Corvara sits at the junction of the intermediate-friendly ski circuit, the Sella Ronda, and the easy-going pistes of the Alta Badia. It’s a great place to be if you like to cruise the corduroy. One of the features of the area is the the quality of the man-made snow. The Italian Dolomites have a relatively dry and cold climate, which is good for snow-making, and as a result, even if the natural cover is threadbare, the pistes are usually in good nick.
One of the great intermediate playgrounds
With so much skiing at your fingertips, it’s difficult to know where to start – but we’d recommend warming up for a day or two on the gentle pistes that lie between Corvara and San Cassiano, and only then moving onto the celebrated Sella Ronda circuit. This girdles the fortress-like Sella massif, and can take six hours to complete. It’s not difficult – anyone who can ski more-or-less parallel can manage it. But you want to have your ski legs back before you commit to it.
One other thing to consider is private tuition, which is dirt cheap here – less than half the price of the A-list resorts in France.
Those looking for tougher challenges will enjoy the steeper runs above Arabba, the hell-for-leather black down into la Villa, and another fun black above Corvara. But we wouldn’t advise San Cassiano as a destination for adrenaline-starved advanced or expert skiers. Or freestylers, either.
Not the ideal place for snowboarders
Look, we don’t want to waste your time. Italy is a skiing not a snowboarding country, and many rental centres barely bother with boards. What’s more, the dry climate of the Dolomites may help to keep the snow-cannons running (they work better in low humidity), but it doesn’t make for frequent powder days. Nor does the terrain favour off-pisters. We’d go somewhere else.