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Italian ski resort recommendations please

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
We’re quite fancying Italy in January and would appreciate some opinions.

Somewhere with reasonable snow history for that time of year and good snowmaking.

I’m a nervous intermediate and can happily potter about on easy wide blues or even greens really. Hubby is more up for a bit more of a challenge with reds.

We’d like to fly into Verona so somewhere served by that airport would be good.

Not bothered about night life, swimming pools or extra activities but a few nice restaurants Would be good.

I hate T-bars so would like to avoid those but don’t mind a few buttons if they’re there. We don’t need a massive ski area.

Somewhere that is going to take social distancing seriously would be top of my list. As that’s a new one it would be aimed at people who live there or have visited recently I suppose.

Cheers
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Canazei would fit the bill ..Good communications and a nice variety of slopes as well as the Sella Ronda and the snow making is excelent I have skied on wonderful snow going through brown fields ...
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
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Totally agree though this would apply to most of the Sella Ronda resorts, Selva would be a good choice,though I have not been to Selva for many years, it has the Alp d'suisi perfect for the nervous intermediate plus it has the Plan d Gralba area on the Sella Ronda itself very good for beginners/ early intermediates.
Being Italy, there are lots of good restaurants both in the villages, and on the mountain one is spoilt for choice
I was in Canazei in early march, and was impressed and would definitely go there again, as to social distancing measures I can't comment it was very quiet though.
With situation as it is I would think the resorts, in their own interests would maintain the distancing measures and keeping the resorts open, a difficult balancing act.
Visitors I notice tend to be a lot more considerate in the Dolomites than the massed hordes of the major French and certain Austrian resorts, which would go to making things safer.
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@bambionskiis, Dolomites certainly. Almost anywhere in the region would fit the bill, but personally I would rule out the very fashionable resorts such as Cortina or San Martino di Castrozza. Though I have only skied through it and visited a lot during the summer I would reccommend St. Ulrich.

T bars have more or less disappeared from the Alps and button lifts are going the same way. They are being replaced by large chairlifts and gondolas where social distancing is more difficult so less Covid 19 hostile.
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Quote:

Somewhere that is going to take social distancing seriously would be top of my list.

I was in the Dolomites a few weeks ago and mask wearing combined with social distancing was being taken fairly seriously. Certainly more so than in the UK. Being summer and the Dolomites the area was very crowded and seeing the crowds in some towns was a bit concerning. The summer crowds were packed on the streets of Wolkenstien to an extent that I would not of liked to have walked about. It will probably be better in the winter with more access to ski lifts etc and more people getting out onto the mountain quicker but the local busses were very crowded.
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If looking for an area with a lot of blue runs then San Cassiano / Corvara.
A bit further on is San Vigilio with has easy blues and reds plus a few more challenging runs and most of the lifts there are gondolas.
The ski area is best known as “Kronplatz”
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Thanks all that’s really helpful. Thanks too about the social distancing feedback.

As I’m rescheduling one holiday for another (Covid legacy) I’m stuck with a tour operator. Pouring over your suggestions last night and matching them with what’s available I have a shortlist of:

Passo Tonale (though I’m not sure about their choice of hotel)

Folgarida

Drei Zinnen

Selva Val Gardena

Would any of those fit the bill do you think? Any better than others snow-wise in January?
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Been to selva and passo tonale - really like both but I wouldn't really recommend either for pottering about on blues. Excluding the nursery slopes, for selva the cruising blues are a bus ride or series of reds away, for pass (which is quite small) the blues are limited to the snow front really) - confidence on reds/easy blacks I think would be needed to enjoy to the full and place limits on mixed groups. Not been to the other two, but I have been looking at Folgarida for my er.. diverse ability family - seems to have good exploring day of blues up to 800m vert in it before any need to tackle reds. Snow wise... they are all south of the alpine ridge so broadly drier but not so prone to fohn than elsewhere. But maybe you'd be ok with more chance of sunshine and good snowmaking?
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Wildsmith wrote:
Been to selva and passo tonale - really like both but I wouldn't really recommend either for pottering about on blues. Excluding the nursery slopes, for selva the cruising blues are a bus ride or series of reds away, for pass (which is quite small) the blues are limited to the snow front really) - confidence on reds/easy blacks I think would be needed to enjoy to the full and place limits on mixed groups. Not been to the other two, but I have been looking at Folgarida for my er.. diverse ability family - seems to have good exploring day of blues up to 800m vert in it before any need to tackle reds. Snow wise... they are all south of the alpine ridge so broadly drier but not so prone to fohn than elsewhere. But maybe you'd be ok with more chance of sunshine and good snowmaking?


Really helpful thanks so much. Especially the good feedback about runs. I know it’s all subjective but I’ve been to resorts where people have described runs as “easy blues” and have really struggled with my nerves. I’ve got down reds in the past when I’ve had to, but Don’t enjoy it. I’m reassured my ability is good, it’s the nerves and doubt that get me every time. Very frustrating for the rest of the family though!!

I’ll look more closely at folgarida and I do like the look of Drei but need to look more closely at the piste map and logistics. Cheers
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@bambionskiis, thx! Just to follow up given the info... if you look at the passo piste map, you can see all the blues - they are definitely (!!) easy and high, above the tree line, south facing... in Jan (unless there is a storm!) you can expect good visibility all day and a better than average chance of good snow. They are really limited in extent.. but if you are ok with that (!), anyone who is bored with them could look at: - the blues on both ends which have plenty of options for mucking about either side of their pistes. or - it is really easy to get from there to and back from the more "interesting" challenges up at the glacier or down at ponte di legno. PT is usually cheap, so you can often get a good price on somewhere with a pool (which even with Covid worries etc you'd expect to be empty during the day).
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Quote:

Drei Zinnen

Are perhaps the most photographed peaks in the Dolomites and the home of some fantastic climbing, but apart from two very short ski lifts rising out of the picture postcard village of Misurina and clear ski touring routes I never realised that there was any skiing there.

Now I've looked it up on the internet I see that this refers to the Sexten alps and the areas around Toblach and Innichen, which are amazingly accessible by train. I've traveled around this area in the summer and have seen the motley collection of ski lifts rising from the valley floor. A quick look at the piste map shows a lot of gondolas and ski busses needed to get around. I would not think it good for social distancing. It does look an intersting area to visit and perhaps spend a couple days in the future.
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The main problems with Selva and San vigilio and for Alta Badia which is much better with more blue runs is the communications to the airports They might be on the Dolomiti Superski but the transport links are very different .I normally stop in Campitello which is not one I would recommend for potterers but from Canazei you can catch the bus for 10 mins and ski either over to Alba on one cable car or the other up to the Belvedere they both go to the same place ..there are direct links from the airports to there ..Folgarida is a nice place ..quiet and i can recommend the restaurant by the cable car ...but the run over to Maddona is not for the faint hearted as it gets VERY busy and worn ..I would prefer to stop in Madonna which has excellent blues for pottering on. To give you an idea it takes 2.5 hours to drive frm Canazei to San Vigilio ...its quicker to ski..I have been to the area for the past 5 or 6 years so I can talk from experience and I will be there again in Jan.....and I can't really say how much I am looking forward to it!

There is a direct shuttle from Verona during the ski season

Transfer from Verona Airport to the Dolomites in Trentino of course the Italians dont believe in 2020/21

FLY SKI SHUTTLE: the shuttle service from Verona Airport to the best ski areas in Trentino: Madonna di Campiglio - Pinzolo- Val Rendena, Val di Sole, Val di Fassa, Val di Fiemme and San Martino di Castrozza.

Shuttles run on Saturdays and Sundays starting from the 7th of December 2019 till the 29th of March 2020 with special runs on 26 Dec 2019, 02 Jan 2020 and 06 Jan 2020.

For information and booking visit https://www.flyskishuttle.com/en/
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Wildsmith wrote:
@bambionskiis, thx! Just to follow up given the info... if you look at the passo piste map, you can see all the blues - they are definitely (!!) easy and high, above the tree line, south facing... in Jan (unless there is a storm!) you can expect good visibility all day and a better than average chance of good snow. They are really limited in extent.. but if you are ok with that (!), anyone who is bored with them could look at: - the blues on both ends which have plenty of options for mucking about either side of their pistes. or - it is really easy to get from there to and back from the more "interesting" challenges up at the glacier or down at ponte di legno. PT is usually cheap, so you can often get a good price on somewhere with a pool (which even with Covid worries etc you'd expect to be empty during the day).


Cheers for exploring more. Good point about the tree line and visibility. I’m happy with limited variety (as long as I can intersperse with a hot chocolate!!) but yes, to have the choice of the extra variety would be important for my other half.

The prices are pretty reasonable. Like most people I’ve lost out heavily this year thanks to the C word so would like to keep costs down where possible.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
johnE wrote:
Quote:

Drei Zinnen

Are perhaps the most photographed peaks in the Dolomites and the home of some fantastic climbing, but apart from two very short ski lifts rising out of the picture postcard village of Misurina and clear ski touring routes I never realised that there was any skiing there.

Now I've looked it up on the internet I see that this refers to the Sexten alps and the areas around Toblach and Innichen, which are amazingly accessible by train. I've traveled around this area in the summer and have seen the motley collection of ski lifts rising from the valley floor. A quick look at the piste map shows a lot of gondolas and ski busses needed to get around. I would not think it good for social distancing. It does look an intersting area to visit and perhaps spend a couple days in the future.


Thanks John and glad you’ve made this discovery. In normal times hopping on buses and trains and going exploring is right up my street but for my husbands health reasons were trying to limit exposure as much as possible so for the time being this wouldn’t work for us. It looks stunning though so as you say, one for the future. Hope you get back there too.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
DaveD wrote:
The main problems with Selva and San vigilio and for Alta Badia which is much better with more blue runs is the communications to the airports They might be on the Dolomiti Superski but the transport links are very different .I normally stop in Campitello which is not one I would recommend for potterers but from Canazei you can catch the bus for 10 mins and ski either over to Alba on one cable car or the other up to the Belvedere they both go to the same place ..there are direct links from the airports to there ..Folgarida is a nice place ..quiet and i can recommend the restaurant by the cable car ...but the run over to Maddona is not for the faint hearted as it gets VERY busy and worn ..I would prefer to stop in Madonna which has excellent blues for pottering on. To give you an idea it takes 2.5 hours to drive frm Canazei to San Vigilio ...its quicker to ski..I have been to the area for the past 5 or 6 years so I can talk from experience and I will be there again in Jan.....and I can't really say how much I am looking forward to it!

There is a direct shuttle from Verona during the ski season

Transfer from Verona Airport to the Dolomites in Trentino of course the Italians dont believe in 2020/21

FLY SKI SHUTTLE: the shuttle service from Verona Airport to the best ski areas in Trentino: Madonna di Campiglio - Pinzolo- Val Rendena, Val di Sole, Val di Fassa, Val di Fiemme and San Martino di Castrozza.

Shuttles run on Saturdays and Sundays starting from the 7th of December 2019 till the 29th of March 2020 with special runs on 26 Dec 2019, 02 Jan 2020 and 06 Jan 2020.

For information and booking visit https://www.flyskishuttle.com/en/


Thanks so much for the local knowledge. As it’s a package with a tour operator we’re stuck with, transfers aren’t an issue. However if we cancel with them and just decide to go Independently instead, this information is going to be really helpful. Cheers
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
johnE wrote:
Quote:

Drei Zinnen

Are perhaps the most photographed peaks in the Dolomites and the home of some fantastic climbing, but apart from two very short ski lifts rising out of the picture postcard village of Misurina and clear ski touring routes I never realised that there was any skiing there.

Now I've looked it up on the internet I see that this refers to the Sexten alps and the areas around Toblach and Innichen, which are amazingly accessible by train. I've traveled around this area in the summer and have seen the motley collection of ski lifts rising from the valley floor. A quick look at the piste map shows a lot of gondolas and ski busses needed to get around. I would not think it good for social distancing. It does look an intersting area to visit and perhaps spend a couple days in the future.


I did a day in Drei Zinnen/Tre Cime area a couple of years back. Did the whole circuit from Vierschach/Versciaco via Sexten/Sesto to Padola, had lunch and came back. You need a short bus ride to take you into Padola village on the way out and a longer one back up the Kreuzberg/Monte Croce Pass on the way back. There are projects to link Padola by lifts and also across the border to Sillian in Austria, but there's currently still a largeish linked area encompassing Vierschach, Sexten, Moos & Rotwand without any need for buses.

Probably not enough there currently to keep you entertained for a week, but certainly would be if you combined it with the smaller areas at Innichen & Toblach as well as Kronplatz, all linked by the train that runs along the Pustertal Valley.

Misurina is a special spot, just that one slow chair to Col de Varda, but whoever designed the 3 or 4 different variants down knew what they were doing. Spent a blissful mid Feb afternoon here with my son, had the place almost to ourselves.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
bambionskiis wrote:
Thanks all that’s really helpful. Thanks too about the social distancing feedback.

As I’m rescheduling one holiday for another (Covid legacy) I’m stuck with a tour operator. Pouring over your suggestions last night and matching them with what’s available I have a shortlist of:

Passo Tonale (though I’m not sure about their choice of hotel)

Folgarida

Drei Zinnen

Selva Val Gardena

Would any of those fit the bill do you think? Any better than others snow-wise in January?


I've skied Selva & 3Zinnen. Selva is busier, but has a lot more skiing. Passo Tonale is high and treeless unless you drop down to Ponte di Legno. Folgarida is a useful backdoor into Madonna di Campiglio, plenty of skiing there.

Who knows what snow we'll have by next Jan, but Italian resorts have excellent snowmaking, so pistes are usually complete by mid-Dec.

If I'd never been to any of them, I'd go to Selva, that area around the Sella Ronda is spectacular. You will need to get into some gondolas and ski some reds to get about and do it justice though.

If social distancing is the biggest priority, the multiple chairlifts and wide open pistes of Passo Tonale might be best.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@bambionskiis, I would avoid Passo Tonale. It's high and fairly bleak. I had a week there a few years ago and wouldn't go back. Folgarida is great but I think you might struggle finding enough blues to keep you happy. Selva may be a better option. Haven't stayed there but have skied through it from nearby resorts - Canazei & Colfosco. I think there's a fair number of blues around plus access to the very large dolomiti superski area.
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DCG wrote:
@bambionskiis, I would avoid Passo Tonale. It's high and fairly bleak. I had a week there a few years ago and wouldn't go back. Folgarida is great but I think you might struggle finding enough blues to keep you happy. Selva may be a better option. Haven't stayed there but have skied through it from nearby resorts - Canazei & Colfosco. I think there's a fair number of blues around plus access to the very large dolomiti superski area.



Yeah, high & treeless in Jan could be bleak if the weather's bad, but maybe less chance of catching Covid.

There is an area of gentle blues around Plan de Gralba above Selva, but there's a tricky red off Ciampinoi or a bus ride to get there from the village. Impossible to get around the linked Dolomiti Superski area without getting into an enclosed lift or hitting reds (though Italian reds are generally easier than French ones).
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Flying into Turin or Milan (or even Geneva if you wish - don’t discount self-drive), we have been very well served by Champoluc and Ski2. Absolutely no T-bars and Ski2 know the resort back to front. Some great restaurants like Il Balivo in town or La Grange up the road in Frachet, fantastic value.
The skiing in Champoluc suits your needs - chuck hubbie down the Goat and you arrive at the Sun bar from Frachet funi fully refreshed.


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Sat 12-09-20 22:25; edited 1 time in total
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Breuil-Cervinia, Sestriere, Aosta Valley all worthy of consideration (assuming not too far from Verona airport).
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luigi wrote:

Folgarida is a useful backdoor into Madonna di Campiglio, plenty of skiing there.


yes, when I read the initial requirement I was going to suggest Madonna di Campiglio.

The downsides to being based in Folgarida are
(1) it's a fairly small area and
(2) there is a bottleneck between the Folgarida and MdC so it can get pretty cut up later in the day, maybe not great for a 'timid intermediate'. However there is also a skibus that runs between the two resorts twice a day each way and it's only a 15 minute drive/taxi. We got stuck in Folgarida last year and had to wait for the bus back to MdC, IIRC there were shuttle buses going up and down the road so check to see if any of your hotel options offer one.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
If you want Italian skiing then go for charm and scenery. Dolomites or Benta Dolomites.
Courmayeur charming and interesting, Bormio lovely with huge vertical.
Tonale, Cervinia pretty ugly places really but high snow sure skiing (Like France but without the rudeness and stupid prices)
Cortina is utterly gorgeous, very laid back
Milky Way like France but less expensive and friendlier
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richb67 wrote:

(2) there is a bottleneck between the Folgarida and MdC so it can get pretty cut up later in the day, maybe not great for a 'timid intermediate'. However there is also a skibus that runs between the two resorts twice a day each way and it's only a 15 minute drive/taxi. We got stuck in Folgarida last year and had to wait for the bus back to MdC, IIRC there were shuttle buses going up and down the road so check to see if any of your hotel options offer one.


Great point. An easy bus ride back if the piste link is too choppy.
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@bambionskiis, there's always the Snowheads Pre Birthday Bash in Alleghe during the last week in January and then the actual Birthday Bash the week after that. The Civetta area around Alleghe is beautiful. Most runs are tree lined. The accommodation is a four star lakeside hotel.
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