Almanac: Bormio, Italy


Getting There Alitalia has daily flights to Milan from New York, L.A. and other major cities. From Milan, it's about a three-hour drive.

When to Go Liftlines are longest from mid-February to mid-March. Glacier skiing (late May to November) is one hour away at Stelvio Pass.

Sleeping In On the slopes: Larice Bianco is popular with North Americans. A ski week costs about $450 per person, including breakfast and dinner. A week at Girasole, at the top of the cable car, costs about $300. In old town: Hotel Posta, with two meals, costs $170 a night. Farther out, Baita dei Pini is $75 per night.

Dining Out Most skiers buy half-pension packages that include dinner. Bormio's hotel food is almost uniformly good. Not to be missed is a prix-fixe ($30) homemade meal at La Rasiga. The restaurant is housed inside a 600-year-old sawmill.

Après-ski Hotel terraces at the bottom of the lifts in late afternoon; Clem's Pub in the old town, any time; King's Club Disco after 11 p.m.

Kicking Butt In the spring, when avalanche danger has abated, this giant mountain offers a myriad of steep untracked routes through rocky outcroppings. Be smart: Hire a guide.

Kicking Back The ancient Roman baths are a five-minute taxi ride away. Steam in a grotto, relax under a waterfall, swim in an outdoor pool. Only $7.

Activities There's ice climbing near the Roman Baths and superb cross-country skiing at Santa Caterina. There's also world-class shopping.

Don't Miss See Italy before the summer crunch. Drive south via the ski resort of Aprica and continue to dazzling Florence, with the world's greatest art gallery, the Uffizzi.

Vital Stats Vallecetta: Terrain: 30 miles of slopes, Lifts: 2 cable cars, 1 gondola, 7 chairlifts, 6 drag lifts. Base elevation: 4,020 feet. Summit elevation: 9,880 feet. Vertical rise: 5,860 feet. A 6-day ski pass, for Bormio and four other areas, costs $120. Tourist office: Phone: 011-39-0342-903-300; web: