Madonna di Campiglio
Vairied, snow-sure ski area offering 150km of immaculately groomed pistes.
Madonna is up there with Cortina as one of Italy's most exclusive ski resorts. This is another venue where posing can be more important than skiing. It's also where the young crowd come to promenade, party and, occasionally, ski. It's a shame more skiing and boarding isn't done, because the 90km of pistes offer good stuff for all, particularly beginners and intermediates. Experts will find a few testing black runs and some off-piste. Boarders come here in hordes, which is partly to do with the nightlife. The snow is usually fine, piste maintenance is first-class, as are the lifts, which keep queues to a minimum. More skiing is only a bus ride away, at Folgarida.
Most visitors come back time and again for the general ambience of the place. Madonna is a well-planned, modern 'traditional' resort, with great scenery to match. There are posh hotels, excellent restaurants and hectic nightlife. These tend to cost a bit more than peanuts, so bring your credit card. Oh yes - don't forget your mobile phone, either. In Madonna everyone seems to have one. If you like to be part of the in-crowd, this is one of the best possible choices, but be sure to bring your glad rags. The skiing is decent and should be exploited, but please remember it's not cool to be on the slopes before 11am…