Madonna di Campiglio, situated in a beautiful valley between the spectacular Brenta Dolomites and the Adamello-Presanella glaciers, at an altitude of 1550 m.a.s.l. was launched onto the touristic scene in the mid-19th century by Giovanbattista Righi, a native of Strembo, in Val Rendena. In 1868 Righi bought the entire ex-monastery of St. Maria di Campiglio, a property previously belonging to the Cathedral of Trento, for 40,000 Italian florins. In the place of the old and crumbling alms-house, built around the late Medieval church, Righi built the first hotel: an alpine establishment conceived to welcome the first tourists of the area. A high class destination of the rich and noble,
In 1889 and 1894 Madonna di Campiglio even hosted Princess Sissi and the Emperor Franz Josef himself. The end of the 19th century is also the time when numerous mountain-climbers, mostly English and German, began exploring the Brenta Dolomites, led by the first local alpine guides and chamois hunters: Grohmann, Ball, Freshfield, Payer, and Tuckett. 1872 marked the foundation of the local mountaineering association, the Società Alpinisti Tridentini, in Madonna di Campiglio, i.e. in the village that mostly and perfectly represented mountaineering adventure. In 1855 a group of local alpinists climbed the Cima Tosa peak and in 1864 the English John Ball succeeded in crossing the whole Brenta group mountain range, all pioneers of the ascent to the Brenta Dolomites, culminating on 18th August 1899 in the adventure of two Tirolean climbers, Otto Amferer and Karl Berger, who for the first time ever ascended the Campanile Basso summit.
The Ski-lifts Company of Madonna di Campiglio was founded in 1947, with the aim of further encouraging skiing and promoting the winter resort: the first ski-lift was built in 1948: it was a chair-lift connecting Madonna di Campiglio to Mount Spinale. During the 1950’s the lakes cable-car and some drag-lifts were installed.
Today the lifts network connects 60 km of ski-runs. The ski area is also connected to Folgarida-Marilleva and Pinzolo, for a total of 150km.
In the summer Madonna di Campiglio is an ideal place for open air sports at the feet of the Brenta Dolomites: from trekking to nordic walking, climbing to ferrate routes, from mountain biking to hang gliding, and fishing and golf.
Credits: APT Madonna di Campiglio Pinzolo Val Rendena