackle a challenging hike, the Colfosco-Sassongher trail is a perfect choice, located within the Puez Odle Nature Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Starting from Colfosco, about 1.5 miles west of Corvara, the 6-mile trail culminates atop Sassongher. From there, you're rewarded with sensational panoramas of the Marmolada and the Sella group.

However, not everybody is a mountaineer. Thankfully, there are some more accessible and more relaxing hiking options, like the Corva-Pisciadù Waterfalls trail. This 5-mile journey starts in Corvara and typically takes nearly three hours. The trail features well-maintained gravel pathways and thin woodlands. Along the way, you'll encounter numerous waterfalls, diverse fungi, and wild berries until you finally reach the base of the Sella group, where the Pisciadù Waterfalls cascade down towards you. Moreover, it's an out-and-back trail, so you'll have a chance to see everything again on the return.

Beyond hiking, which is enjoyable in all seasons, Corvara is a hub for mountain biking and rock climbing during the summer. In winter, the town transforms into a skiing hotspot, as it's part of the Sellaronda ski circuit. This famous loop offers miles of skiing across the interconnected Dolomiti Superski area.

Corvara's locals and when to visit

As the most tourist-friendly and popular place in this alpine region, you can rest assured that you will have a perfect visit with modern accommodations, facilities, and entertainment. Corvara is where tourism began in Alta Badia, and the locals make it feel like home by being friendly and welcoming. Family-owned establishments, from accommodations to restaurants, offer a personal touch in their hospitality and come highly recommended for a more local experience.

The best time to visit Corvara is in the late spring or summer, from June to August. Although this tends to be the busiest season, the beautiful weather makes up for it. Expect warm days of around 60 degrees Fahrenheit and chilly evenings of around 50 degrees Fahrenheit — no snow and around 20% to 30% daily chance of rain, perfect for breezy hikes and enjoyable strolls around the town's center. Nonetheless, although the weather is generally mild, it can be unpredictable, so pack layers and waterproof clothing.

If you plan to visit during the peak season in the summer, ensure to book your accommodations well in advance. To get to Corvara, the nearest airports are in Bolzano, Innsbruck, Venice, and Verona. From these cities, you can rent a car or take public transport to Corvara. Keep in mind that Corvara is situated at about 5,144 feet above sea level. If you're not used to high altitudes, take it easy on the first few days to allow your body to adjust.