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Italian skiing is as much mood as it is mountain—a blaze of color, beautiful girls, sunny days, splendid wine—and 1969-70, with world championship crowds, promises to be a vintage year. Even Emilio Pucci, that eminent Florentine, has turned his talents and rich palette from bikinis and palazzo pajamas to ski wear, producing the sort of styles that will bring new spark to the scene—a fine touch since color fits the Italian way of life. The new season's special look, starting with sportswoman-skier Astrid Schiller sunning in a silk Pucci parka at right, to the people at play against the backdrops of Cortina and Val Gardena on the pages that follow, reflects this Italian mood.

Poised to ski the Cortina country, Italian Princess Cristiana Windisch-Graetz wears the sleek look of a downhill expert (which she is): Pucci's own pink fitted wool gabardine jump suit.

There is a slight touch of military styling in her two-piece stretch wool suit—although ski troops have never had it so good—and for FIS spectating Astrid prefers a fat and fancy fur.

The parka is unmistakably Pucci—he does his geometric thing with a bold new pattern—and, for a luxurious touch, prints it on soft velveteen, nicely lined for warmth and hooded against wind.

On the top of Italy, at the lonely Rifugio Monte Lagazuoi overlooking Cortina, Pucci collector Benedetta Barzini goes hiking in the designer's new fitted tunic and tops it off with a scarf.

Contrast between the new and old worlds: Benedetta—whose father, Luigi Barzini, wrote "The Italians"—strolls outside Cortina church in sable cap and brightly patterned ski parka.

Presiding over the playground of Italian skiing is the stately 18th century Santi Filippo e Giacomo church, whose 250-foot tower is a landmark in the middle of modern-day Cortina.

The 1970 scene: Italy's ski team swings on the Montede Seura trail under the Sasso Lungo massif—and, in town, torchlight paraders will lead the way to the FIS medal-awarding ceremonies.

On the ride to the Passo Sella, where there is a ski run for every ability, the bucket lifts rise in a steady line while Val Gardena below and the far Dolomites beyond offer a panorama.

The other ha If of Italy's skiing sister-princesses, Massimiliana (far left), goes racing in Pucci's turquoise jump suit and adds the newest touch on the winter scene: white leather ski gloves.

High on Italy's slopes, skiers run a ragged mountain gateway on the twisting trail down to Val Gardena (left). Their reward: a real oldtime parade through Ortisei with an oompah band.

The Val de Mesdi, one of Val Gardena's most spectacular ski runs, starts in a high mountain notch and surges down to the valley beside jagged peaks that stand as sentinels along the way.