The Italian ski resorts are predominantly located across the mountainous areas of Italy that border France, Switzerland and Austria. Being on the southern side of the Alps, the Italian ski resorts boast an 80% chance of beautiful weather during winter. So in true Italian style you can sit outside and not let the snow get in the way of enjoying delicious pasta, grappa, espresso or café latte with your new stylish Italian friends.
Skiing in Italy is sometimes like skiing in two different countries, with German cultural influences prominent in the South Tyrol, and French culture in the Aosta Valley. Generally less expensive than their northern neighbours, Italian ski resorts are also known for their relatively uncrowded slopes. The ski resorts are generally not far from numerous airports making transit easy, and another bonus is that the fabulous cities of Rome, Florence, Milan and Venice are never far away.
In Italy you can ski the massive and spectacular Dolomites
region in the east, go skiing in the Alps in the north west where the 2006 Winter Olympics was hosted, view Mont Blanc and Mount Rosa, or even ski down Mt. Etna in Sicily. Italy offers a diverse array of skiing options across more than 150 resorts including cross-border skiing into other countries. It’s favoloso!
Italy Ski Resorts
The main Dolomites
(Dolomiti Superski) ski area bordering Austria provides one of the largest ski networks in the world as the 12 main ski areas in the region are connected by 460 lift systems. The best way to experience this sunny and snowy area is with the “Dolomiti Superski” Pass which accesses 1200+ km of ski slopes across the twelve connected ski areas. The ski areas include the exclusive Cortina d’Ampezzo, Alta Badia, the very popular Val Gardena, Val di Fassa, Arabba-Marmolada, 3 Peaks (Drei Zinnen a.k.a. Sesto), Valle Isarco/Eisacktal, Kronplatz and Civetta. The famous “Sella Ronda” loop route enables you visit many of these areas in one day. The easiest route to the Dolomites is via Milan (Milano) Airport and then a train via Verona.
The other large ski area in the general Dolomites region in Italy’s top north eastern corner is called the Brenta Dolomites, which offers a Skirama Dolomiti ski pass combining its 360 km of slopes and 140 lifts across eight ski resorts. These ski resorts include the popular Madonna di Campiglio, Pinzolo, Folgarida-Marilleva, Pejo, Tonale, Andalo, Monte Bondone, and Folgaria.
Just west of Turin is “The Milky Way” (Via Lattea) ski area that has 400 km of piste and 140 ski slopes connected by 93 lifts. The main ski resorts here include the classic and charming Claviere, large and popular Sauze d’Oulx, Cesana, the purpose built Sestriere
, and Sansicario. Hosting many of the 2006 Winter Olympic events, “The Milky Way” region is easily accessed via Turin (Turino) Airport, and the railway between Italy and France is located nearby.
Near the Swiss border and the Swiss ski resort of Zermatt is the village of Cervinia
at the base of the Matterhorn (Monte Cervino). Less expensive than nearby Zermatt Ski Resort
, Cervinia has great Italian food, lots of easy slopes, and a 20km ski run (one of the longest in the world).
Topping the tables for maximum vertical in Italy, and arguably the best area for expert skiers and snowboarding is Alagna Valsesia in the Monte Rosa glacial region, also right on the border with Switzerland.
Courmayeur is on the opposite side of Europe’s highest mountain Monte Bianco (Mont Blanc) from Chamonix France. Cormayeur is a traditional alpine village in a fantastic location with great scenery and is known as one of the best all around ski resorts in Italy. The village offers great shopping, good Italian trattorias, lively nightlife, and is 150km from Turin (Turino) Airport.
Further south is Italy's largest mountain range called “Appennine” in Tuscany. Abetone is the best known ski resort, is not far from Florence and Pisa and has 80kms of ski slopes which run down into four tree-lined valleys: the Sestaione valley, Luce valley, and Lima and Scoltenna valleys.
You can also ski on Mt. Etna, Sicily's volcano and the highest point in Sicily at 3,350 metres. Mt. Etna often gets deep winter snow and offers 1,400m of vertical skiing. There is a ski area on both the south and north side of Etna, accessed via Catania.
Ski Holidays Italy
An Italy ski holiday offers a superb cultural experience. Schussing the slopes is only part of the experience, with the main emphasis being on long lunches, vinos, and hanging out with the fabulously friendly locals.
Ski Tours in Italy