Madonna di Campiglio

Dolomite, Italy
Madonna di Campiglio is a charming Dolomite town in northeast Italy that caters to very exclusive clientèle. Founded by Raimondo, a now legendary monk, it was originally a monastery that served as a refuge for travelers o­n hazardous roads in dangeorus times. Although still a very small village with o­nly about a thousand permanent residents, Madonna di Campiglio can roll out the red carpet with a flair that rivals the more cosmopolitan resorts, and has hosted such dignitaries as Princess Sissi and the Emperor Franz Josef in its long and elegant history.

Boasting 44 ski lifts and 2600 kilometers of slopes with excellent snow records, professional skiers naturally swarm to this Val Rendena resort every winter. Many come to compete in the challenging Alpine Skiing World Cup, which has attracted world-class competitors like Jean-Claude Killy. Madonna di Campiglio also is becoming popular with the snowboarding crowd, and the chance to compete in snowboard races has drawn more Americans and Canadians to the resort in recent years.

Cross-country skiers can take off directly from some hotels and ski the trails of Campo Carlo Magno and return to elegant quarters, divine meals and relaxing spas. Madonna di Campiglio has a very apres-ski night life, and hot spots like La Cantina del Suisse or Franz Josef's Stube attract snow bunnies and executives alike. There are even raucous evening cabarets with both male and female exotic dancers in the old Hapsburg ballroom nearby.

In the summer, Madonna di Campiglio's famous healing waters and rehabilitation resorts bring celebrities such as David Bowie and Rod Steward to enjoy the therapeutic properties of mud baths, massages and alpine herbal treatments. Madonna di Campiglio is even the choice for the Scuderia Ferrari Formula o­ne racing team and the Ducati Corse MotoGP team to hold their annual meeting.