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Italy

A ski holiday in Italy is similar to any other sort of holiday in Italy: relaxed, informal, hedonistic, fun - and just a little bit crazy. Of course, the Italians take their skiing seriously, but then they take their lunches, dinners, aperitivi and digestivi just as seriously too. Thus a winter sports vacation in Italy will always be as much about eating, drinking and partying as about skiing or snowboarding.

Many Italians who are not skiers or boarders nevertheless enjoy coming to the mountains in winter for the sunshine, the scenery and the socialising. In resorts such as Cortina d'Ampezzo, non-skiers are actually in the majority. However, this does not mean that Italy is not a good choice for the committed skier. On the contrary, Cervinia, for example, has some of the most snow-sure skiing in Europe and many wonderful long, cruising pistes while Courmayeur has a world-class snowmaking system, not to mention plenty of taxing off-piste possibilities. Cortina, in the Dolomites, boasts a spectacular ski area that is scenicly as exciting as anything in the Alps.

The Italians as a race, of course, love children and this makes Italy an ideal family destination since even young kids are positively welcomed in hotels and restaurants. And for grown-ups the apres-ski activity, which begins in the middle of the afternoons and continues well into the small hours is quite unlike any other!