Kids go free
The Bormolini family look after this gem of a hotel. The Francescato is actually a lovingly converted and finished barn that has been decked out with their own handmade furnishings. It may only be a bed and breakfast, but their breakfast comes highly recommended with fresh coffee, scrumptious pastries, and homemade jams first thing in the morning - not to be missed!
The hotel is just 70 metres from the slopes too, which makes it possible to ski straight back to the property for most of the season. When you get there, you can relax in the bar and catch up with a bit of TV, or head to the cosy reading corner for some quiet time. On top of all that, guests have free use of the washing machine and dryer. It's easy to see why so many guests return year after year.
Nearest ski lift: 70m
Tuition meeting point: 70m
Resort centre: In the centre (San Rocco)
Livigno is a charming, traditional alpine village with a friendly and cosmopolitan vibe right on the Swiss border. It's a vibrant place that's still a bit of a secret to many. It's a resort that has something to please everyone, so you'd better plan your visit before the secret gets out!
The resort itself sits on the valley floor with the ski runs on either side of the town. Even though the 115km runs doesn't sound like much, there's tons to do here. It's more like North America in that you can pretty much ski or snowboard anywhere.
Beginners will be kept happy thanks to the excellent English speaking ski schools while intermediates will relish the large number of blue and red runs. On top of that, the pedestrian centre consists of three kilometres of bars, restaurants and duty-free shops for when you're not carving up the slopes.
The lively après-ski scene suits many tastes. You'll find traditional Italian restaurants serving inexpensive local cuisine, fantastic pizzerias and rockin' bars and pubs for something a bit more exciting. Try Marcos and Daphne's pub for a pint of Guinness, or dance the night away in the resort nightclubs. And of course there's the duty-free shopping - you'll definitely want to leave room in your suitcase on the way out!
Area size: 115km
Resort altitude: 1815m
Skiing altitude: 1815m to 2800m
Number of runs: 75
Range of runs: 26% green/blue, 57% red and 17% black
Lifts: 11 drags, 14 chairs and 6 gondolas
Night skiing: Yes
Cross country trails: 40km
Snowmaking: 80% of runs covered
Bed and breakfast is the order of the day at the Garni Francescato. They have a delightful continental breakfast buffet in the mornings - it's particularly popular with fresh coffee, delicious pastries, and homemade jams (and there's a cooked breakfast option, just ask if you're interested).
When it comes to dinner, you can pre-book a meal at the nearby and very popular Il Cenacolo restaurant.
The 13 rooms here are bright, cheerful and perfect for two to four people. The twin or double rooms have cable TV, a mini-safe and a lovely en-suite with a shower and hairdryer. Some of the rooms can also take a third bed suitable for a child if that is needed. And if you're travelling with your family, you may want to ask about the two family rooms that are available - they sleep up to four adults.
Official rating: ***
Converted former barn
Bar with TV and reading/games corner
Free use of washing machine and dryer
Babysitting service available
In resort centre
Great for friends and families
Departure airports: Gatwick or Manchester
Departure day: Saturday
Arrival airport: Innsbruck (in Austria)
Flight duration: 2 hours to 2 hours 15 minutes
Transfer time: approx. 2 hours 30 minutes