Majestic Guide – Misurina

Today we will take a look at the marvellous region in Italy- Veneto, particularly Auronzo di Cadore and its magnificent Lake Misurina.

We hope you’ll enjoy it.

Auronzo di Cadore

Auronzo is an ancient pre-Roman country, and the origin of its name is still uncertain. It is not possible that the name derives from aurum (gold in Latin), although there are various mines of this precious metal scattered throughout the municipality; the most accredited theory is that the name derives from Eboruntii or Aboruntii, which were the ancient inhabitants of Cadore.

Auronzo di Cadore
Aerial view of Auronzo di Cadore, Italy

The Roman Empire influence wasn’t as strong here as in the other parts of Italy. Over the centuries only a few Roman coins had been found, depicting consul Manlio Aquilio ( 129 BC ) and emperor Gallieno ( 260 AD – 268 AD ). In the hamlet of Villapiccola, 6 bronze coins were found near the church, covering three centuries ( 27 BC – 211 AD ). During the road construction, almost opposite to the Santa Giustina church, on the other side of the lake, was found a coin of emperor Augustus.

The first structures of the Roman Empire era were only found in the nineties. From that moment the discoveries followed one another with a rapid rhythm. One of the most important archaeological sites in the Veneto region have been discovered near the church of Santa Giustina in Villagrande; an ancient place of worship dating back to the 2nd century BC. The site’s inscriptions demonstrate the use of Venetian writing around the first century AD, much later than in the plains, becoming the missing link of the birth of runic writing. The site has already been presented in Rome in a national event on archaeology.
Church in Auronzo di Cardone

There’s a good mixture of visitors.
Similarly, not one group of foreign visitors dominate. There is a healthy mix of Russians, Brits, Americans, Scandinavians, Japanese, Chinese and Koreans.

As with anywhere, though, you should not expect the locals to all speak English to cater to your whims.

The Dolo-mightys.
The Dolomites make a stark – and slightly pinky-orangey – backdrop. Every sunrise or sunset with a warm horizon glow seemingly bitten into by the craggy peaks will make you pause every time.

Cortina d’Ampezzo

The nightlife is peaceful.
It depends what floats your boat, but Dolomiti isn’t the destination if your holiday plans include going straight off the slopes for an evening and late night (or early morning) of après-ski.

There’s more than just skiing and boarding.
Alternative: If you have had enough of skiing or snowboarding, fat biking is another option.


Misurina is Auronzo di Cadore town’s highest hamlet. Its name ‘the Pearl of the Dolomites’ tells you a great deal about its beauty and magnificence.

Its 1756 metre above sea level lake reflects the south-east slopes of the Tre Cime di Lavaredo and the Cadini, Sorapiss and Cristallo massifs and is in the heart of the UNESCO Dolomite Heritage area.

Famous across the globe for its unique microclimate and its pure, health-giving air, Misurina is a centre for the cure of respiratory illnesses – together with Davos in Switzerland – with its Pio XII Institute. So Misurina is to all intents and purposes a ‘Healthy Air Oasis’.

A visit to the village is not merely a matter of contemplating the panorama and landscape and there are many activities to do here in all seasons. Its altitude and geographical position make for natural snow for almost six months a year and as well as the Col di Varda ski area and the Loita school slopes there is also a cross-country ski centre (9 km) and a wide range of groomed hiking trails to be done on foot with snowshoes, ski mountaineering routes, fresh snow slopes and sledge tracks from the Tre Cime and Monte Piana.

Misurina village near lake Misurina in Auronzo di cadore, Italy
Misurina vilage

In the summer Misurina is an ideal place for excursions of every type from relaxing strolls in the meadows and larch forests to more challenging high altitude hiking.

Just to the north of Misurina and reachable by shuttle bus is Monte Piana, that tells a story of the tragedy of the First World War, a high plateau which now is a real outdoor museum, together with Rifugio Bosi’s small private museum containing findings from the war. The Highline Meeting regularly gathers many young people from all over the world to meet up on Monte Piana for the Highline Meeting, a new way of experiencing the mountains in a peaceful and fun-loving style.

Winter temperatures are particularly low and the snow falls abundantly, hence, the ski slopes are fully open from November through to April without the need for artificial snow. On the contrary, summer days are mild and very dry.

Dolomites (Dolomiti) in winter, Italy
Dolomites, Misurina, Winter

Lake Misurina

Lake Misurina (Italian: Lago di Misurina), at 1754 m above sea level is one of the most beautiful lakes in Italy and the largest natural one in the Cadore area. It is embraced by some of the noblest mountain outlines in the Dolomites: when you are here, it’s like you’re in a fairy tale!

Lake Misurina in Autumn

The Legend of Misurina

There are at least two different legends related to Lake Misurina.

The first, which is the most accredited, was made famous by a song by Claudio Baglioni, included in the album “Sabato pomeriggio”. According to this version, Misurina was the only daughter of the elderly and imposing king Sorapiss, who governed the lands between the Tofane, the Antelao, the Marmarole and the Tre Cime di Lavaredo. The child, so capricious and spiteful as she was gracious, was the only reason for of King Sorapiss’s life, who, remaining a widower, attributed the impertinence of his daughter to his mother’s absence and was therefore always ready to excuse and justify it. At the age of seven or eight, Misurina became aware of the existence of a fairy, who lived on Mount Cristallo, who possessed a magic mirror, which gives the power to read the thoughts of anyone who is reflected in it.

Misurina begged her father for a long time to get her the magic mirror, which she wanted at any cost until Sorapiss gave in and accompanied her to fairy. The fairy resisted for a long time, because she did not want to please the capricious child but, faced with Sorapiss’s tears, she ended up acquiescing, putting, however, a very harsh condition, hoping that the king and her daughter would give up. The fairy possessed a beautiful garden, full of beautiful flowers on Mount Cristallo, but the excess of the sun has faded them. So she requested, in exchange for the mirror, Sorapiss would have to agree to be turned into a mountain, to protect the fairy’s garden with his shadow.

When Misurina, in seventh heaven, receiving the mirror from Sorapiss was informed about the pact, she showed enthusiasm about the idea that her father, to make her happy, will become a mountain, on which she could run and play. In that same moment, while Misurina contemplated the mirror, Sorapiss began its transformation, growing and changing colour: his hair became trees and his wrinkles became crevasses.

Misurina suddenly realised that she was standing high up on the mountain that had been her father and, looking down, she was seized with dizziness and fell from the mountain. Sorapiss, in his last moments of life, had to witness, helplessly, the tragic end of his beloved child. So many tears flowed from Sorapiss’s still open eyes that formed two streams, which gathered at the bottom forming an immense lake, that took the name King’s beloved daughter Misurina. The mirror, falling, broke between the rocks and its fragments were dragged down by the streams of Sorapiss’s tears where they, to this day, give multi-coloured reflections of thoughts of those who contemplate the beauty of Lake Misurina.

Evening on Lake Misurina, Italy
Lake Misurina

This is how the small and beautiful lake of Misurina was born, where Mount Sorapiss with its snow-capped peaks is still reflected today, while with its large size it shades Cristallo’s slopes on warm summer days.

In the second version, Mesurina (so dubbed only later) is a young girl, daughter of wealthy Venetian merchants, sent by her father to the mountains, in an attempt to avert the fulfilment of a prophecy where the girl would lose all her wealth falling in love. Following tragic love events, vaguely reminiscent of those of Romeo and Juliet, the girl ends her life, in her last moment of life, she sees a lover, from whom she had been removed, came to her rescue.

There are around of a dozen hotels near the lake, with a capacity of about 500 beds.

Most winters the lake completely freezes thus becoming a perfect place for many winter activities like ice skating. Polo matches are regularly held on the ice surface during winter.

Lake Misurina is where the speed skating events were held during the 1956 Winter Olympics of Cortina d’Ampezzo – the last time Olympic speed skating events were held on natural ice.

Grand Hotel Misurina

The most photographed hotel in Misurina is situated a few kilometres away from the renowned Cortina d’Ampezzo and is located on the shores of beautiful lake Misurina.

Set 7.5 km from the Three Peaks of the Dolomites, this charming alpine hotel is a 2-minute walk from Lake Misurina and 8 km from Monte Piana.
Hotel Misurina
Distance from the airportVerona 276 Km, Venice 162 Km
Distance from the train stationCalalzo 45 Km

How to reach the hotel by car: toll road A4 until Mestre, then A27 to Belluno; follow direction Cadore until Auronzo. From “autostrada del Brennero” exit Bressanone dir. Brunico-Dobbiaco; follow to Cortina D’Ampezzo, until the junction to Misurina.

GPS: 46.58408605500225, 12.25380615507811

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