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Budget-friendly Selva offers great facilities for families and access to a huge, varied ski area...
Children often get lots of attention in Italy, and Selva is no exception - despite being in Austria for many years. The village, set in the stunning Dolomite mountain range, prides itself on both its impressive ski area, and the enthusiastic Italian welcome it gives to families.
Resort height: 1,565m
Selva is part of Dolomiti Superski, which incorporates a massive 1,200km of beautifully groomed slopes.
The immediate village is well served by nursery slopes for beginners, while intermediates need never take the same piste twice in a week. Boarders and skiers who like spending time in the park, meanwhile, can either head to the small terrain park near Selva or the larger ones in Canazei, Plan de Gralba and Cortina - all of which are covered by the area lift pass.
There are also several black runs for more advanced skiers and boarders, as well as some great powder runs if you are lucky with the snow. Unfortunately, however, that can be a bit of a problem here. The slopes are not high. And while the resort has excellent snowmaking facilities, these will not help those wanting to head off-piste when Mother Nature fails to provide.
Other downsides include that you have to take a bus to access the long, easy runs best suited to near-beginners, and that the ski area closest to the village can get unpleasantly crowded at busy times.
You can get to Selva by fly into Verona, which can be reached in a couple of hours by car or coach...
Alternatively, you can fly into Milan, which is some 300km from the resort, or get the train to nearby Bolzano.
Intermediate skiers and snowboarders will enjoy exploring the huge ski area accessible from Selva...
However, the area's erratic snowfall can make it less fun - especially for anyone hoping to head off-piste.
With a wide variety of activities for non-skiers, Selva offers good value for money and is especially well suited to families...
Despite its family-friendly atmosphere, there are a number of lively après-ski venues both in resort and on the slopes around Selva. La Stua is a good place to start. Restaurants too are numerous: the village's mixed heritage means that you can find both Italian and Austrian specialities. Try Ciadinat Hutte for authentic Austrian cooking and Freina for Italian.
Selva offers many of the traditional ski resort activities for non-skiers, including ice skating, snow-shoeing and sleigh rides. If the weather's bad, visitors can also have a go at bowling or indoor tennis, or check out local wood carvings in the village shops. There's even a museum.
Cost of living 7/10
The Val Gardena area is very reasonable in comparison to the French Alps, for example. And Selva is one of the cheaper resorts to visit there.
Attractiveness of the resort 5/10
There are some knockout views in Selva. And fans of Austrian Alpine village will like the traditional Tyrolean-style architecture too. Unfortunately, however, the effect of all those charming buildings is somewhat ruined by the large road that runs through the centre of the resort.