Madonna di Campiglio resort guide
Known as the Pearl of the Dolomites, Madonna di Campiglio, is one of Italy's premier ski resorts. Lesser known to British skiers, the village is exclusive yet unpretentious and sits at an altitude of 1550 metres.
Known as the Pearl of the Dolomites, Madonna di Campiglio (Campiglio to the locals), is one of Italy's premier ski resorts. Lesser known to British skiers, the village is an exclusive yet unpretentious resort, nestling at an altitude of 1550 metres in the valley between the Brenta Dolomites and the glaciers of Adamello and Presanella. It enjoys both a good snow and sun record and with its differing terrains works well for skiers of all levels. The village, set in the Val Rendena, is the main point of access to the Brenta Dolomites and is linked to the pistes in Pinzolo, Folgarida and Marilleva, and is a regular host to World Cup Alpine events and snowboarding races. Being an UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Dolomites are one of the most beautiful mountain ranges in which to ski.
Resort facts and figures
Resort altitude: 1550m
Highest point: 2600m
Vertical drop: 1000m
Ski areas: Cinque Laghi, Pradalago and Monte Spinale/Grosté – all linked at resort level.
Pistes: 150kms, 12 acres of snow park and 40km of Nordic skiing
Best for: Beginners and Intermediates with a limited terrain for truly advanced skiers. Fantastic for families.
Madonna di Campiglio is high for an Italian resort and has a good snow record, with eight out of ten days of sun. The Brenta Dolomites are not part of the main Dolomiti Superski are, but the Campiglio Superskirama pass includes Marilleva, Folgarida and Pinzolo, all of which are linked, and a day in Passo Tonale, which is a short drive away. There has been a lot of investment recently into the lift system, with a fast gondola link to Pinzolo (where the locals like to ski), a gondola taking skiers up to 5 Laghi and several new covered high speed chair lifts, all of which make queuing a rare phenomenon. The slopes are beautifully groomed and perfect for making you look good!
The nursery slopes are located at Campo Carlo Magno where there are three drag lifts and gentle, wide open runs – which suit children and absolute beginners at the start of the week, and who then can progress to the Pradalago and Grosté runs. The ski area is particularly suited to intermediates with a good variety of rewarding runs, many of which bring you all the way back down to Campiglio. The quality of the piste grooming and usually empty slopes give you a lot of scope to improve. There are a few runs that have been left unpisted, making it ideal of skiers who like their moguls and means that good intermediates and more advanced skiers have more choice. From Pinzolo there are several good black runs - from Monte Spinale the black run Spinale Direttissima takes you all the way back to the village – be prepared for the rather steep and potentially scary Schumacher Streif at the end! Whilst the Amazzonia from the top of Pradalago takes you through some beautiful scenery. Experts particularly like the Canalone Miramonti at the end of the Tre World Cup Slalom course. Madonna di Campiglio also likes to boast that it has the best snow park in the Dolomites.
Popular with wealthy Italians, Campiglio has a party atmosphere. The charming village centre is pedestrianized, and comes alive during the evening passeggiata – the extremely sociable Italian ritual of an evening stroll. The locals dress up for this, so it’s a good idea to change out of your ski kit and boots. Try Café Pasquini for an aperitivo or cocktail. Really only busy over Christmas, New Year and Easter, the resort has a very civilised and intimate feel. Eating out in both the village and on the mountain is very good value compared to many other European resorts, and the gastronomic standards are deliciously high. Slightly out of the village is the Stube Hermitage, in the Hermitage Hotel, which has a very richly deserved Michelin star. In the village itself, you’ll find a number of very good restaurants, where you’ll never be disappointed.
Madonna di Campiglio insider tips
Watch out for golden eagles and bears – at the last count there were 30 endemic bears in the surrounding mountains.
Make sure you book Chalet Fiat for dinner on a Friday or Saturday – it’s only accessible by snowcat.