Livigno

A great little resort with 115 km of wide open pistes - most runs are steeper than the average Italian reds and blacks but there are plenty of lifts at village level for beginners. There are several unrelenting reds and blacks on both sides of the resort.

The village itself is huge and is a duty free area, so prices are very reasonable. The mountain restaurants put the ones in French resorts to shame and there are about 100 restaurants to choose from in the village.

Days to St Moritz and Bormio are possible - the bus to Bormio being free. The village itself has a comprehensive free ski bus service, although this can be crowded at certain times of the day.

We went during the Easter holidays and the slopes were uncrowded, a welcome change from the overcrowded pistes in the big French resorts, where we usually go.

Boarders will be in heaven, with the numerous parks and fun areas with no need to take a drag lift on the upper slopes.

Pisting is superb. When we were there, I'd rate the piste bashing as even better than in the USA. The great attraction , though, is the width of the pistes, allowing even timid skiers to cruise the steeper runs.

What is disconcerting is the lack of named pistes on signposts. This needs to be improved.