Our trip to Italy was so awesome it has taken us two articles to tell you about all of our experiences in the Trentino region of the Italian Alps (Dolomites). When we weren’t on the Dolomite slopes surrounding Madonna di Campiglio, we were taking in the sights and sips and nibbles the town has to offer. It’s a wonderful way to enjoy our roving retirement in the Italian mountains.
Madonna di Campiglio Town and Shops
Campiglio is a town of 800 souls, but the population swells with tourists in the winter and summer. There are many hotels and restaurants ready, willing, and able to serve the mountain pilgrims. Tourist prices and products rule the markets, where you can find art, fashion, and artisanal offerings at somewhat inflated prices. That said, it may be a little cheaper than for comparable items in Telluride.
The nearest comparison I have in the US to the Dolomites is Telluride, Colorado. In Telluride, you can never escape the imposing cliffs the same is true of the Dolomites in Campiglio. Everywhere you look, you are reminded of their presence and majesty. I feel the snowy backdrop serves to heighten the impact, but I can’t imagine there is a bad time to visit and take it all in.
A nice feature of all of the gondolas dotting the town is that you can take a ride up and enjoy the peaks up close pretty much any time of year. You can even overnight at one of the rifugios (mountain huts) and get in some serious low-light-pollution star gazing.
Our Campiglio Hotel
As we rove, Diana is usually the one of us who selects where we stay. In this case, she had to balance comfort, the convenience of access to skiing and dining, and cost. I feel she really scored here with her find of the family-owned Panorama Hotel Fontanella.
Our room was of average size by European standards (meaning not large), but the view was phenomenal. It was always a treat to watch from our balcony the sun and snow lapping the nearby craggy mountains. We couldn’t resist taking pictures nearly every day from our room and the spa because the view was so spectacular. The new spa downstairs was outstanding, with many inviting spots to relax. My only complaint is the lack of a hot tub. Jets were available in the pool, just not extra hot water. There was a sauna in lieu of a hot tub, which seems to be very popular in Europe.
We also had a nice breakfast before heading out each day. Fontanella provided free shuttles to five of the nearby gondola stations, making it easy to access a broad area to ski or traipse. A different large, tasty, five-course meal was available at our hotel every night for the low price of 20€, and good bottles of wine could be had for 25€.
All in all, I would stay there again given the opportunity. I don’t often say that.
Madonna di Campiglio Food
We dined out a few times during our stay and were rarely disappointed. It took us a couple of tries to get into Le Roi pizzeria, which seemed to fill up every night. Their pizza and pasta were worth the wait.
Hedging more toward the Austrian history of the area, Home Stube was another nice find. We were lucky to get there around 6:30, slightly ahead of the hungry mob that arrives every night. They don’t take reservations, so timing is everything. We each grabbed a cold brew and shared local dumplings and wurst (sausages).
Our big night for Valentine’s Day was at Il Gallo Cedrone, a Michelin One Star restaurant in town that I found using the Michelin app on my iPad. We enjoyed the dishes and service we have come to expect from such places, even if it was a little spendy.
Which mountain towns have you enjoyed visiting?