Dreaming of better days, James Callery looks forward to Italy’s ski season in 2021.

When I told my family of lifelong skiers I was off on a trip to the 3 Zinnen Dolomites (also known as the 3 Peaks Dolomites), none of them had ever heard of it.

Yet, it is only a couple of hours’ drive from South Tyrol favourite Val Gardena, where I remember completing the 26km Sellaronda ski circuit with them when I was seven.

The skiing area I was about to visit, named because of its trio of distinctive neighbouring battlement-like peaks, is not one of the better known resorts in the UK. Everyone loves the Dolomites, though ­– with its dramatic scenery and plentiful sunshine – so this resort, a stone’s throw from the Austrian border, had a lot to live up to.

With pastel-hued buildings and the bell towers of centuries-old churches framed by mountain peaks, the centre of San Candido is one of the base villages for exploring the five connected mountains of the 3 Zinnen Dolomites.

All resorts that form part of the Dolomiti Superski’s total network of 1,200km runs ­– including Kronplatz and the 3 Zinnen Dolomites ­– are employing a range of measures to ensure the safety of skiers.

After a cable car ride from Sesto ­– the main base village of the 3 Zinnen Dolomites and just seven minutes’ drive from San Candido – we reach the Monte Elmo skiing area. Pure sunshine. Check. Instagrammable views of craggy peaks. Check. We are officially in the Dolomites.

While adrenaline seekers might be pushed to find many steep mogul fields in the total 115km ski area of the 3 Zinnen Dolomites, there are plenty of well-groomed blues and reds for beginners and intermediates.

The 4.8km Monte Elmo-Versciaco run, lined with snow-blushed pines, allows us to blow away the cobwebs and gather just enough speed to awaken the knees, before we stop for drinks at Ristorante Monte Elmo.

Afterwards, we drive over to San Candido where the rest of the group are finishing off their ski lesson in the family-friendly Monte Baranci skiing area. There are a few blue and red runs for intermediates to bomb about on here if you are visiting in a group of mixed skiing abilities. The 3 Zinnen region also has 200km of linked cross country skiing tracks on offer. Tobogganing and ice skating are popular here too.

The wood-panelled interiors and menus of many of the resort’s mountain restaurants show the strong influence of neighbouring Austria. South Tyrol belonged to Austria-Hungary before becoming part of Italy in 1919, and German is still commonly spoken in the province, as well as Italian.

Back at the Post Hotel ­– a five-minute walk from the slopes and steps from the central San Michele Parish Church – the Finnish sauna, steam room and cosy indoor pool form the wellness equivalent of unbuttoning your boots at the end of the day.

An hour in the car takes us to Kronplatz, which offers a skiing area of 119km. There is a cable car running to the summit of Plan de Corones. While the resort is famous for the high quality of its slopes, on this occasion, we are taking a peek at what it has to offer non-skiers.

There are some magical mountain views to be had on the brief walk to the Lumen Museum – at 2,275m, certainly one of the highest museums you’ll ever visit. It shares the mountain top with the MMM Corones museum, one of six museums created as part of a project by famous mountaineer Reinhold Messner.

The Lumen Museum, perched on the edge of the mountainside and set across four floors, covers the history of mountain photography. In one room, an impressive VR headset takes me on a mountain ascent by helicopter hovering precariously close to the rocky surface.

In one of the final rooms, the walls, floor and ceiling are made of glass and mirrors, with psychedelic patterns beaming all around us.

Our next stop is the adjoining AlpiNN restaurant. With floor-to-ceiling glass on the three sides surrounding the entrance, we are treated to impressive panoramic views of the mountain landscape.

The restaurant employs a ‘Cook the Mountain’ philosophy. Each dish represents the mountains, as well as the hard work of countrymen and farmers, their high-quality produce and traditions passed down over generations.

The final night is spent at Rotwandwiesen Chalets, a 15-minute drive from San Candido. Newly built two-storey buildings accommodate up to five people and all rooms, including the sauna, overlook the mountainside.

The Croda Rossa/Rotwand cable car takes us to an area that is also part of the 3 Zinnen Dolomites. Our chalet is a quick snowmobile ride away. It is almost impossible not to grin whilst sat on the back watching the scenery whizz by.

I awake on the last day with the snow thick on the ground outside, as I gaze out of the living room window onto the craggy mountains right in front of me. The end of a sunrise is throwing shifting pink and red light onto the cloud covering part of the peak, which turns to orange within minutes.

It feels as if my last few days immersed in the mountains have been leading up to this moment – a memory I’m clinging onto tightly in a world that looks very different today.

How to plan your trip

For more information on the destination, visit suedtirol.info/en.

EasyJet (easyjet.com) flies from London Gatwick to Verona from £54 one-way and to Innsbruck in Austria from £83 one-way.