Santa Caterina is a small, traditional village sitting at the heart of the vast Stelvio National Park, the largest protected natural reserve in Italy. It's a quiet friendly village in the Valfurva Valley above Bormio in a valley with no winter through-traffic. Over the past fifty years it has grown modestly to offer all modern ski resort conveniences, but has retained much of its original charm with many of the hotels and other resort businesses still owned by the same few families. With 1000m of vertical above, it's not surprising that Santa Caterina has a long association with international ski racing and that it was venue for the Bormio Alpine World Championships in 2005. Santa Caterina has been home to several famous ski racers, most recently Deborah Compagnoni, as well as famous Italian downhiller Pietro Vitalini. The new Deborah Compagnoni slope was created for to all the women's alpine ski races for the World Championships in 2005. For over a century it has been the base for summer and winter mountain lovers. In the winter, the high altitude of the village and the surrounding ski area make it a snowsure destination. Even in summer it's a good base for summer skiing on Passo dello Stelvio, with the possibility of summer ski touring to the surrounding areas of southern Switzerland, Austria and Alto Adige. Santa Caterina was already known in the 19th century as a spa location, thanks to its ferruginous water springs. Even then there were excursions to the Forni glacier above, mainland Europe's largest glacier. The resort's fame as a ski resort grew in the 1950s and '60s when the first ski lifts were built. The Stelvio National Park is popular year round, containing as it does the magnificent Ortles - Cevedale mountain range with peaks over 3 800 metres above sea level. This is a natural heritage of exceptional significance and beauty, containing over 1 800 types of flowers, 200 types of birds, deer, roebuck, mountain goats, ibexes, marmots, squirrels, stoats and foxes. Guests who stay at the resort's hotels for at least three days receive a free guest card which offers free services, promotions and discounts.
A quiet friendly village in the Valfurva Valley above Bormio. The architecture is very Italian and the scenery unspoilt and tranquil. The skiing is best suited to intermediates, but there are several testing blacks and the option for late season off-piste with a guide or high mountain touring.