With un-crowded pistes, sunny slopes and a healthy appetite for sunbathing, shopping and socialising, ski holidays in Italy are just as popular with piste-cruisers and freeride enthusiasts, as they are with non-skiers.
Dominated by the Dolomites, most resorts are found in the north east of Italy and many are interconnected via extensive lift systems.
From chic retreats and freeride focal-points, to easy-going slopes and some of the cheapest resorts in Europe, Italy’s top ten ski resorts each hold their own unique appeal, both on and off the mountain…
And the food is exceptional all year round!
Located in the Monterosa ski area, Alagna is one of three interconnected resorts and links to the villages of Champoluc and Gressoney. This sprawling ski area is overlooked by 4000 metre peaks, and offers wide, un-crowded pistes and stunning scenery, alongside alluring backcountry terrain, affordable heli-skiing and one of the world’s greatest lift-served verticals.
Great for… un-crowded pistes and heli-skiing
This resort is made up of several sophisticated village stations, tucked folds of the Dolomiti SuperSki and Sella Ronda ski areas, each affording breath-taking views of the Sella Massif and wider Dolomites mountain range. A major attraction for adventurous skiers is to complete the Sella Ronda circuit – a 26-mile tour around the Sella Massif. Expect upmarket hotels and Michelin-starred restaurants.
Great for… fine dining and the Sella Ronda ski circuit
With access to 146 slopes, Sestriere forms part of the expansive Via Lattea, or Milky Way, ski area. A home for international ski events, including the 2006 Winter Olympics and the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup, Sestriere offers plenty of freestyle facilities, including ski jumps and a superb snow park. A floodlight run means that skiing continues after dark.
Great for… freestyle and floodlight skiing
With around 90 miles of pistes and packed with designer boutiques, antiques and classy coffee shops, Cortina is just as much about shopping and socialising as it is skiing. The resort hosted the 1956 Winter Olympics and still holds regular FIS downhill competitions but, with many visitors not venturing onto the slopes at all, you can expect peaceful pistes and bustling boutiques.
Great for… peaceful pistes and non-skiers
Just across the border from Chamonix, skiing in Courmayeur is about picking which award-winning restaurant to eat in next. A medieval town with abundant eateries, foodie-skiers and non-skiers alike are well catered for and, although the pisted terrain is somewhat limited, there’s plenty of action for freeriders in the abundant off-piste and heli-skiing terrain.
Great for… freeriders and foodies
The picturesque village of Arabba is located on the Dolomite’s highest mountain, with the Marmolada glacier on one side and the Sella Ronda on the other. Renowned for its challenging steeps, superb heli-skiing and good snow cover, adrenaline is spent on the mountain, making for a more subdued après scene than other resorts in Italy.
Great for… challenging skiing and quieter nightlife
At 2,006 metres, Cervinia is one of the highest ski resorts in Italy. Named after the Cervinia mountain (4 478 m) – a peak that is better-known by its Swiss name, the Matterhorn – Cervinia links to the Swiss resort of Zermatt, providing an international ski area with 217 miles of slopes and abundant off-piste. A high-altitude resort with a long season, Cervinia is superb for cruising, whilst advanced skiers will find more challenge on the Swiss side.
Great for… good snow cover and intermediate skiing
At the western end of the Val di Sole, this good-value, snow-sure ski resort is one of Italy’s highest, with lifts reaching up to 3,088 metres. Operating a lengthy season, the resort offers year-round skiing on the Presena glacier and is a popular weekend resort for local Italians and school groups.
Great for… families and overall value
MADONNA DI CAMPIGLIO
An archetypal Italian ski resort, this pretty, vibrant town has access to around 95 miles of sunny pistes, covering all four sides of the wooded valley in which it sits. Sunbathing is almost as popular as skiing here, and the terraces are often bedecked with bronzed bodies after, during and even before a day on the mountain. The gentle pistes are ideal for families and beginners, with après-ski a congenial affair.
Great for… authentic Italian resort and quiet pistes
This remote, duty-free resort is one of Europe’s cheapest. At an altitude of 1,816metres, with lifts reaching up to 2,800 metres, snow conditions are excellent and the gentle slopes are particularly well suited to beginners and intermediates skiing in Italy for the first time. There’s less here for experts, but as a hub for Italy’s telemarkers, it presents a good opportunity to try something new.
Great for… telemarking and cheap ski holidays
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