But just because the famous folk go elsewhere doesn’t stop those in the know coming back for the relaxed atmosphere, the good spread of hotels and the wide-ranging skiing. Don’t miss a trip up to the vast altiplano and marvel at standing on the geological divide between the ancient Dolomites and the upstart Alps. Above it all looms the amazing Pale di San Martino, reminding you how stunning mountains can be.
It’s top or bottom for the easier stuff. The most extensive and rolling blues are off Alpe Tognola – they’re long enough to keep beginners engaged and there are a couple of decent rifugios – mountain
restaurants – within easy distance. There’s also a mountain-top crèche for those with nippers. Expand your horizons, or simply look to your left, and there are another two peaks to run off. An all-time great is the
Christiania (number 19) off Cima Tognola. Long enough to get you working, it’s got all the rollers, short steeps and banked turns to keep it on the challenging side of red if you ski it non-stop. There’s night skiing,
and a good piste by any measure, off the Col Verde lift at the top of the town. Quick warning: we could be kind and say that the lift system gives you ample chance to absorb the natural splendour that abounds. Or
we could just say it’s a bit old and slow in parts.
Late March onwards is the best time to avoid queues – there’s no-one around. Almost every aspect has bowls, glades and chutes to play in. Under lift 18 is a prime example; a great pitch, well-spaced trees and little sun to upset the snowpack. About as good as it gets. Until, of course, you head up the cable car on the other side of the valley. There’s a great piste to hammer, but the real deal is the 1500m descent from the top of the Rosetta lift under the stunning Pale – the wall of peaks above the town.