Pros: Huge Skiing with the Dolomiti Superski Area, Great Snowmaking effort, affordable, little known
Cons: Hard to get to
My journey to Campitello this January started in Switzerland of all places, two trains later and a private transfer from Ora station and i was relieved to see the Fassa Valley, which actually had some snow on it. The journey probably highlighted the weakest part of Italian skiing and that is the transportation to the resorts. Which is lagging compared to the rest of Europe.
The temperatures where warm, however the snowmaking was superb and it ensured that 99% of the runs were open in the valley and the wider region. I did not realise the full scale of skiing the dolomites until i actually did it. It is the vastest trail network I have ever seen and puts almost any other mega ski region to shame in size even the three valleys of France cannot compare with the Dolomites.
One of the highlights of the region is a loop of lifts and slopes called the Sella Ronda which carries skiers around a huge Massif connecting four valleys large ski valleys together. The Val di Fassa is in the south west corner of the Sella Ronda circuit. to the north is the Val Gardena, with its brilliant cruising runs. To the East is Arabba and its north facing snow sure pistes. The North East is occupied by Alta Badia which is on par in size to the Val Gardena. the Val Di Fassa part of the Sella Ronda is relatively small compared to the other three valleys, however it can be considered a good starting point, using the Sella Ronda to easily and quickly connect you to the other regions.
Being Italy the food was tremendous, staying in the Hotel Alpi with its very nice three course dinners and good breakfasts certainly aided in allowing full days of skiing. The on mountain restaurants (refuges) were generally very good and fairly affordable, a rarity in european skiing.
The liftpass prices were very cheap for such a huge area - encompassing around 1200 KM of runs on one lift pass is a spectacle in itself. With a six day pass costing just over 200 euros. Being electronic too allowed easy entry to all of the lifts through automated gates and certainly reduces the likelihood of queues.
The lifts themselves were generally modern and fast, although it may be difficult to reach the valley once your their life couldn't be simpler, with regular ski buses taking you to all of the lift bases. It felt like the entire region had been planned by someone who understood skiing, not an accountant, There were escalators magic carpets and many small connecting chairlifts allowing more pleasure to be spent on the snow. It was like Beaver Creek but on a much larger scale. The Sella Ronda itself could be considered to be like a highway taking you places quickly and allowing you to reach quieter places off the Sella Ronda with ease, this touring nature certainly feels very unique and is something all skiers or boarders must try.
My pick of the regions around the Sella Ronda would be Alta Badia as it is large but also very quiet, it is the closest I have felt to being in North America in Europe. It is also a small taxi ride away from the Cortina valley which is certainly on a few peoples bucket lists.
Campitello Di Fassa and the dolomites in general provide a sense of purity and adventure when your on the mountain. The sheer scale of the region combined with the spectacular backdrop provide a unique experience all snowsport enthusiasts must try. combined with the quality of the pistes and lift systems, the unbelievably cheap prices and the amazing food mean a visit here is a must for anybody who considers themselves to be a serious Skier or Snowboarder.