Discovering the Resort
San Martino di Castrozza – Passo Rolle, is one of twelve ski resorts that make up “Dolomiti Superski”, one of the largest and most comprehensive ski areas in Europe, and quite possibly, the entire world. With 60 kilometers of skiable terrain, San Martino – Passo Rolle is seemingly the smallest domain of this immense “My Dolomiti Skicard” universe, but it is definitively one of the most beautiful and charming resorts thanks to the amazing scenery provided by the Pale di San Martino mountain range. These majestic peaks, classified a UNESCO World Heritage since 2009, are located just in front of the principal ski lifts.
San Martino di Castrozza was established in the late 1800s thanks to foreign climbers who came to this area to scale the Pale di San Martino peaks. In fact, some of the summits are even named after notable British climbers such as John Ball or Leslie Stephen. By the first decade of the 20th century, San Martino, along with Cortina, Zermatt and San Moritz, had become a holiday destination of choice for the wealthy high-society of Europe. Documentation exists that mentions the area’s first ski lift being established sometime between the two World Wars, but it was, in fact, a motor sledge that carried people up Tognola Alp enabling them to ski back down. After WW II, the ski area was developed by some Italian entrepreneurs, turning it into one of the first high-class ski resorts in the Dolomites.
Our Day in San Martino – Passo Rolle
Our San Martino ski day started with a strong, early-morning Italian espresso at the base of the Tognola Alp gondola located in the southern part of San Martino village. If you plan on travelling by car, as we did, this is a best first choice upon arrival thanks to the large parking lot and the fast gondola that brings you up the 2,200 meters of Tognola Alp in less than 10 minutes. Located directly in front of the Pale di San Martino’s range, it is a quaint sun and snow paradise, and the view from the top is simply stunning! We spent the morning exploring the slopes of this part of the resort before connecting over to the Punta Ces ski area and its famous Carosello delle Malghe, a “hut-to-hut” tour that allows you to stop and visit a variety of typical, and beautiful, mountain huts and restaurants that are peppered throughout the domain. Thanks to our Skitude compatible San Marino App, we found yet another stunning restaurant in Malga Ces, the Malga Valcigolera, a lovely cabin with walls made of glass and wood. There we enjoyed a fantastic lunch and finished the dining experience with some typical Italian grappa. The resort offers intermediate level slopes and some facilities for children and families, but young skiers and snowboarders will find a few great spots dedicated to freestyle skiing such as the enormous San Martino Snowpark, and the Valcigolera Powder Paradise that lives up to its name. It is a delightful valley nestled in the heart of the ski area, a virtual hidden world made for freeriding buffs to do their thing, in powder of course!
How the Skitude compatible San Martino App made our day even better
It was impossible to miss the huge billboard at the base of the Tognola Alp gondola that prompted visitors to download the official resort app. Since it was our first visit to the area, we decided to do exactly that. We wanted to learn more about the domain itself and not to miss out on the most recommended places to stop and grab something to eat during the day. We used the time riding the gondola to explore the app some more and consequently, decided to record our San Martino ski day. Thanks to this decision, and the app’s end-of-day activity summary, we could see that we had skied more than 60 vertical kilometers! Another feature we found very helpful was the resort’s interactive map which directed us to the best points of interest and other potential coffee-stops and restaurants throughout the day.
Download the official app and start experience Dolomiti: