With the pandemic well and truly behind us, we found ourselves once again planning an international getaway. And having not seen the snow or strapped on our skis in almost five years, the slopes were calling. So, we had been tossing around ideas on which European ski destination to choose. And in the end, we settled on Italy and the town of Passo Tonale in the Pontedilegno-Tonale ski area.
A snow sure ski holiday
With a particularly poor snow season throughout most of Europe, Passo Tonale advertises itself as one of Italy’s most snow sure and best value for money ski resorts around. The resort sits at a height of 1883m with the slopes going all the way up to 3000m which gives the resort one of the longest and most reliable ski seasons in the Alps and allows for easy snowmaking if necessary. As we had a long way to travel, we didn’t want to be disappointed with the possibility of not been able to ski and so this played a big part in our decision making.
As we were also travelling as a large group with various levels of skiers we wanted somewhere that would cater to all. Here we found 100km of well-connected slopes with something to satisfy everything from beginners to the more advanced with over 60% of the slopes marked as red and plenty of ski and snowboard rental options. From here we were also able to buy the Skirama Dolomiti pass which provided us access to numerous other ski resorts in the region, providing extended access to over 1,000 kilometres of slopes and several other towns and ski regions for us to explore.
Another thing that was important to us was finding a family-friendly ski resort as we were to be travelling with our toddler and her grandparents in tow and with many of the resorts here catering to kids and plenty of play areas available this looked to be the perfect spot.
Our days at Passo Tonale generally consisted of us deciding to hit the slopes early while our little one spent the morning with granny playing at one of the restaurants at the base of one of the main chair lifts. These provided the perfect place to set up base for the day with small slides and play areas as well as gentle slopes with a travelator so she could spend her time tobogganing without granny and toddler having to keep walking up and down the slope.
The way the slopes are set up in Passo Tonale with no trees and a wide-open area also allowed us to maintain visuals on the pair and easily come back for something to eat and warm ourselves up – cue plenty of local bombardinos which are a warm drink made with whisky or brandy and a lot of cream – kind of like eggnog on steroids and definitely something you should try if given the chance!
Then it was time for granny and grandpa to hit those gentle slopes while we explored the small town with its cute selection of gifts shops, delicious chocolate store and coffee shops. And if anyone did feel like they had done too much baby watching during the day and not enough skiing, the night skiing on Tuesday and Thursday provided another opportunity to hit the slopes (all included in the price of the ski pass).
It was also wonderful to see our daughter experience snow for the first time and create lasting memories with her grandparents that will be treasured by all for years to come. All in all, it was an active yet fun-filled holiday for all involved and one I would definitely recommend doing if you get the chance.