During half-term we travelled to Madesimo, a couple of hours drive from Milan, for a few days of skiing and, of course, amazing food. En route we stopped by Lake Como (where several scenes of Casino Royale were filmed and where George Clooney owns a holiday home), which is stunning and definitely worth a quick lunch stop over. It quickly became clear that Madesimo was a resort which had somehow managed to drop off many European skiers' radar. Despite it being half-term there were virtually no queues for any of the chair lifts or gondolas and minimal dodging requirements while skiing down the slopes as to not knock into someone else.
The resort covers approximately 60km of ski slopes, meaning that there were plenty different runs to make while we were there. Madesimo is probably best suited towards the intermediate skier with an abundance of great red runs. For the more advanced skiier, Madesimo is also home to the Canelone, an off piste run, regarded by experts to be one of the best runs in Europe! Lift passes are very reasonably priced at 135 euros for an adult for 6 days and 103 euros for children. Free skiing is available in Madesimo with a free lift pass offer when hotels are booked from the 30th March to the 27th April 2014 (inc. Easter).
There is plenty of choice for hotels in the town centre which are right next to the slopes. However, the hotel where I was staying, Boscone Suite Hotel, was a short (5 minute) bus ride away from the slopes. This was no problem as they ran their own shuttle bus from the hotel to the slopes regularly. The hotel also had its own ski rental shop and storage which was very convenient. The hotel was very well suited to families with rooms having a double bed as well as a smaller pull out double bed which could easily sleep two children. It also had a kitchenette with a stove, fridge and sink.
On our first evening we were taken on a 1.5 hour guided tour (usually 85 euros to drive or 55 euros to be a passenger) on a snowmobile. Being directly behind the instructor, I thought that I could and should be able to keep up with him, meaning that I was frequently pushing speeds of 70km/h+, which was definitely a thrilling experience and got the adrenaline pumping! Our tour ended at the family owned restaurant, where the wife cooks the meals and the husband bakes the bread, at the top of a mountain called Osteria Amalia. The food was great and very reasonably priced.
Madesimo is quite a small resort in comparison to some of the big name ski resorts, but it certainly doesn't lack après-ski options. We started our second evening at the lovely wine bar, Bollicine, which, as well as great wine, had some lovely meat boards. The town centre also has a couple of nightclubs, the Queens Club, and Disco Tender, and the Boggia American Bar which puts on live music. We then continued to another lovely family owned restaurant, Dogana Vegia, which had a very unique cosy, secluded and romantic feel to it, with wood burn fire places. The food was spectacular and a merry evening was had by all!
Overall, I had a great few days in Madesimo and would certainly recommend it to families and individuals alike as an affordable ski resort with plenty to do!
I was invited on this trip to review the resort and it was paid for by an external party.