Top Lift: 2504m
Ski area: 150km of piste
Adult lift pass: 196-230€ for six days
In a Nutshell
Madonna di Campiglio has a lot to offer for a medium-sized ski resort: top-notch mountain restaurants, award-winning grooming, classic black pistes and Italy’s best terrain park. The town is a charmer too.
Essential Advice for the Perfect Trip
Madonna di Campiglio has a traditional charm and village ambience that attracts an odd mix of older skiers and young snowboarders – the former in search of flattering pistes and top-notch restaurants, the later for some of the best riding in Italy (and two enormous nightclubs). “Style is important,” warned a recent visitor. “Bring your best skiwear and also your fur coat – every woman seems to wear one at night”.
We agree with that comment – up to a point. Ever since the 1960s, the resort has been attracting the Italian glitterati (there is, for example, a long-standing association with Ferrari and Ducati). But you can’t help feeling that, compared to the likes of Verbier, St Moritz and Courchevel, the resort has fallen a long way behind in the race to attract the uber-rich. There is, for example, nothing here to compare with Richard Branson’s £100,000-a-week chalet in Verbier, or the excesses of modern Courchevel wine lists.
Posh, but not over-priced
And that, of course, is a very good thing. Prices are nowhere near as high as they are in the A-list destinations further north, and yet Campiglio remains elegant and stylish, with a full-blown passegiata each evening, some good hotels and an excellent restaurant scene. It’s obviously Italian in a way that, say, Verbier is no longer Swiss, and Courchevel no longer French. It’s virtually traffic-free, too.
So in other words it’s a good choice for anyone looking for la dolce vita, but who doesn’t want to pay Roman Abramovich-style prices to get it. It’s also a great place for anyone who likes to ski on groomed snow – and by that we don’t just mean easy blues and reds. There are plenty of those in the resort, but what really stuck in our minds on our last visit was the quality of the blacks. In several resorts in France and Switzerland, black pistes are being phased out – replaced with waymarked “itineraries” which are never groomed. We think this is a shame – and if you do too, you should put Madonna on your hit list.
30km of extra pistes
In 2011 the slopes above Madonna di Campiglio were linked to neighbouring Pinzolo, by 16-minute gondola ride. The link has been a long time coming, and adds an extra 30km of mostly tree-lined, intermediate-friendly pistes to the skiing on offer – if you buy the Superskirama lift pass. Fast piste skiers will have skied everything at Pinzolo by mid-afternoon – twice. But it’s a fun day out nevertheless, and the gondola ride – towards the west wall of the Brenta Dolomites – is spectacular.
Don’t leave your visit too late
Spring comes on quickly on the sunny, southern side of the Alps. What’s more, the slopes in Madonna di Campiglio are not especially high: the highest pistes are at 2500m, and a lot of the skiing is below 2,100m. Come here before the end of February if you can.