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Madesimo Ski Holidays

Madesimo’s known for being the furthest Italian town from the sea… But who needs beaches when you’ve got World Cup pistes and famously good powder trails to soar down?!





At a glance: • Crowd free skiing • FIS pistes • Near St Moritz

Great for: • Families • Non skiers • Traditional resort

Madesimo’s known for being the furthest Italian town from the sea… But who needs beaches when you’ve got World Cup pistes and famously good powder trails to soar down?!

Madesimo Resort

In the Lombardy region at the very north end of Italy, Madesimo’s an area of high peaks and thick forest. This Italian town is officially the furthest from the sea, and was originally called Isola (“Island”) for its far away feel. Though it has the same narrow streets and farmhouses from days gone by, don’t expect Madesimo to be sleepy and quiet - the pedestrianised main street, Via Carducci* and its side streets have all the hotels, bars, shops and restaurants you might need for a week.

*(after Nobel-prize-winning poet Giosuè Carducci, who found his inspiration here in the nineteenth century)

It’s not so secluded anymore either: a quarter of an hour’s drive from the Swiss border and 2.5 hours out of Milan. The Milan Linate, Milan Malpensa and Bergo airports are all around 2 hours away and trains run to the town of Chiavenna which is half an hour’s drive. With grand sixteenth and seventeenth century buildings, Chiavenna’s an old, attractive mountain town worth exploring in its own right – and also serves as a handy transport link with bus services running to the famous Swiss ski resort of St Moritz.

Back to Madesimo, four ski lifts take you up to the Madesimo-Valchiavenna ski area, which is home to 60km of pistes, a snow park and itinerary runs including the famous Canalone. You can ski back to the different base stations on red and blue runs, keeping everything marvellously connected.

Stats & FAQ

Location: Lombardy, Italy

Established: 1911

Open: November – April

Downhill: 54km

View our detailed Madesimo snow forecast or snow report and see all live webcams, piste maps, road and travel maps and lift pass prices. For a picture of historic snow conditions see the snow depths month by month with our Madesimo snow history.

Nearest Airport & Transfer Time:
Milan Linate Airport (LIN)142km, 2 hours
Bergamo Orio al Serio International Airport (BGY)125km, 2h15
Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP)159km, 2h20
Verona Villafranca Airport (VRN)228km, 3h15
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced
  • 14 runs 22km 41%

  • 13 runs 29km 54%

  • 2 runs 3km 5%

Top Altitude:2948m
Bottom Altitude:1550m
Resort Altitude:1550m
Longest run:2.4km
Slope Orientation:W SW NE
Vertical Drop:
Skiable Vertical:
Night Skiing:No

Snow Report

  • Top
  • 80cm
  • Base
  • N/Acm
  • Forecast
  • 70cm

Web Cam

Madesimo web cams
Downhill Runs:54km
Beginner slopes:41%
Advanced slopes:5%
Lift Pass Price: €186 (adult 6 day)
Nearby resorts: St Moritz

Skiing/BoardingSkiing in Madesimo

Children and beginners are catered for by the Larici Baby Park and short Palu piste, which are tailor-made to help conquer slides, stops and turns.

For improvers, the 2.4km Lago Azzuro run is one of the longest blues in the area - warm up for it on the Skiweg Larici-Baita del Sole which is a kilometre long.

Intermediates have the whole area to explore, with some lovely runs from La Colmanetta including the Valsecchi Bassa which trails back to the town. The red Montalto run is used in FIS races for its technique testing variety – when it’s not reserved for training it’s an absolute blast to soar down. Italo Pedroncelli from Montalto’s another red that sometimes appears on the World Cup circuit, beginning with a black graded stretch to really up the ante.

The other black piste in the area is Interpista Alta, but that’s not all on offer for experienced skiers and snowboarders. One trail you can’t miss is the Canalone itinerary, which with 940m of vertical from Pizzo Groppera is thought to be one of the best runs in the Alps – a testing stretch of powder, rocks and steeps. The Camosci itinerary sets off from the same point, and there’s more off piste on the sides of the slopes and through the forest.

Up at 1800m, the Larici gondola and Montalto lift serve a snow park which is split into two levels – the lower one for experts (featuring a 12m kicker) and the upper for beginners and intermediates.

Madesimo Apres Ski

When the slopes begin to close, the Acquarela umbrella bar by the piste pumps out loud music, serving beers, wine and snacks. The Boggia American bar has live bands and a mouth-wateringly good grill menu, while Bollicine Café does drinks and Italian tapas. Later on, party into the night at Queen’s Club.

For food, feast on simple, hearty pizzas and lunches at Ristoro Larici or book a table at Osteria Vegia on Via Cascata for delicious local cuisine (try the pizzocheri – a regional dish with pasta, greens and potatoes). If you fancy posh nosh, Ristorante Il Cantinone is praised for its imaginative cuisine in the Michelin guide.

Activity-wise, the sports centre has a gym, squash court and ice rink. Snowmobiling is very popular here, with trails taking you towards the Swiss border and to cosy mountain huts.

There’s oodles to explore, from the historic streets of the town to the 16th and 17th century facades of buildings in Chiavenna half an hour away – where you can visit the Bottonera Mill and the Treasure Museum in the church of San Lorenzo. Busses run between Chiavenna and St Moritz if you want to experience the famous Swiss mountain town.

Best time to go

Best time to ski Madesimo

Best time to visit & ski Madesimo

Most years see the lifts open in November and they tend to continue chugging into the spring – thanks to the positioning of the ski area near the high peaks of the Swiss alps. There’s good snowmaking cover in the resort if Mother Nature needs any assistance and the presence of tree runs is handy in times of low visibility.

Peak Dates

With the slopes often opening as early as November, Christmas in Madesimo is almost always a snowy one.

Celebrate the New Year in Madesimo, toasting with the locals in the après ski bars, feasting on amazing Italian cuisine and enjoying the quiet pistes on January 1st.

The crowds don’t tend to make it to Half Term in Madesimo, helped by the fact that the Italian schools don’t have a week off in February.

Spend a week enjoying the Italian sunshine over Easter in Madesimo and book a table in a local restaurant for an Easter feast to remember.

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Families in Madesimo

Madesimo’s very popular with Italian families and Brits are fast catching onto its offerings. Children receive a warm welcome in the town and on the mountain, with friendly restaurants serving their favourite pizzas (for good prices) and the likes of the Larici Baby Park to ease beginners onto the slopes.

GroupsGroup Holidays Madesimo

From group snowmobile sessions to days exploring historic Italian mountain towns, the list of activities you can enjoy with friends here goes on and on. While the ski area isn’t the biggest in the Alps, it has a good mix of runs for different levels – and there’s always the option of a day trip to St Moritz if you fancy a change of scenery. There are a good range of places to choose between for après ski (we like Acquarela and Boggia), not to mention mealtimes with people pleasing Italian cuisine every way you turn.

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020 7770 6888