I'd love to tell you about my March ski trip to the Sella Ronda in the Dolomites in Italy. We had a wonderful time skiing, eating way too much pizza and pasta and loving the March sunshine and wonderful snow.
We arrived very early in the morning (the take off time was brutal!) but it meant that we had the whole Sunday to travel to the Sella Ronda and we even had time to stop off in Verona on the way. The city of Verona was bathed in sunlight and busy with sightseers, as always. Luckily we had booked an amazing restaurant where we could relax and start our pizza eating before heading to Juliet's balcony. Here we are on our stroll through the beautiful city of Verona. Definitely worth a weekend trip if you love Italian architecture, art, fashion and fine food.
From Verona, we headed off towards the Sella Ronda first on motorways and then finally along long, winding and quite beautiful roads.
We were staying just off the Sella Ronda in between Arabba and Cortina. The roads were clear of snow and so we were able to get everywhere easily. Our ski trip to the Sella Ronda in March was off to a good start!
Our accommodation was a beautifully renovated barn with all modern features. Uniquely named (!) The Barn is owned by American English couple who combine modern furniture, quirky accessories with intriguing buildings. They have a few properties in Italy and on my wishlist is a summer holiday to their gorgeous farmhouse in Puglia.
Let me tell you about our accommodation in the Sella Ronda - there was a gorgeous lounge area with funky velvet sofas in olive greens and fab views of the Dolomites. This had been a major selling point when we booked the property - I loved the furniture! A balcony with tables was a real highlight and a perfect place for an early morning cup of tea. Bedrooms were quiet, minimally decorated and warm. The sauna is hidden away on a lower level....and was the perfect antidote to tired end of day ski muscles. The barn is partially heated by wood burning stoves called Stubes and one of my sons and I enjoyed bringing in wood and lighting these each day. The Stubes are excellent at keeping the house warm all day and night. Let me make it clear, we were not foraging for wood. The barn, like most mountain properties, was well equipped with the neatest wood stores. You can see part of the upstairs Stube in the photos below as well as the minimal but stylish furniture.
We all love cooking and so on our way from Verona to begin our ski trip in the Sella Ronda, we stopped off at a large supermarket. I love Italian supermarkets and we planned meals and bought fab ingredients including one amazing panettone style chocolate cake. The plan was to take it in turns to cook in the evenings but to head out some evenings too. Between us we cooked luganica sausage pasta, chicken, croque monsieur and also a tartiflette. Simple easy food but really hearty.
My Inuikii winter boots were perfect in the Sella Ronda as they have wonderful ridged soles to prevent slipping on ice. As our ski trip to the Sella Ronda was in March, the warmer temperatures in the afternoons can lead to more ice in resort in the mornings. I was pleased to feel so protected in these wonderful boots but hoping I looked stylish. I wore them to travel in too and so the only other item of footwear I took were these super soft Inuikii slippers. Top tier even if I say so myself.
Inuikii Classic Shearling Slipper in Black
The classic slipper by Inuikii A slider styled for lounging but fashionable enough to feel cute in Classic slipper redesigned in shearling Beautifully soft and light Cooling and warming Black coloured sole for matching tone on tone style Round open toe… read more
What to wear the Dolomites and in the Sella Ronda for a ski trip? This beautiful Goldbergh ski suit was perfect.
Chic and stylish but also with enough warmth and insulation to keep me cosy and dry. This ski suit is a real go-to ski outfit and I was able to wear it with just a base layer by Sportalm and one by Goldbergh. It was not too hot, not too cold. Sounding like a character from Goldilocks and the Three Bears now! The downfilled bodice kept me warm. I had not skied much in a ski suit before and as we sell tons of them, I thought I should give it a go. I loved it! And to answer the inevitable loo question, I did not find it annoying.
I also wore this amazing black and purple ski jacket from Sportalm with my favourite Goldbergh Pippa ski pants. As I'm quite tall I go for the longer length version of the Pippa ski pants. There's a reason they are our bestselling ski pant - warm, comfy, well fitting and super flattering. The seaming on the sides and rear helps keep the garment beautifully in place and you are warm and dry all the time. I have had mine for 10 years and they are still as good as new.
The pop of purple on the Sportalm ski jacket was amazing and I really enjoyed the colour combination. I normally wear more muted colours. Perhaps I will be even more adventurous in the future. More subtle fur trims in plain blacks or black with silver tips are available if you want to tone things down. If I had gone for the plain black jacket I would have chosen the silver tipped version and if I had chosen the white Sportalm ski jacket then the black fur trim would have looked perfect.
As always my radiator mittens were with me! I cannot rave about them enough. They make the difference between fun me and miserable me. Simply charge the batteries at night and then during the day you can choose from warm or gentle heat settings. They're expensive but I justify them as I've had them for years and find skiing without them pretty difficult. We also do a lower priced version and Katie (my son's fiancée) has had hers for 4 years and they are still as good as new.
Snowlife Women's Heat DT Ski Mitten with Rechargeable Batteries
Snowlife Ladies Heat DT ski mitten is a heated mitten with rechargeable batteries Heat lasts for up to 8.5 hours depending on which heat setting is selected The mitten features goatskin plus a wool insulation Recharge via included USB global cable… read more
Steiner Radiator Heated Glove
Baattery heated glove for skiing ST-GL0802 - Radiator Glove Electronic battery powered heating system 3 level heating control with optimum duration for 8.5 hours Easy reach on/off LED heating switch Soft-shell outer combined with leather palm 100g Primaloft™ insulation Gauntlet… read more
What's your ski holiday routine? We all had breakfast together with each choosing our own options. Self catering made this very easy. I had fruit and a piece of toast but others went for waffles, eggs, granola or all of the above! After that we would drive to either Arabba or Cortina, depending on where we were skiing that day.
Most days on our ski trip this March we skied on the Sella Ronda. We love the variety of runs and the ability to ski and ski and ski. We did each route twice during our stay. On balance the Orange route has fewer lifts and more skiing but is slightly busier as a result. The green route has some of our favourite runs (Dantercepies for one - try saying that after a few Bombardinos!)
The skiing in Cortina was a delight. To ski here we had to take a trip along more windy roads, leaving the Sella Ronda behind us. Cortina is slightly smaller, very chic and is full of amazing restaurants in the town centre. Consider El-Camineto and also SanBrite especially in the evenings for a treat.
Sometimes we had morning coffee....especially on those days when we were up and out early. Lunches were taken up in the mountains as we love to see the views as much as possible. Typically we chose a later lunch to avoid queuing. One memorable lunch in Cortina was at the very entertaining Rifugio Duca D'Aosta. Staff and diners battle for space, and all enjoy an amazing noisy atmosphere heady with the an aroma of grappa, coffee parmesan and pasta. Highly recommended. A real experience. Booking advised.
Do you ever look at the animal footprints in the snow when you are on the chair lifts? I often wonder what creatures they are and where they were going. I love the patterns they make and the meetings they seem to have. One late afternoon we saw a few deer crossing the road in front of us. It reminds us all that the mountains are not just for skiers. I love the fact that the courier service we use offsets all carbon emissions. Each April we get feedback on our annual contributions towards various environmental schemes and it makes me want to do more and help more.
Did we après? Sure we did! Bombardinos and hot chocolates galore in either an atmosphere of noisy Europop or serene sunsets depending on our preference. No ski trip is complete without a bit of après!
On the last night of our ski trip to the Sella Ronda this March, we visited a small local pizzeria. It was a half mile walk from our lovely barn and the moon played ball with the stars. No torches needed as we strolled down the hill to the wonderful understated Fursil restaurant. It's a real family business, no frills but perfect for us on our last night. When we arrived it was full of locals and holidaymakers like ourselves and we were fortunate we'd remembered to book. The pizzas were delicious and one of the family said it was their best pizza ever...a gorgonzola and pepperoni topping in case you were wondering.
Heading to the airport in Verona again we left behind the wonderful barn, taking with us some magical memories of views, fresh air, wonderful snow, windy ridges, giggles and laughter at falls and bumps, pride at our bravery (me on the blacks!) and happiness of a holiday worked hard for and hugely enjoyed.