A ski trip to the Dolomites is so much more than just skiing. In the Alta Badia region, located less than 2 hours by car from Venice, the snowy peaks pair with the warm Ladin culture to present one of the most genuinely enjoyable—and least pretentious—Alpine destinations in Europe.
Capturing the essence of the Alta Badia is Hotel Ciasa Salares, a 47-room family-run lodge in San Cassiano where the owners are as comfortable walking you through a tasting of Alto Adige wines as they are steering you down the steeps of the region’s famed Sella Ronda route. Alta Badia’s March calendar is filled with food and wine events that celebrate the local culture as well as the considerable bounty of the South Tyrol. First up are the third annual Sommelier on the Slopes days (March 1, 15, and 22), which pair powder runs with tastings of Alto Adige wines at mountain huts along the way. From March 11 to 18, Roda dles Saus (“Tour of Taste” in Ladin) is another hut-to-hut skiing experience that highlights a different local specialty—perhaps schlutzkrapfen ravioli or furtaies funnel cake—at each stop. The eighth annual Wine Skisafari on March 25 offers South Tyrolean tastings at 2,000 meters, but most intoxicating of all is Ciasa Salares’s Roots of Excellence on March 24 and 25. The event brings food and wine producers from throughout Europe to the Dolomites to celebrate the influences that make Ciasa Salares—whose five restaurants include the Michelin-two-star La Siriola—worth a culinary pilgrimage any time of year.