You think you’re in Austria but you are not. It is only since the end of the 1st World War that this area belongs to Italy. The population that defend their customs and language is proud of its roots which can be traced back to Neolithic times. Val Gardena Val Badia and Val di Fassa still speak Ladino. It is taught at school and recognised as an official language. Some say it sounds like Sicilian. Welcome in Ladino is ‘begnudus’. We certainly are made to feel very welcome in our charming family ran hotel. Husband and wife, Alex and Rita run the place. Alex is a superb cook, all secrets learnt from his mother. The three course evening meals are a treat and always beautifully presented. Even the heaviest of meals have a light touch! We are staying half board. Breakfast is served on wooden platters. There are long walks from the hotel if you want. However in winter the skiing is varied and exciting. In a week you can be sure not to retrace your tracks. There is even a magic moment when on one run you can be pulled by horses. If after a day of skiing you feel the need to be pampered hotel Post Zirm is for you. It is in Corvara just 20 minutes from the hotel by car. I choose the apple wrap being in a zone where they grow so many apples! I felt like a slice of strudel. It is here that there is the best après ski. Come and drink hot wine and kick off those heavy ski boots. Of course if it is night life you are looking for our hotel is very quiet. As you tuck yourself up in the heavy down duvets you can breathe in the pine aroma. The floor, ceiling and furniture are all pine. It is very relaxing here. You cannot be tempted by shops or tourist souvenirs. We feel like dancing and have to improvise one evening. Gianmario, our group leader brings down his lab top with some tango music and we dance the night away.