San Cassiano resort guide
With access to the expansive Sella Ronda network of varied pistes and amidst spectacular Dolomite scenery, San Cassiano is a small gem of a resort that’s ideal for intermediate skiers, families and food lovers.
This small, smart village links onto the Sella Ronda circuit, a huge network of connecting slopes amid the spectacular scenery of the Dolomites, where many famous westerns have been filmed.
San Cassiano is a good choice for families, with easy slopes that are immediately accessible, a quiet ambience, a traditional Italian flavor and a good sun record. It’s particularly good for mixed ability groups of skiers and for families with younger children. There’s a rich array of gastronomic delights on offer, too – so for those for whom fabulous food is a priority on vacation, San Cassiano is a good choice.
Resort facts and figures
Resort altitude 1537m
Highest point 2950m
Ski area Sella Ronda network
Pistes 130km of pistes in the Alta Badia system
Pistes available Beginner: 70%, Intermediate: 25%, Expert: 5%
Best for Intermediates on the local slopes; experts should head to Arabba for steeper terrain
On the mountain
San Cassiano has 8 ski lifts and 25 pistes. The beautifully groomed runs above above San Cassiano have snow cannons so there's always snow on the actual pistes, even when the slopes on either side are patchy. As San Cassiano is above 1500m, it’s usually possible to ski or board back down to resort. Easy access to the Alta Badia ski region with a total length of 130 kilometers provides numerous intermediate runs, good for cruising and the occasional faster run. It’s also possible to ski the 'hidden valley' run, one of the best in the whole region. Further afield, you can access the huge Sella Ronda area, with more than 1100 km of slopes all covered under one ski pass. The Sella Ronda run, a 14-mile circular tour of the Sella Massif through Selva, Colfosco, Corvara, Arabba and Canazei, is well signposted and suitable for intermediates. Allow plenty of time as at busy periods it can take 4-6 hours to complete the Sella Ronda circuit, depending on lift queues and how fast you can ski.
There are 18 restaurants serving mainly traditional Alpine food but to a higher standard than in most resorts. Good food and drinks are affordable, not as expensive as Switzerland or Austria. Las Vegas is a chic alternative with minimalist décor and huge panoramic windows. Or if you feel like splashing out, try lunch at Club Moritzino in Piz la Ila for excellent seafood and people-watching. It’s popular with Italian celebrities so you never know who you might bump into. Other lunch spots include the terrace at the Hotel Ciasa Salares in the village of Armentarola, and Malga Saraghes above San Cassiano, known for its homemade pasta.
Walking tours, ice rink, sports center, and a swimming pool are available.
Après and dining out
Up on the mountain, après-ski starts at the trendy, modern Tyrol-style Las Vegas Lodge. It’s a great place to sip a late-afternoon drink while admiring the breathtaking panorama of the Dolomites at sunset. Meanwhile, back in San Cassiano, Hug's Bar and De la Vedla are popular meeting places after a day’s skiing. The Rosa Alpina has a lively and informal wine bar in the lounge and grill specializing in grilled meats and pasta. For those who consider fine dining to be an essential part of a vacation, there are several Michelin starred restaurants in the area. Enjoy dinner in town at St Hubertus, a two Michelin-star restaurant, run by super-chef Norbert Niederkofler who has a passion for good food. The wine list is impressive too, with exceptionally fine, locally produced pinot noirs and sauvignon blancs. Other Michelin-starred restaurants in the area include La Siriola, at the Hotel Ciasa Salares in the village of Armentarola and Stüa de Michil, in the village of Corvara on the other side of the local slopes (20 minutes by taxi from San Cassiano), famous for its wine cellar.
Family and ski school
The slopes above San Cassiano and throughout the large Alta Badia region have been designed with beginners and families in mind, so it’s easy to access these gentle runs. There are group children’s ski classes at the San Cassiano ski school which has has 35 instructors and offers tuition in downhill skiing, snowboarding, telemark, slalom and carving. Not all instructors speak English so make sure you ask for an English-speaking instructor when you book. Prices for group lessons are similar to other Alpine resorts but private lessons are great value compared to top French and Swiss resorts. In nearby La Villa, there’s a children's playground above the village on Piz La Villa run by the Dolomites ski school; and La Villa's ski school has ski classes and a kindergaten. Older children will love the 3.5km toboggan run from Piz Sorega.