Apres Ski in Val di Fassa
Val di Fassa includes several resort villages situated alongside the main valley road. From south to north they are; Moena, Vigo di Fassa, Pozza di Fasso, Mazzin, Campitello and Canazei. Of these Mazzin is the smallest and Canazei the biggest and most popular resort.
Each Val di Fassa village has a different character but all share beautiful views of the Dolomites towering over the valley. Most visitors to Val di Fassa will stay in one of the villages descibed below
Ski Resort Villages in Val di Fassa
Moena – 1,184m
At the head of the valley as you approach from the south, Moena is a smart resort, very popular with Italians. The bustling centre of the village is festooned with smart shops, bars and restaurants. Skiers can choose between skiing the Trevalli area (100km) or Val di Fassa (122km). There is an excellent ski bus service to Trevalli, and if the conditions allow, it’s possible to ski back to Moena. However, if you don’t have a car, access to the ski areas of Val di Fassa is difficult, as there is just one ski bus in each direction each day so if staying here the Trevalli ski area is your best bet.
Vigo di Fassa – 1,393m
The village of Vigo di Fassa, next along from Moena, is smaller and quieter with a traditional feel. It is well situated for access to the Vigo-Catinaccio cable car up to the Ciampedie ski area. It is also the closest village to the Carezza ski area, well served by the Val di Fassa ski bus. Vigo di Fassa is home to the Ladin Museum, a celebration of the culture and traditions of the Val di Fassa, as well as the Ladin Cultural Institute.
Pozza di Fassa – 1,320m
Continuing north along the valley, Pozza di Fassa is in the heart of the Val di Fassa. Here, the ski lift system rises to the Buffaure area, and and across to Ciampac/Alba (from the Alba base there is a frequent shuttle to the Canazei base area, jut one kilometre away). It is one of the most popular villages for visitors, with more guest beds than any other village except for Canazei, and as well as the skiing has attractions such as the natural Spa Centro Terme Dolomia. The night skiing on the Aloch run is also very popular and is used by racers for training purposes.
Campitello di Fassa – 1,448m
Part of the popularity of Campitello is because it gives direct access to the Sella Ronda and the Dolomiti Superski circus beyond. As well as its location, Campitello is very well known for its typical rustic architecture and narrow streets. A much smaller village than its’ neighbour Canazei, Campitello has just over 700 permanent inhabitants, although this number is greatly swollen by visitors during the season.
Canazei (including Alba) is the biggest and most popular of the Val di Fassa resorts, with over 14,000 beds in hotels and apartments available for guests. From Canazei, skiers head to the Belvedere area, and then on to the Sella Ronda tour, and the expanses of the Dolomiti Superski beyond. Alba, on the other hand, allows skiers to ski at Ciampac and over to Buffaure (Pozza di Fassa). On this basis alone, it is easy to see why this is the most attractive resort to skiers. It also has the best night life of all the villages and the superb Eghes Wellness Centre.
Apres-Ski Bars & Restaurants in Val di Fassa
The Val di Fassa ski resort villages are home to a plethora of restaurants ranging from award winning haute cuisine to pizzerias and family run restaurants serving classic Italian food and regional specialities washed down with local wine, and at reasonable prices.
The bars are even more numerous than the restaurants, and vary from simple bars where you can grab a quick espresso, Italian style, to chic lounges in the luxury hotels complete with table service from a smartly dressed waiter. When it comes to night-life, the choices are quite distinct; the quieter resorts are down valley in Pozza, Vigo and Moena, but if late nights are as important as the skiing, Campitello and Canazei are the places to be.
Trentino is proud of its superb regional dishes and wines. As well as pasta and other Italian classics, try the local polenta, mountain cheeses and salamis as well as typical local dishes such as delicious “canederli” (barley soup) and typical “cajoncie” (ravioli). Wines from the vineyards near Trento are excellent, and the red Marzemino can be outstanding, as can be the dry white Nosiola. To round off a satisfying evening meal try a ‘digestive’ of local grappa infused with fruits of the forest. Look out for restaurants which display the sign ‘Osteria Tipica Trentina’ – these restaurants serve only local produce, from the water on your table to the fruit you may eat at the end of your meal.
The gastronomic mainstays of the Val di Fassa resorts are the pizzerias and family run restaurants that are so typical of Italy, where you will eat good food and drink without breaking the bank. In addition, many of the hotels welcome the public for lunch and dinner, and if you include hotels with restaurants in the overall tally, there are literally hundreds of eating choices in the Val di Fassa. If you’re looking to splash out, the 1-star Michelin restaurant, the Malga Panna in Moena is highly recommended.
Other Activities in Val di Fassa
Val di Fassa has a wide range of activities from which to choose, making it a good destination for non-skiers or for skiers who fancy a change of pace. These include excellent cross country skiing, marked winter walks, ice climbing, ice skating, hang gliding and much more.
Cross-Country Skiing in Val di Fassa
There are over 50 km of marked cross country trails (including one illuminated circuit for night skiing at Pozza di Fassa) spread throughout the Val di Fassa. As with downhill skiing, there are trails suitable for all levels, and if you wish to learn to cross country ski or improve your skills, there are two ski schools (one in Canazei, the other in Pozza di Fassa). Every year on the last Sunday of January, the famous ‘Marcia Longa’ cross country ski race takes place in Val di Fassa and the neighbouring Val di Fiemme. The main ‘Marcia Longa’ is 70km long with ‘Marcia Longa Light’ at 45 km, and in 2010 there were 6,500 entrants for the races. Cross country ski schools include Scuola Sci di Fondo Fassa in Canazei (Tel: +39 0462 601409) and Scuola Sci Valojet in Pozza di Fassa (Tel: +39 0462 763309)
Winter Walks & Snowshoeing in Val di Fassa
There can be fewer experiences more enjoyable than getting away from it all on a walk through the stillness of a winter landscape. Val di Fassa has 28 walking itineraries ranging from 2km to 18km in length. Some are more difficult than others, but the tourist board publish a walking map to make your choices easier. Extending from the marked walks, snowshoers can follow longer itineraries into the forests of Val di Fassa. Most of the walks pass at least one restaurant or mountain refuge, so you may wish to plan your excursion around a tasty Val di Fassa lunch.
Wellness in Val di Fassa
Many Val di Fassa hotels have ‘Wellness’ centres but there’s also an excellent public facility in Canazei – the Eghes Wellness Centre – complete with a variety of baths and saunas as well as a heated swimming pool (entrance fee winter 2010 €26). For more information see www.canazei.org. The Terme Dolomia in the Hotel Antico Bagno in Pozza di Fassa specialises in therapeutic and beauty treatments www.termedolomia.it
Shopping in Val di Fassa
Each resort village of the Val di Fassa has a range of shopping including many chic clothes shops, sports shops stocked with top brands, specialist food and drink shops, art galleries, etc. The bigger resorts of Moena, Campitello and Canazei not surprisingly lead the way in the ‘retail therapy’ league.
Ice-Skating, Snow-Tubing, Ice Climbing and Hang Gliding
There is ice skating on natural ice rinks at Campitello and Moena, plus indoors at the ice stadium in Alba di Canazei, which also hosts ice hockey matches. Also in Alba is the ‘Slide Park’ inner tubing slope, which is great fun for all ages. For a bit more adrenalin, visitors can try ice climbing up frozen waterfalls or take to the skies for a two person hang glider ride and see the Val di Fassa scenery from an entirely different perspective.