For one of the best views of the Dolomites, put the Tofana-Freccia nel Cielo Cable Car on your to-do list.
One of the best things to do in the Dolomites is to ride the Tofana-Freccia nel Cielo cable car to Cima Tofana. From Cima Tofana, it is a short hike to Tofana di Mezzo, the third highest peak in the Dolomites. From here, the views are breathtaking, in more ways than one.
In this guide to the Tofana-Freccia nel Cielo cable car, we explain the route (there are three sections of gondolas and cable ways to Cima Tofana), how to get to Tofana di Mezzo, and helpful tips to have the best experience.
Where is the Tofana-Freccia nel Cielo Cable Car?
The Tofana-Freccia nel Cielo cable car is located in Cortina d’Ampezzo. On Google Maps, the bottom station is called “Cabinovia Freccia nel Cielo.”
There is a large parking lot next to the station. We paid €5 to park here in July 2022.
Tofana-Freccia nel Cielo Cable Car Route
To get from Cortina d’Ampezzo to Cima Tofana, you will ride a series of three gondolas and cable cars. Here is a description of the route and what you can do and see along the way.
Note: This guide is geared towards a summer visit when the entire route is open. In the winter, this is also a skiing destination, but the last cable way to Cima Tofana does not operate outside of the summer months.
Cortina d’Ampezzo (1,244 meters) to Col Druscie (1,778 meters)
From the bottom station, a new gondola whisks visitors up to Col Druscie. The gondolas hold six to eight people and are constantly running, so unless there is a line, you should not have to wait to get onto a gondola.
View from the gondola
Things to Do in Col Druscie
Col Druscie Astro Ring
The Col Druscie Astro Ring is a 1.75 km nature trail. Along this trail there are also informational panels about the solar system.
There is an observatory here, and from the walkway that runs around the outside of the observatory, you have a beautiful view of Cortina d’Ampezzo and the surrounding mountains.
Col Druscie and the astronomical observatory.
The view of Cortina dAmpezzo from the observatory.
Take your Pick from Two Restaurants
There are two restaurants and Col Druscie, the Masi Wine Bar and Ristorante Col Druscie 1778. We did not dine at either of these but the Masi Wine Bar, with its outdoor terrace and mountain views, looked like a wonderful place to grab a bite to eat.
Masi Wine Bar
Col Druscie (1,778 meters) to Ra Valles (2,470 meters)
A cable way connects Col Druscie to Ra Valles. This car runs every 15 minutes.
At Ra Valles, there is a pizzeria but it was not open during our visit (it was being renovated). From the Ra Valles station, we were directed immediately to the cable way to Cima Tofana, since there was not much to do here in the summer months. However, on the way back down, we did stop here and take a few photos.
Pizzeria at Ra Valles
The view from Ra Valles
Ra Valles (2,470 meters) to Cima Tofana (3,244 meters)
A smaller cable car connects Ra Valles to Cima Tofana.
When we did this, on the way up, the cable cars were timed such that once we arrived in Ra Valles, we boarded the car to Cima Tofana and had no waiting time. When you are finished at Cima Tofana, the cable car runs every 15 minutes.
View from the cable car to Cima Tofana.
Things to Do at Cima Tofana
Enjoy the View from the Terrace
A large, wooden terrace is located right next to the cable way station. There are tables and chairs here as well as signs indicating the long list of peaks that you can see from this spot. From here, you have almost 360° views of the Dolomites. At Bar Cima Tofana, you can purchase drinks and sandwiches.
Cima Tofana terrace
Hike to Tofana di Mezzo
Tofana di Mezzo is the third highest peak in the Dolomites. From the Cima Tofana station, it takes 10 to 15 minutes to hike to the top of Tofana di Mezzo. You will be exposed to some cliff edges and the last scramble to the top is on loose gravel, so this is not for everyone.
From the viewing terrace at Cima Tofana, climb the series of staircases to the hiking trail. Because of the elevation, there is a very good chance that you will get out of breath here and you may have to pause to catch your breath.
From the top of the steps, you will be able to see the Tofana di Mezzo peak. The trail makes a few switchbacks as it climbs up higher on the mountain.
Hiking trail from Cima Tofana to Tofana di Mezzo.
The view from the trail
Tofana di Mezzo
When it flattens out, you have a choice. You can either climb the rocky, gravelly, steep hillside to the official peak, or continue on the trail out to a viewpoint. We did both and both are worth it.
Below are photos of the trail, the view down to the viewing platform, and the view that you get at the end of the trail. The header photo for this guide was also taken from this trail.
Walking the trail to the viewpoint. Note, this trail takes you to a view of the Dolomites but does not go all of the way up to the peak of Tofana di Mezzo.
Another view from the trail. You can see the Cima Tofana terrace and Cortina d’Ampezzo.
View of the Dolomites
At the end of the trail is a sign labeling the long list of peaks you can see from this point.
Here is the view.
From the trail, you can rock scramble up to the peak of Tofana di Mezzo. You are now standing at 3,241 meters (10,633 feet). From Tofana di Mezzo, you get one of the most spectacular views in all of the Dolomites. Here are the views:
Tyler and Kara hiking/rock scrambling up to the peak of Tofana di Mezzo.
Tofana di Mezzo
Tofana di Mezzo
The view of Tofana di Rozes from Tofana di Mezzo.
To get back to the station and viewing platform, you will have to rock scramble back down the gravelly slope and then walk the hiking trail to the staircase.
Another view of the trail and the Cima Tofana terrace on the return hike.
There is also a via ferrata that you can do from the Cima Tofana. For more information, visit the official website.
Returning to Cortina d’Ampezzo
To return to Cortina d’Ampezzo, you will take the series of cable ways and gondolas to the bottom station. The cable ways run every 15 minutes and the gondola runs constantly.
Important Planning Information
When Does the Tofana – Freccia nel Cielo Cable Ways Operate?
The cable way to Cima Tofana operates from mid-June through mid-September. For the exact dates of operation, visit the official website.
The cable ways to Ra Valles and Col Druscie operate all year. In the winter months, this area is a popular skiing destination.
Cost of the Tofana-Freccia nel Cielo Cable Lifts
Here are the prices to ride the lifts in 2023. For updated pricing, and to purchase your tickets in advance, visit the official website.
- Cortina d’Ampezzo to Col Druscie: €18 round trip
- Cortina d’Ampezzo to Ra Valles: €30 round trip
- Cortina d’Ampezzo to Cima Tofana: €38 round trip
Do you need to purchase your ticket in advance? When we did this (July 2022), we walked right up to the ticket booth and bought our tickets. There was no line. In fact, there weren’t a lot of people doing this. The hiking trails and Lago di Braies had much larger crowds than this, so this was actually a nice break from the summer crowds.
The view from the cable car between Col Druscie and Ra Valles.
If you have any questions about riding the Tofana-Freccia nel Cielo cable car to Cima Tofana or hiking to Tofana di Mezzo, let us know in the comment section below.
More Information for Your Trip to Italy
DOLOMITES: We cover important things to know before you go and travel tips in our article How to Plan a Trip to the Dolomites. For recommendations on where to stay, check out our Dolomites Hotel Guide. And for ideas on what to do, read our article Best Things to Do in the Dolomites, how to visit Marmolada, and how to visit Alpe di Siusi.
HIKES IN THE DOLOMITES: In our article Best Hikes in the Dolomites, we cover 15 epic trails in the Dolomites. Which ones do you want to do?
VENICE: Learn more about Venice in our article Best Things to Do in Venice. We also have guides about How to Visit St. Mark’s Basilica, where to get the Best Views of Venice, and how to spend Two Days in Venice.
FLORENCE & TUSCANY: If this is your first visit to Florence, read our guide to the Best Things to Do in Florence and the best rooftop bars in Florence. If you plan to visit Tuscany, learn how to spend one day in Siena, things to do in Montepulciano, and the best things to do in San Gimignano.
ITALY ITINERARIES: If you are just beginning to plan your Italy itinerary, take a look at our 10 Days in Italy Itinerary for four different ways to spend 10 days in Italy. In our Northern Italy Itinerary, visit Venice, the Dolomites, Verona, Milan, and Lake Como.
We have TONS more information about Italy in our Italy Travel Guide, including Rome, Florence, Venice, Tuscany, the Dolomites, the Amalfi Coast, Puglia, and the Cinque Terre.
All rights reserved © Earth Trekkers. Republishing this article and/or any of its contents (text, photography, etc.), in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited.