Madonna di Campiglio Ski Resort

Charming and beautiful, Madonna di Campiglio is set in woods amid the Dolomite mountains. Lift-linked to Folgarida, Marilleva & Pinzolo, Madonna has a big, sunny ski area mostly composed of long easy pistes. The Skirama regional ski pass also covers neighbouring Passo Tonale.

Five main ski lifts rise from the village to access Madonna's distinct but linked ski areas, with plenty of beginner-friendly and intermediate-friendly terrain. There is an ice rink close to the village's car-free centre where antique shops nestle alongside boutiques, cosy bars and places to eat that range from Pizzerias to Michelin starred restaurants. It all adds up to a touch of class, but with an inclusive feel that welcomes snowboarders and non-skiers as well as skiers.

Madonna shares a mid-sized ski area with Folgarida, Marilleva & Pinzolo. The resort claims 150km of runs which is probably big enough for a week for most of the skiers who come here, who also want to spend time, eating, drinking, sunbathing and promenading around. A relentless piste basher might get through it within four or five days, but other resorts, like Passo Tonale, are covered by the Skirama lift pass and just about reachable by public transport.

There is a good blend of woodland slopes and open bowls above the treeline. It's neither a particularly high ski area (the top lift goes up to about 2500m) nor a very snowy one, and a lot of it faces South which is good for long sunny lunches but not so good for the snow. Fortunately the artificial snow-making system is first class, so as long as it's not too warm at night, the pistes get replenished and remain skiable. But if you've come here looking for deep powder, you're likely to be disappointed, although there is some off-piste.

Most of the runs suit intermediates who like easy cruising pistes from which they can admire the beautiful scenery rather than focus solely on their skiing technique. There are some black pistes scattered around: most would be graded red in a resort more oriented towards experts. The exception is the Monte Spinale run which has a short but very steep section. The beginners' slopes are a little out of town at the small satellite resort of Campo Carlo Magno, a short bus ride away, and there are plenty of easy blue runs to progress onto.

Madonna di Campiglio Pros & Cons

+ Charming village

+ Beautiful scenery

+ Big enough ski area

+ Fun but classy nightlife

+ Nice relaxed place to learn to ski

- Dependent on snow-guns for snow

- Very few tough runs

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