Charming and beautiful, Madonna di Campiglio is set in woods amid the Dolomite mountains. Lift-linked to Folgarida, Marilleva & Pinzolo, Madonna has a mid-sized 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 the mid-sized ski area that Madonna di Campiglio shares with Folgarida, Marilleva & Pinzolo. There is a good blend of woodland slopes and open bowls above the treeline. Most of the runs suit intermediate-level skiers who like red and blue pistes bathed in sunshine from which they can admire the beautiful scenery. There are some black pistes scattered around, but most would be graded red in a resort more oriented towards experts, (although watch out for Monte Spinale which has a very steep section). The nursery slopes are a short bus ride from the village centre at Campo Carlo Magno. Once these are mastered, there are plenty of easy blue runs for novices to progress onto. There is also a decent choice of ski schools and private instructors.
The ski area is mid-sized, with about 60 lifts and 150kms of runs, which makes it big enough for a week for a typical skier who is primarily here for a relaxing holiday and wants to spend time in the mountain cafes and restaurants. Most of the slopes surrounding the town face south, which is good for long sunny lunches but not for snow quality. Fortunately there is extensive artificial snow-making so in a normal season the pistes get slushy but remain skiable. Even in good conditions, however, a relentless piste basher will run out of fresh territory to explore in about three or four days. The glacier resort of Passo Tonale is covered by the same Skirama lift pass but it’s over an hour away by car. There is some off-piste that can be tackled with a guide, but this is no resort for powder-hounds.
Instead Madonna di Campiglio appeals to people who appreciate staying somewhere that is undeniably picturesque, with a car-free centre where antique shops nestle alongside boutiques, cosy bars, a popular ice rink, and places to eat that range from simple pizzerias to Michelin starred restaurants. Other resorts might have more runs or higher lifts, but very few are as classy, and those that are tend to be much more expensive.
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