Ladinia, the number 1 inn
"The Ladinia’s story is intrinsically linked to that of Francesco Kostner – Cesco – who was born on 8 December 1905 in Corvara in Badia and passed away on 2 December 2006. 101 years old, what a record – an entire century. At the start of the 20th century, the pioneers of tourism in the Dolomites climbed the skiing slopes wrapped in sealskin against the cold. The first lift facilities would rise much later. Cesco had a nose for these things, and at a very young age bought the Ustaria Cappella inn in Colfosco and then built the Ladinia hotel in Corvara for his clients. The first inn in the village. When skiers climbed up the Pralongià, they had lunch at the Ladinia, if they arrived from Passo Gardena, they would rest at the Cappella. Cesco knew how to satisfy everyone. On 20 December 1932, he became Italy’s tenth ski instructor – he was a natural, so much so that in the same year he took part in a race organised by the International Federation of Innsbruck and ranked third among European participants, and first among the Italians.
What was Cesco like? To give you an idea, he left Corvara at three in the morning to take part in the race in Cortina – on foot. Picture him climbing the Pralongià, crossing the Falzares, reaching Cortina and the Tofana to then finally race. And then he simply went back home, when the sun has already set, always on foot. On one night, during one of those incredible trips, he slipped and fell into a crevice and hurt his spine. It marked the end of his skiing career. That, however, did not stop his far-sighted, entrepreneurial spirit and did not put a damper on his jovial spirit. Cesco, what a man, the embodiment of tourism here in the valley. So goodbye Ladinia, the first inn of Corvara, until 4 December.