Ski & Sightseeing in Italy

Old Sep 20th, 2000, 08:09 AM
  #1  
Mari
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Ski & Sightseeing in Italy

Hi! We have a 2-week vacation in March '01. My husband is an avid skier, but I am a novice. We want to spend 1 week in a ski resort and 1 week sightseeing nearby. I would like to stay in a town that offers more to see and do than just skiing, since I will not want to ski for 6 days. We want to find a resort area that offers: 1) good skiing for different levels 2) a real, cute, charming, Italian town with old buildings, piazzas, churches, restaurants, etc. <BR> <BR>For the second week of the trip, we are looking for itinerary suggestions departing from the ski area. We would prefer to use trains/buses instead of renting a car, and we would prefer to see "off the beaten track" towns, since we have been multiple times to Rome, Venice, and Florence. <BR> <BR>Some of the places that we are considering are: Bormio (Alta Valdellina), Courmayeur, and Ortisei (Val Gardena in Dolomites). Afterwards we are considering going to Tuscany/Umbria or the Italian Lake region. <BR> <BR>Any suggestions regarding towns, accomodations, itineraries, etc. will be GREATLY appreciated!
 
Old Sep 20th, 2000, 09:20 AM
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kayla
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I would recommend such quaint towns as Montepulciano or others in Tuscany at this time, however, keep in mind that it is definitely not going to be that warm, so you might want to limit your time spent wandering outdoors. After your ski portion, I would recommend spending 1 night and a day in Bologna--it is in the north, where you will already be, and is not only the hub of the northern railroad routes (a wonderful way to travel, by the way), but is also a very culturally rich city, as well as the most wealthy one in Italy! Tour the Archeological Museum right off the central square, and the Archiginasio (sp.?) where you can see the first classroom in which medical students were allowed to study real cadevers (it is an amazingly beautiful and well-preserved classroom from the 1300s). The city also has some beautiful churches to explore, and incredible restaurants. Best of all, it is not touristy in the least. If you have any other questions, please email me!
 
Old Oct 26th, 2000, 10:06 AM
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Bob
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I would highly recommend Courmayeur. My girlfriend had a business trip in Milan last year. After Milan, we took a bus to Courmayeur. The town had many restaurants, shops, hotels, and great skiing. The terrain is good for any level skier. You could take a day and go to Aosta. We took a bus from Courmayeur. The town has the ancient ruins, museums, piazzas, and churches you're looking for. There's many castles in the area. You could spend at least a couple of days sightseeing. <BR>A trip to the top of Mont Blanc is highly recommended. The views are unbelievable. <BR>Courmayeur has the charm you are looking for. We're even thinking about going back this winter. <BR>The exchange rate makes the price right too.
 
Old Nov 4th, 2000, 03:49 AM
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adrienne
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Bob <BR> <BR>You must be able to read minds! Will be in Milan in January and was wondering about public transport to ski resorts and Courmayeur sounds idea. Do you have any idea how long journey takes, frequency, cost. Is it possible to turn up and get accommodation on-spec in Courmayeur. <BR>Any info would be very much appreciated am dreaming already about a trip to Mont Blanc. <BR>Adrienne <BR> <BR> <BR>
 
Old Nov 4th, 2000, 11:11 PM
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t
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t
 
Old Nov 7th, 2000, 08:29 AM
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lorraine
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Just returned from driving through the Dolomite region and can recommend both Cortina and Orstisei. Cortina is a larger town, more sophisticated shops than Ortisei. In Cortina we stayed at the Hotel Natale - three star - lovely spic 'n span hotel. Gorgeous pine wood all over the place. We opted for the rooms on the main floor right on the deck looking up at the mountains. In Ortisei we stayed at the Garni Grones - a lovely hotel owned by a lovely family. Great buffet breakfasts in both. Would heartily recommend either. Since it was off-season we paid about $60-80 - not sure what it would be during season.
 
Old Nov 7th, 2000, 11:21 AM
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BOB THE NAVIGATOR
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Mari, What you are describing is an <BR>obvious choice---Ortisei in the beautiful Val Gardena. You can ski the <BR>entire area using the Dolomiti ski pass. <BR>Also, from there it is not far to Merano, Lake Garda, Verona, and Venice. <BR>The whole Trentino/ Veneto area is one <BR>of the best in Italy--go for it.
 
Old Nov 8th, 2000, 11:04 AM
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mari
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Thanks to everyone that has responded (kayla, bob, adrienne, lorraine, bob-the navigator)! Both Courmayeur and Ortisei are our main contenders at this time...we are leaning towards Ortisei because it would give us a chance to explore Verona, Bologna, and go back to Venice, which we love. <BR> <BR>Can anyone recommend a ski resort in the Dolomites? <BR> <BR>Because we would only have approximately 1 week before/after skiing to explore the area we are thinking about spending 1 night in Bologna, 1 night in Verona, 2 nights Venice. What would be some other towns in the area that merit a visit? Lake Garda? Montova? Ferrara? Padova? Ravenna? Thanks!
 
Old Oct 7th, 2003, 01:03 PM
  #9  
FTP
 
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I have been looking in the old posts because I hope to do the same type of trip this winter. I am also favoring the Dolomites. Any new input would be much appreciated. (hotels, etc.)
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Old Oct 7th, 2003, 02:18 PM
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FTP, you just dugged up my oldest post/question in this Forum! And yes, we did go to the Dolomites, twice! First time we stayed in Castelrotto, which was charming, but was a 20 minute bus ride (free) to Alpe di Suisi. The second time we stayed in Moena (Val di Fassa/Fiemme) and we skied all over.

First of all, if you're considering skiing in the Dolomites, the main question is what level skier are you? The Dolomites, in general, have gentle and groomed pistes (which suited me fine as a timid intermediate), but my husband preferred France as it had more expert slopes.

Second, some of the towns in the Dolomites have a more German/Ladin flavor and some have more of an Italian flavor. Val Gardena (Ortisei, Selva, and Sta. Cristina) have a more German flavor, whereas Val di Fassa/Val di Fiemme have a more Italian flavor.

Third, some towns are better lift-linked than others. Some towns are on the Sella Ronda circuit and are very well linked (e.g., Canazei and Selva).

Fourth, the ski areas are not as high up and snow-sure as other parts of Europe. We really lucked out both years, but we heard that there have been some years (I think January of 2000) where there the snow was not great.

I think the best hotel guide is provided by www.Dolomitisuperski.com

Re: sightseeing
You don't have to ski the whole time. You can take a bus to Trento or Bolzano for the day - both delightful towns. And it is easy to combine a week in the Dolomites with a week traveling elsewhere - Venice, Verona, Vicenza, the towns of Emilia-Romagna, etc. are all a few hours away.

We're actually thinking about going back to the Dolomites this March.

Let me know if I can answer any questions.
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Old Oct 8th, 2003, 07:53 AM
  #11  
FTP
 
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Thank you for your help. That is exactly what I am looking for. My husband and I are intermediate and my son and daughter are experts. She lives in Italy and the purpose of the trip is a family rendezvous with skiing secondary, but something we all enjoy.
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Old Oct 8th, 2003, 12:27 PM
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FTP, for intermediate-experts you may want to look into staying in Arabba. It's supposed to have more expert terrain than other Dolomiti resorts and it has access to the Marmolada glacier (so snow is basically guaranteed). It's also on the Sella Ronda circuit. We have just started looking into it.

Have a great time in your family reunion!
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Old Oct 8th, 2003, 01:57 PM
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Mari:

Mariposa has some great first hand experience, which is what you want! I have skied in Cormayeur where I tore up my knee on the first day! (easy slopes, I just was not paying attention) It turned out to be a &quot;blessing in disguise&quot;!!
While the rest of the group continued the ski-week, I took off in the rental car and explored the area:
1st: Cormayeur is a very quaint town! Nice people and great food!

Aosta is an 'old town' that has a lovely pedestrian zone...great gelatti!

The Gran Pardasio park is a wonder! Many cross country ski trails and wonderful views

The trip up to the top of Monte Bianco is 'to die for'. You can take successive cable cars across into France! Also your Husband could partake one of the great ski experiences called the &quot;Valle Blanche&quot; A guided tour across the top of Italy and into France. My friends said it was the highlight of the trip.

You also can drive into France and visit my favorite resort Chamonix! A very lovely ski villiage

March should be perfect!
JOHN
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Old Oct 9th, 2003, 09:39 PM
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I'm also investigating skiing in Italy this winter, and I'm wondering why Madonna di Campiglio hasn't come up in the conversation. I've driven through in summer (not a great way to know about ski conditions) but I heard it was, at least in terms of skiing, more laidback-Italian than others in the area (not quite as fur-coatey or Teutonic as others in the Dolmiti). Am I wrong to consider it? Thanks..
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Old Oct 10th, 2003, 05:33 AM
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Ginavt:

My wife's cousin is from Austria and she goes to Madonna almost every year!! I guess that say's something about the area.
She has sent me information on the places she stays. If you are interested. I could look them up for you!
JOHN
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Old Oct 10th, 2003, 06:37 AM
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ginavat and JOHN,
We're also interested in Madonna. Someone we know skied there and said that the snow was *great* and that it is definitely Italian, but that it's not exactly 'laid back'; there is quite a bit of the fur coat scene going on. We would lvoe to know more about it...

JOHN - I was the original poster of this message (before registration). Our interests have not changed one bit in the last three years.
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Old Oct 10th, 2003, 07:35 PM
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Mari:

I did not look at the original date of this thread!

I think I owed you an answer on Lech a few posts ago!

I think we need to meet up in Europe soon! We seem to have the same opinion on skiing!!!
JOHN
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Old Oct 14th, 2003, 01:32 AM
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Two years ago you thought to visit Bormio in alta Valtellina? In the last years Bormio is one of the italian ski resort who renovated more. Why don?t you visit the web cam site http://www.valtline.it/bormio_inv/bor_nv.htm and the exclusive wellness and spa resort http://www.bagnidibormio.it/ .
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