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Madonna di Campiglio Review

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Madonna di Campiglio Review

Rating: ★★★★ 8.7 out of 10

“Madonna di Campiglio with Cortina d’Ampezzo is one of the most famous ski resorts in Italy. It is situated at 1524 m above sea level, in the beautiful Brenta Dolomites (huge boulders sticking from the ground), now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Madonna is a fashionable place, well known around the world, but surprisingly visited mainly by Italians. Weekends are especially busy but there are no longer queues on the lifts. Slopes are mainly suited for intermediate skiers, surrounded by woods, and the scenery is stunning.”

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PROS: Beautiful scenery, lots of spots where you can go off piste, posh but not overpriced, laid-back atmosphere…

CONS: On sunny days part of the resort has slushy snow due to orientation, sometimes there is a queue on the Groste lift, takes a long time to get from one side to the other.

SLOPES

Easy 72 km (48%)
Intermediate 57 km (38 %)
Difficult 21 km (13 %)
 Total 150 km

Madonna di Campiglio is connected to three other resorts Folgàrida, Marilléva, and Pinzolo (the latest addition to the group, a new gondola connecting Pinzolo with the rest of the bunch was constructed in the 2012). There is the Skirama area ski pass which will let you use all of the facilities in resorts mentioned above (connected with lifts) and you will be also able to go to: Peio, Tonale, Folgaria-Lavarone, Andalo – Fai della Paganella and Monte Bondone (worth visiting but you will have to drive). The following article will cover only those slopes in the Dolomiti Adamello-Brenta area (Madonna di Campiglio, Folgàrida, Marilléva, and Pinzolo).

There are 57 lifts, and 150 km of slopes. Blue and red slopes are dominant, but they are so well-groomed that even red ones won’t present a problem to beginners. The highest part of the area is Passo Groste at an altitude of 2444 m, reachable by the Groste Express gondola. It can get crowded and it takes a lot of time to get to the top, even if there is no queue. Lifts are mainly new and fast, but you will need a considerable amount of time to get from one side of the ski area to the other. My favorite piste was Spinale Direttissima, mainly red with 70 degrees black part (entrance to the steep part is especially interesting, it feels like standing on a balcony and you can use it to launch yourself from there :)). There are different slopes for all kinds of styles and knowledge, since the resort is very diverse.

The surrounding area is so gorgeous that it will make you pause and admire it every now and then. The gondola connecting Madonna and Pinzolo is a story in itself, and you shouldn’t t miss the ride even if you are not planning to visit Pinzolo (the view is spectacular). The relatively low altitude and orientation of a part of the resort (5 Laghi and some parts of Pradalago) will result in mushy snow conditions on warmer sunny days.

Madonna is an obligatory stop on the FIS world Cup Tour every year; as a result of that you will be able to ski on pistes you saw on TV.

 

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MADONNA DI CAMPIGLIO FREE RIDE AND TERRAIN PARKS

On powder days you will have a large number of options to choose from. You shouldn’t miss the Passo Groste area (lots of space around the groomed piste, so you won’t have to hike for long to get to a great line), a part of the slope under Monte Spinale gondola and several options in Pinzolo. You should get to the top of Doss del Sabion by Malga Grual or Pra’ Rodont and you will find several lines. This will be enough to get you started, and you can figure out the rest on your own according to your preference. Even without walking (I personally hate it) you will be able to find suitable terrain.

Concerning terrain parks, the largest one is in the Pasoo Groste area and it is called Ursus Snow Park. It is realy big and it has several different lines of different difficulty with kickers, rails and boxes. Officials were changing the order of the components almost every day during my stay there. For several days it had a snow cross track as well. There are also decent parks in Marilleva, a small snow park in the Pradalago area (only a few elements, more for children) and one in Pinzolo (also small but with more components than the one in Pradalago).

 

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HOW TO GET TO MADONNA DI CAMPIGLIO

Madonna is situated in north-east Italy, in Trentino province. It is actually a part of the Pinzolo commune, while the closest city is Trento which is 70 km away. It will take you an hour and a half to get there by car.

If you are coming by plane you can choose your airport among the ones in Bergamo (177 km or 2h 43 min by car), Verona (150 km or 2h 20 min drive) and Insbruck (224 km, you will need 3h by car). Be aware that the mentioned airports are pretty far away, and that you will have to arrange transport to the resort (car rental or taxi).

If you choose to travel by train your last stop would be Trento since Madonna doesn’t have a train station. Buses from Trento are not that regular, either. You will have to check when the last one for the day leaves if you don’t want to spend the night in Trento.

WHERE TO STAY IN MADONNA

You can choose from the cheapest studio apartments to luxurious hotels (if you have a big budget). Top season is around Xmas and in February, therefore you will have to pay more during that time. If prices seem too high for your budget you should go with Pinzolo or Marilleva. You will have access to the same slopes and still pay less. TIP: You should check with the person you are renting your accommodation from, because you can get a voucher for a ski pass discount (up to 15%). Also, during the first week of the season you will get a ski pass for free. You should be careful when choosing your accommodation and take note of the distance from lifts, since public transportation barely exists. If you are far away, you will have to drag your gear around on your back and it’s not a pleasant experience when you can hardly walk.

 

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WHAT TO DO AFTER A DAY ON SNOW (APRES-SKI) IN MADONNA

If you want to have a rest during your day you will feel like you are in an “Everything for 1 EUR” shop, except everything here  is 5 EUR (Coke, beer, cake, you name it). After your last ride you can visit a bar right by the first station of Spinale lift where they have a DJ, beer and free snacks. One time we were there they offered us a free ride to our place (thank you Fiat 500 X campaign). The other bar we liked and where we spent most of the time was Home Stube, a great choice of food and drinks, friendly staff and a nice atmosphere). We liked pizza in a place called Antico Focolare (it was around 10 EUR). If you want to party until the early hours you should visit the Piano 54 club. There is a multitude of different shops (not selling only ski/snowboard gear) for shopaholics, selling everything from designer brands to souvenirs.

 

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