Taking Rifugio

Sari Anne Tuschman | November 20, 2018 | Feature Features National

Let Scott Dunn arrange an Italian ski trip through the Dolomites and discover Northern Italy's backcountry, rifugios and pressert.
Alta Badia, a ski resort in the Italian Dolomites, is located in the Val Badia.

Skiers have bucket lists. Ask any devoted powder hound like me, and they will be more than happy to rattle off a few of the destinations on their penultimate list. Any true skier (and snowboarder, for that matter) should add the Italian Dolomites to their list pronto. Comprised of approximately 745 miles of terrain encompassing 12 ski resorts, the Dolomiti Superski is the largest ski area accessible by one pass. There are 460 lifts, and 324 snowcats keep the entire range groomed. You read that correctly: All of the Dolomites are groomed, making them ideal for skiers of all levels.

To tackle this feat, I sign up for a ski safari with luxury tour operator Scott Dunn (five-night ski safari with two-night stay in Venice from $5,300 per person), which entails guided skiing through the mountain range from Cortina to San Cassiano, and staying in unique locations and high-end properties each night, including two on-mountain rifugios, meaning “refuge” or “shelter” in Italian. Scott Dunn has spent three decades crafting custom trips for the well-heeled and well-traveled adventurous set, with an expansive portfolio of properties around the world.

I opt to begin my trip with an evening in Venice. A water taxi delivers me to the lovely and supremely located five-star Bauer Venezia, where I receive a warm welcome and am shown to my suite overlooking the canal and a bustling piazza. The next morning, I return to the airport to meet my fellow intrepid group (including one of my dearest girlfriends, who is an accomplished snowboarder).


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