The peak, is chic

Madesimo, Italy

Mention Madesimo to the Milanese and you’ll catapult into the ski crowd.

Ideal for the current economic trend, the town cuts its couture coat according to economic cloth, with affordable hotels, restaurants, wellness and sports’ options.

Set up in 1911, it’s long been favoured by Italian city slickers and ski enthusiasts who revel in the luxury of a weekend break, just three hours from home turf.

But Madesimo isn’t relying on history, it’s also making it. New for this season, those who curve their way up the valley via Lake Como will find the gleaming new Seven Park Hotel, who’s wellness suite and Masanti’s restaurant winks with before or after ski opportunities.

Once in resort you’ll find similar high standards at the Hotel Andossi’s wellness centre…ideal for an after-ski soak!

Exclusive boutiques, a burlesque bar, Bollicine’s bubbling après ski bar all flavour this authentic resort – it’s ‘totally Italian’, from confectioners to clothes!

At 2,800m, Madesimo’s snow-sure slopes reach into the heart of the town, and – at this height – guarantee a long ski season.

The 60kms of trails include cruisy blues, sweeping reds…. and the pulse racing Canalone – an off-piste route considered one of the Alps’ most challenging.

Newly renovated, the snow park has a half pipe, rails, jumps, a spine ramp and a quarter pipe, and there’s also 20kms of cross-country trails.

But does sliding across the ice at break-neck speed appeal? Patentando new ice driving course is perfect for petrol heads that can thrust through fun and fear with the gears.

Team Extreme’s snow mobile evening excursion is a gentler option, and includes a drive to the Swiss border, and a candle lit dinner with Black Lake views.

Foodies will favour this valley, as ‘variety is the spice’.

Dining at Il Cantinone is delectable. A sister restaurant to Masanti’s, it has a deserved Michelin star and demands your taste buds stand to attention.

Drop into the quaint old customs house that’s now the Dogana Vegia pub and restaurant and you’ll savour fine valley dishes and local wine…many folks have also found themselves singing around the fireplace!

The piste party often starts and ends at Acquarela, while the mountain hut Ristoro Larici links non-skiers with sports enthusiasts. It’s at the top of the Larici cable car, at the centre of the slopes.

I’d raise my glass in this place anytime, it’s fun, friendly and you’ll have a fantastic time on the slopes.

Milan (138km) and Bergamo (119km) are the nearest airports, with direct UK flights.

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Amanda started off her career as a chalet girl in Meribel when she was 18, she is the founder and editor of, has written and contributed to features for fashion publications, broadsheet newspapers and previously worked for the Good Ski Guide.

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