Madonna di Campiglio is one of the world’s classic ski centres and one of Italy’s most famous ranking with Cortina, Courmayeur and San Martino. Considering its long history in winter sports it has the benefit of an extensive and hugely enjoyable ski area with access lifts coming right down in to the town – both unusual assets compared to many of the other famous ski resorts of long standing. The resort’s altitude gives it better snowsure conditions than many traditional winter sports centres.
Recent investment has meant that almost all the key trails are served by modern lifts, and supported by snow making. As well as the lift-linked terrain joined to two other resorts, a further four are included in the area pass bringing a total of 300km (187 miles) of trails served by 100 lifts, less than a third of those surface tows – a very high percentage of chairs and cabin lifts by Europoean standards.
Madonna di Campiglio is a very chic resort staging the kind of grand balls and polo-on-ice tournaments for which St Moritz is famous. It feels good to be there because the town is pleasant to be in and the surrounding scenery of the Rendena Valley with pink Dolomitic rock above, ascending in sheer cliffs and precipices above the forest is spectacular and beautiful.
The area has a long history, but had been in a period of decline for around 150 years when skiing first began here in the 1930s, the resort really taking off by the ’50s. Most of the local population are now employed in the tourism industry. Unusually for a top European resort the vast majority of Madonna’s clientele are domestic – Italians.