Italy recommendations please

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Gday linked ...

Hi there.

Firstly, depending on where you're staying north of Milan I would expect there are great ski areas much closer than the Dolomites.

From Ortisei it's quite a trip to get to La Villa, and a bit of a criss cross use of various areas. You'll lift up to Seceda, ski down to the funicular (that's a great run), take the train down to Santa Cristina, a short walk to the gondola station, two lifts to the top of Ciampinoi, turn around and ski back down to Val Gardena, walk across the road bridge, short little lift, ski down to the Dantercepies gondola, long gondola up to the Passo Gardena, long shallow schuss down to Colfosco, horizontal Borest lift to get to Corvara, walk across town to the Col Alt gondola on the other side of Corvara, lift up into the Alta Badia hills. Then you have to ski over Alta Badia to get to the Gran Risa run which takes you down to La Villa - either the black run or the red run - the black one is the World Cup GS course which is an iconic run. You can continue on further up the valley towards Badia / Pedraces but it will depend on how you're travelling, and how important lunch is to your wellbeing, as to whether it's worthwhile. It's a long way back from there.

Here's an early morning view from the top of Seceda with Val Gardena in the sunlit valley below.

IMG_3300.JPG


From Ortisei it's also a decent day trip to get to Arabba and back - probably completing the Sella Ronda along the way. Heading further afield to ski the Marmolada might be possible although I wouldn't want to swear that's true. You'd need to hit first lifts [edit - in fact you'd be better off hopping the first morning bus to Val Gardena to save time] the whole group would need to be skiing quite fast and you're not going to be stopping for any length of time along the way. That's a very long day, and (I expect) not a destination that gets recommended when you're staying in Ortisei. At least it's an easy bus ride back to Ortisei from Val Gardena if you get stranded on the way back. In fact that's probably a better plan.
 
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Jacko4650

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Hi there.

Firstly, depending on where you're staying north of Milan I would expect there are great ski areas much closer than the Dolomites.

From Ortisei it's quite a trip to get to La Villa, and a bit of a criss cross use of various areas. You'll lift up to Seceda, ski down to the funicular, take the train down to Santa Cristina, a short walk to the gondola station, two lifts to the top of Ciampinoi, turn around and ski back down to Val Gardena, walk across the road bridge, short little lift, ski down to the Dantercepies gondola, long gondola up to the pass, long schuss down to Colfosco, horizontal Borest lift to get to Corvara, walk across town to the gondola on the other side of Corvara, lift up into the Alta Badia hills. Then you have to ski over Alta Badia to get to the Gran Risa run which takes you down to La Villa - either the black or the red run; the black one is the World Cup GS course which is an iconic run. You can continue on further up the valley towards Badia / Pedraces, but it will depend on how you're travelling, and how important lunch is to your wellbeing, as to whether it's worthwhile. It's a long way back from there.

From Ortisie it's also a decent day trip to get to Arabba and back - probably completing the Sella Ronda along the way. Heading further afield to ski the Marmolada might be possible although I wouldn't want to swear that's true. You'd need to hit first lifts, the whole group would need to be skiing quite fast and you're not going to be stopping for any length of time along the way. That's a very long day, and (I expect) not a destination that gets recommended when you're staying in Ortisei. At least it's an easy bus ride back to Ortisei from Val Gardena if you get stranded on the way back. In fact that's probably a better plan.
That's a really, really good, detailed description on just how much "ski travelling" is involved in getting from Ortesei to those other areas. To ski Marmolada is a full day trip IMO. To enjoy it fully, half the battle is getting there and back while lifts are open. It would be a challenge from Ortesei but doing a clockwise Sella Ronda might be incidental in getting home, even if lifts stop if you can make it to Passo Sella before last lifts as its all downhill to Selva and then easy buses down to Ortesei from there. It was one of my favourite late-day runs - all green from memory but the piste ends at one of the pubs in Val Gardena (tick). If you get to Passo Sella earlier, there are one or two lift options up to Ciampinoi which then provides runs down to Ortisei.
 
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Powdercat

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Hi Linked and Jacko, much appreciated, that is very helpful.

Sounds like our expectations will be better satisfied if we look to get more familiar with and enjoy the local Val Gardena terrain, rather than pushing further afield on this visit. One more question, if you might be able to help with?

Am anticipating (hoping) Ortesei would have feel or a mountain town, rather than ski resort, but an attractive interesting one. Are either of you familar enough with Ortesei to comment? Not concerned by distance from accom to lift, or Ortesei's flat local terrain - somewhat inspired by photo up there in a mag once - as pretty a mountain scene as I can recall. Any unexpected disappointment in Ortesei maybe? eg unexpectedly touristy etc

Cheers
 

Powdercat

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Actually, sounds like half day PM above Ortesei, next day Val Gardena, then on 3rd morning we can make the call on whether we like it locally to much to both going further, or alternatively race as far as we can get (and enjoy your 'home tip' Jacko!)

Muchos gracious - whoops wrong lingo - have to practice
 

linked recoveries

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I've not spent any time in Ortisei other than grabbing the gondola at the bottom after lunch at Val d'Anna. The whole of the village sits in a very pretty valley surrounded by mountains. I doubt you'll be disappointed - it looks amazing.

I can't quite work out if this first one is a photo (that's been hit with a slight filter afterwards) or a picture postcard.

1.jpg

3.jpg
 

linked recoveries

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I'd say the Val Gardena area is a full day. The Sella Ronda will be not quite a full day if you wish to tick that box. The Compaccio region south west of town has never been recommended to me as being worth the trip. Extra time is required to get there (for anyone who's not staying in Ortisei) just to ski a few easy blue cruisers.
 

gaz35

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Hi Linked and Jacko, much appreciated, that is very helpful.

Sounds like our expectations will be better satisfied if we look to get more familiar with and enjoy the local Val Gardena terrain, rather than pushing further afield on this visit. One more question, if you might be able to help with?

Am anticipating (hoping) Ortesei would have feel or a mountain town, rather than ski resort, but an attractive interesting one. Are either of you familar enough with Ortesei to comment? Not concerned by distance from accom to lift, or Ortesei's flat local terrain - somewhat inspired by photo up there in a mag once - as pretty a mountain scene as I can recall. Any unexpected disappointment in Ortesei maybe? eg unexpectedly touristy etc

Cheers
ortesei have the feel of a mountain town rather than a ski resort. Yes would agree with that. Very beautiful area. We stayed at Hotel Digon - highly recommend
 

Kletterer

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Have a ski down to the bottom of Chair 21 and continue down the quaint trail to the base of the Mont De Seura lift. Its a nice quiet run for when its busy elsewhwere.
 

Jacko4650

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Hi Linked and Jacko, much appreciated, that is very helpful.

Sounds like our expectations will be better satisfied if we look to get more familiar with and enjoy the local Val Gardena terrain, rather than pushing further afield on this visit. One more question, if you might be able to help with?

Am anticipating (hoping) Ortesei would have feel or a mountain town, rather than ski resort, but an attractive interesting one. Are either of you familar enough with Ortesei to comment? Not concerned by distance from accom to lift, or Ortesei's flat local terrain - somewhat inspired by photo up there in a mag once - as pretty a mountain scene as I can recall. Any unexpected disappointment in Ortesei maybe? eg unexpectedly touristy etc

Cheers
Ortesei is nice; at the bottom of a big valley. It stretches out lengthways along the valley floor. Lots of hotels and quite touristy in the middle of winter with skiers and their families; busy but not crazy. You shouldn't be disappointed.
 

Powdercat

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Linked, that is a stunning photo, think you may have inserted since I first read?

Many thanks to you, and thanks Jacko, Gaz, Kletterer too. All great info, quite something to look forward to (9 mths worth!)

Cheers
PC
 
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linked recoveries

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Yes, I do that sometimes. I'll jot down a post on here, realise I have a photo at home, then edit my post and load it up afterwards.

The Seceda photo above is pretty early in the morning, but we'd already hit the first cable car from Campitello, little run, then another lift to get to Passo Sella, then a long schuss down to the cable car on Plan de Gralba, been lifted up, short steep run, double chair to get to the Ciampinoi ridge, fanged down the Santa Cristina WC downhill course (that's fun) to get to the underground funicular, Col Raiser, short little scoot to the next chair, then a chair to the summit of Seceda. That's a hectic morning, but you're certainly getting places.

Here's the view from Seceda from a bit lower down. This is a shot from 2015. It's a terrific run, funneling almost the whole hill into one final run down to the funicular. I've only ever zoomed down here from top to bottom, but the area would support a half day of skiing easily - probably a full day since the run down to Ortisei is worth doing again and again. Left of shot is the Sella Massif, right of shot is the Sassolungo / Langkofel (long rock) above Campitello.

IMG_0227-26.jpg
 
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Hyst

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I am looking forward to staying in Selva val Gardena and the Sella Ronda with my son. Trouble is it will be at the end of September. About 20km I understand it, maybe 7hrs.
Hike or bike?
7 hour must be bike?
Great area for hiking - look at Rosengarten and Sasso Longo Sasso platto as well.
You can hike in the gap between them.
Sorry no more time now wife wants up into the snow.
 

oldgeezer

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Hike or bike?
7 hour must be bike?
Great area for hiking - look at Rosengarten and Sasso Longo Sasso platto as well.
You can hike in the gap between them.
Sorry no more time now wife wants up into the snow.
Wishful thinking on my part linking to a memory of Sellaronda, what I'd dreamed of doing years ago on skis but never managed. Never got it out of my mind.

Anyway I rechecked the self guided doc and it is the Mt Sassolungo and Mt Sasso Piatto round tour!

We have four nights at Hotel Welponer. Other hikes are from Ortisei (lift up to Seceda Bergstation) back to hotel and next day lift up to Mt Seuc and back to hotel.

A lot of work to come to get fit for it.
 
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Lifes2good

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@linked_recoveries - help please!

Corvara and Val Gardena are looking like they are already heavily booked up (unless we want to pay $20k+ for our accom - we don't!)

So where to look next - Cervinia? Ortesei? La Villa? Colfosco?

We wanted somewhere as close to ski in/out as possible and also walking distance to shops/restaurants.
 

linked recoveries

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Try Colfosco first. That’s the closest fit for what you’re trying to achieve. It’s on the Sella Ronda, quick access to both Alta Badia and the areas around Val Gardena / Santa Cristina, you can make it to most places and back in a day ( including the Marmolada), couple of supermarkets in town, gear hire places, etc.

Arabba is also on the Sella Ronda. Probably an equivalent price there however.

If that falls through we’ll have to think again. La Villa and San Cassiano are on the far side of the Alta Badia Hills. Not so bad but it shortens your day as you ski to and from the villages to get places. San Cassiano also has a bit of an up-market reputation so prices may be ‘up there’

I’m surprised you’re finding the place booked out this early. Perhaps they’ve simply not released dates for next season yet. Places can often look totally booked up when they’re simply not taking bookings yet.

I jotted down a list of apartments in Corvara. I’ll send it to you by PM once I get back to the office. They may be a better / cheaper bet. No idea how you get in touch with any of them. Google may have to be your friend.
 
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Lifes2good

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No they are actually booked already - in addition to online searches I"ve reached out directly to a lot of places plus Mario (from Dolomite Ski Tours) and also Tania from Ski Italy. They have both looked into options (and are still looking in Tania's case) and said that for the two weeks we want there isn't availability for our two families - most places are rebooked from year to year by return customers who get first pick.

I've found an apartment for all of us at Cervinia for our dates, but our friends want separate accommodation, which I haven't found. I quite like the idea of being able to ski Zermatt as well as Cervinia-Breuil.
 

Lifes2good

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Finally we have booked accommodation. After almost booking a place in Selva we managed to get apartments in Corvara, even though we have to shift apartments half way through. So we have 12 days in Alta Badia coming up in Jan 2020!
 
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linked recoveries

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Fabulous. Great location alongside all the shops and rental outlets (if you need that), central to most areas, lovely town, good restaurant options, good shopping and a supermarket next door.
 

dmz

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Thanks for all this. We are planning to do the Dolomites for the first time 2020/2021. What is the earliest that bookings usually open up for most places?
 

Shoey

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Thanks for all this. We are planning to do the Dolomites for the first time 2020/2021. What is the earliest that bookings usually open up for most places?

Looking at my past email we booked Hotel Sas Morin, Pozza di Fassa in the dolomites in late August for January. This was with Crystal ski though which was a package departing London.
 

Lifes2good

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Thanks for all this. We are planning to do the Dolomites for the first time 2020/2021. What is the earliest that bookings usually open up for most places?
We booked in May for January, this seemed to be the earliest we could book directly.
 

dmz

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So what sort of accom could you get in the dolomites for around $6000 per week (for a couple)?
Is that mid-range?
 

dmz

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That would be high end. We paid $7k for 14 nights for a family of 4 in this place (the self-contained apartments, not the hotel):
https://www.postazirm.com/en/residence/index
Thanks - still deciding between all the options listed in this thread:
Colfosco, corvara, val gardena.
Need quick access to lifts, restaurants, supermarkets etc - will not have a car.
Prefer loads of intermediate slopes (not big on blacks at my age!).
 

Lifes2good

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Selva seems to have the most accommodation right on the lifts/walking distance to supermarkets and restaurants. The place we booked in Corvara was chosen for the same reason.

Dolomites is largely intermediate, you won't have a problem there.
 

Shoey

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So what sort of accom could you get in the dolomites for around $6000 per week (for a couple)?
Is that mid-range?

$6k would be quiet high end.
Here's our booking from Jan 2018. £1k total for a couple, including flights (from London), transfer and 7 nights half board.

it's a charter flight so the flight component is very cheap but that still makes the accomodation only around $1.5kAUD or so for 2ppl total.

Screenshot_20190807-135429.png
 

linked recoveries

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We tend to view the world as 'you need a clean dry place to store your stuff and sleep'. Nothing more than that. We're into nice, two-star cheapness. Although if someone provides brekkie we're all over it.
 
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Hyst

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Don't know about you age

- but getting old, I go for 3 stars , ok food, close to slopes and if at all possible a nice outside osen. (For the last bit I have to travel a bit more - coming nothern winter).
LOL
 

Slide Sideways

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Ours accommodation was around $1500 for the week, 2 room self contained apartment. Perfect location in Colfosco, close to lift and small delicatessen. Will book again if travelling to Dolomites
 

Ian D

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Ours accommodation was around $1500 for the week, 2 room self contained apartment. Perfect location in Colfosco, close to lift and small delicatessen. Will book again if travelling to Dolomites
Just near the skiers bridge over the main road? If so that is very close to where I stayed last year and @Sadie the year before. Great location.
 

Slide Sideways

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Just near the skiers bridge over the main road? If so that is very close to where I stayed last year and @Sadie the year before. Great location.
Next to the church.
 

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linked recoveries

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Nice, that is about 100m from where I stayed.

You do realise the church bells ring every hour from 7am - and it rings like 28 times. No-one knows the significance of the number.

Do they go "clang" once as a warm up, wait for a bit, then get right into it? We always woke with that small first clang and went "oh, no".
 

dmz

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At the end of next year when we fly into Rome we were thinking of hiring a car and travelling north to ski in the Dolomites. What would the driving conditions be like there in January?
 

Sadie

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At the end of next year when we fly into Rome we were thinking of hiring a car and travelling north to ski in the Dolomites. What would the driving conditions be like there in January?
Completely fine. We drove from Venice mid Jan and didn’t have an issue. You just take it easy once you hit the alps. We had chains instead of Winter tyres and didn’t use them. It had not snowed for a little while before we got there though. It snowed our first night there but the car was parked to stay.
 
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Kletterer

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Driving up to Val Gardena from Bressanone after snowfall is generaly very easy. Maybe slow traffic around St Christina. If things are really wicked you can always go to one of the Eissacktal resorts or drive around to Kronplatz.
 
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