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Corvara is typical of the ski resorts you'll find in the Italian Dolomites - cute, not too big, and cosmopolitan in flavour...
The Italian Dolomites are a stunning place to ski. Sheer cliffs tower over gentle pasture land and pretty, traditional villages, and at the top of every lift there seems to be a top-notch restaurant.
Corvara ski holidays won't satisfy party animals, but for anyone who enjoys their lunches as much as their skiing, and wants to sit back at the end of the meal and soak up the view, then Corvara is near perfect.
Resort height: 1,570m
Corvara sits at the junction of two intermediate-friendly ski areas - the Alta Badia and the Sella Ronda. The former offers 130km of pistes, the latter 460km, and both suit intermediate skiers who like to cruise the easier kind of run. There are sterner challenges to be found here - notably on the World Cup courses above La Villa and Selva/Val Gardena - but for the most part, the dramatic scenery doesn't convert into challenging skiing. After all, you can't ski a sheer cliff!
For many, the highlight is the tour of the Sella Ronda massif: a vast lump of rock to the west of Corvara, which is girdled by a network of pistes and lifts. Getting round it is possible for almost anyone who can ski (more or less) parallel, and the tour shouldn't take more than six hours.
The main drawback to the area is the lack of snow. This is one of the driest parts of the Alps, and the ski resorts are heavily dependent on snow cannons. They do a great job, and even when the slopes on either side of the pistes are bare, you can still enjoy great skiing. Just don't come here expecting knee-deep powder!
You can get to Corvara from the UK by flying into Italy or Austria...
The resort is about two and a half hours from both Innsbruck and Verona airports.
The skiing in Corvara is fantastic for intermediates, but a bit lacking for everybody else...
Advanced snowboarders in particular are likely to find this ski area a bit of a disappointment.
The beautiful scenery and relatively low prices in Corvara make up for its low-key après-ski scene...
Large numbers of German-speaking skiers visit Corvara, and give the après-ski a rather Austrian flavour - with the bars at their busiest as the lifts close. Check out L'Murin at Hotel La Perla for some early evening action. For a gourmet dinner, the must-eat location is Stua di Michil, also in the Hotel La Perla.
The beautiful scenery, laidback atmosphere, and interesting mix of cultures make Corvara a pleasant place to stay whether you're skiing or not. Great restaurants and well-equipped spas add to the appeal, and there are some nice tobogganing runs up in the Alta Badia area too. The dry climate does however mean that anyone who really wants to splurge on snowy activities should holiday elsewhere.
Cost of living 7/10
Corvara is fairly upmarket - but then this is Italy, so prices are generally lower than they are in other parts of the Alps. Only a handful of UK tour operators feature the resort, so you won't find much in the way of late-booking discounts.
Attractiveness of the resort 8/10
The Italian Dolomites thoroughly deserve their reputation as one of the scenic hotspots of the Alps. They lack some of the high-mountain grandeur of places like Chamonix and Mürren, but there's no doubting the appeal of the cliff walls that tower above the village, especially as the sun goes down, and the stone turns first to ochre, and then a rose-tinted orange.