Skiing in Italy

Italy is, in our opinion, one of the best destinations in Europe for skiing and has much to recommend it, such as prime snow conditions, a friendly atmosphere, a diverse range of slopes and runs, and a spanning network of ski lifts to help you reach the best peaks. It is also a much more family-friendly option compared to some other resorts as it has an appealing and relaxed atmosphere, and is more cost effective than the likes of France and Austria.

If you’re thinking about a ski vacation in Italy, check out our top tips on where to head:

Best for couples

For a romantic ski resort in Italy for a special vacation, such as a honeymoon, engagement or anniversary, we love the Dolomites, which boast some spectacular scenery and a variety of terrains to enjoy – this variety is especially good if you and your partner are of different ski abilities. The Dolomite peaks look particularly stunning at sunset and certainly not a bad spot at all for a proposal! In particulalr, we like Cortina d’Ampezzo, which is a high-end resort with designer boutiques and as much focus on socializing as there is on skiing! If you purchase a Dolomiti Superski lift pass you will have access to 12 ski areas and 450 ski lifts, including access to Sella Ronda, which offers some of the best views and scenic winter landscapes in north Italy.

If you want something more lively on your ski vacation, we recommend Sauze d’Oulx or Cervinia, which are great for partying, while Madonna di Campiglio is a better option if you want a luxurious vacation.

Best for families

There are a number of advantages that make the ski resorts in Italy particularly suitable for families, including the safe and relaxed atmosphere, with families welcomed at luxury hotels and restaurants, the competitive prices and the prime snow conditions that ensure you and your family will be able to enjoy the slopes. Italy also has some of the best snow-making technology to ensure prime conditions even when the snow fall has been low.

We like Livigno, which has a special tax status, meaning that there is no VAT on drinks, petrol and consumer goods, making it more affordable for families. Here, Mottolino and Carosello are the ski parks that offer a range of abilities, while Amerikan and Del Sole are the best ski parks to head for with beginners or young children. Note, however, that Livigno is remote and so is not very easy to get to – the best way to get there is to fly to Innsbruck and then take transport from there. If you want somewhere a little less remote, we suggest Claviere near Turin or the Fassa Valley, which both have Crystal childcare hotels and family-friendly ski schools.

Best for groups

If you’re travelling with a group of friends or colleagues then a good option may be Courmayeur, which can easily be reached from a range of airports, making getting to the resort fuss free. The resort, which is close to Milan and Turin, also offers boutique shops and cocktail bars for socializing, as well as well-regarded restaurants that can accommodate larger parties. One thing to note is that the ski area is perhaps better suited to experienced skiers rather than beginners. Other good options for groups are Sestriere, which is a purpose-built ski resort, and Sauze d’Oulx, which is well known for its vibrant atmosphere.

Best for the experienced skier

For the more accomplished skiers, we recommend Corvara and San Cassiano. These give access to the Sella Ronda circuit, which boasts well-groomed red runs. Among the 433 km of pistes, there are 38% blue, 53% red and 9% black runs, offering a good balance and some more challenging routes for skiers looking to improve. Good options also include Alagna, Arabba and Cortina d’Ampezzo, which feature challenging black runs and serious off-piste snowfields. It should be noted that Alagna is a less lively resort compared to other regions in Italy – it is best suited for serious skiers who don’t mind early nights!

Even better, if you head for the Milky Way ski area, where the Winter Olympics was held in 2006, you can ski in both France and Italy during your vacation. The pistes in this area link a number of resorts, but we recommend Sauze d’Oulx, Sestriere, Sansicario or Claviere as particular favourites.

Best for beginners

Passo Tonale is an attractive village at an altitude of 1880 m and has marked runs and nursery slopes that will be appealing to beginners and intermediates. It also has safe ski areas for absolute beginners, where they can learn to snowplough with confidence away from other skiers, and there are ski schools with English-speaking instructors. You can be sure of snow between October and early May, making it a good option for the Christmas and Easter holidays as well as half-term. Champoluc in the Alps is another good option and has a British ski school that takes children from the age of 4.

Best on a budget

If you’re on something of a budget then we recommend you check out Madesimo near Lake Como. While it is not suitable for absolute beginners, those looking to improve their skills will enjoy the Canalone run and there’s plenty of variety. The ski area isn’t expensive (expect to pay around €180 for a 6-day lift pass) and there are plenty of affordable pizzerias, restaurants and bars. One thing to note is that it is within driving distance of Milan and Bergamo and so can get busy at weekends with the locals.

Other options include the purpose-built resorts of Folgarida and Marilleva, which link directly into the Madonna di Campiglio ski area in the Brenta Dolomites. While Folgarida and Marilleva share the slopes with Madonna di Campiglio, they do not share the high prices and so attract a more budget-conscious clientele.

If you’re thinking about a ski vacation in Italy and would like us to create a customized holiday quote for you that is tailored to your needs and budget, contact a member of our team on (UK) 01223 637331 or (US) 1-347-594-5500. Alternatively, click here to send an online enquiry.

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