I tell you my experience in Andalo, on the Brenta Dolomites with family and friends. When it comes to skiing holidays the Trentino is the master, not only for the breathtaking scenery of the Dolomites, but also for the quality of services offered.
Andalo is very convenient because it is located about twenty kilometres from Trento and is therefore easy to reach even during periods of heavy snowfall. The village is very nice and well equipped for the fun of young and old, from the ice skating rink to the public swimming pool with wellness centre. The facilities are also right in the centre. We stayed in a flat in Molveno, a few kilometres away on the shores of the lake of the same name, which in winter offers a very suggestive landscape. For those who prefer to stay in a hotel, however, there are numerous facilities of the ‘family hotel’ chain, which provide all the comforts and assistance for children.
Slopes suitable for children
Having never skied in the Fai della Paganella ski area, I didn’t know if the slopes would be suitable for children between 6 and 10 years old. Both my daughters have been skiing since 4 years, but they don’t ski often, they are not so expert. I must admit that, although the snow was a bit soft due to the warm spring sun, the slopes are simple and not too steep.
The systems are new and easy to use even for children. In addition, the slopes run down to the village, allowing you to stop at the refuges without fear of getting stuck when the lifts close.
For children aged 0 to 4 years there is also a nursery school in LAGHET, near the ski lifts “Valle Bianca“: parents can enjoy a few hours of fun on the slopes while the little ones are free to play and rest.
Older children can then have fun at the Snow Park located more or less at the intermediate level of the slopes, at the Meriz refuge, where a baby-sitting service is also available.
Dinner at the cabin with the snowcat
For dinner on Saturday evening we wanted to experience the thrill of reaching a mountain hut or hut at high altitude with the snowcat. We discovered that there are two structures that offer this experience: the Montanara hut at an altitude of 1600, 20 minutes away from Andalo, and the Casina Bruniol which is at a lower altitude in the middle of the woods and only takes 10 minutes from Andalo.
We opted for the second one which offers transport and fixed menu at € 40, while in the first case the transfer has an additional cost of € 15 for adults and € 8 for children and has only a la carte menu. The choice was not so much influenced by the higher price as by the fact that although Montanara enjoys a beautiful view of the Brenta Dolomites, at night we could not appreciate the surrounding panorama.
For those who are wondering how the snowcat transport takes place, I can reassure you that there is a different type of transport suitable for transporting passengers. Our group consisted of 12 people, but the capacity was higher.
The experience was very entertaining and unusual, especially for the charm of the snowy forest at night. Casina Bruniol is very nice and characteristic. The menu is typical and homemade, so don’t expect gourmet dishes.
The refuge in the woods
At dawn on Sunday we woke up with snow on the rooftops and an ice age atmosphere. The lake of Molveno was covered with white clouds reflecting on the water, creating an incredible contrast with the bright blue of the shore. We decided to take another walk in the woods before returning and after some research we booked at the hut I Fortini di Napoleone.
The path that leads to the refuge is located a short distance from the centre of Molveno and is part of the ring of paths that run along the perimeter of the lake. It is a mainly flat route with only a small difference in height almost reaching the refuge, and is easily tackled by children.
At the refreshment, we are welcomed in a characteristic environment, heated by the fire of a burning fireplace. Everything is homemade by the owner, a very kind and helpful lady.
She confirms us that the hut is ‘affiliated’ to another structure, always managed by their family: Osteria del Maso (almost 5 stars on Tripadvisor!) . The farm takes its name from a group of five different fortifications, built by the Austrian army in the early 1800s to repel the advance of Napoleon’s French army.
Probably because of the name of the most famous French leader, even today these fortifications, although of Austrian origin, are still called “Napoleon’s Forts”. Lunch was delicious, always in the name of typicality. I propose you an overview of our dishes to whet your appetite. The hut is also recommended in summer for a stop-restaurant during walks in the woods.