Learning to ski in Italy is heavenly. Not only are there plenty of passionate instructors with a good grasp of English, but there are also miles and miles of quiet, easy going slopes and flattering pistes to progress to. Not to mention you’ll be surrounded by some of the Alps’ most incredible scenery. And of course, there’s great coffee to kick things off with, and delicious lunches to reward yourself afterwards. But how to decide which of these welcoming places to pick? Have a read of our pick of the best Italian ski resorts for beginners to narrow things down then give our experts a call. They’re always happy to chat.
Despite being under two hours from Turin, Bardonecchia is blissfully quiet in the week. This means its slopes are ideal for beginners to build their confidence on. At the weekends the crowds arrive, but the 100km of runs aren’t overwhelmed and the resort takes on an enjoyable buzz. Of the resort’s three areas, beginners will be best starting at the nursery slopes at Colomion-Les Arnauds before moving on to the blue runs that snake through the trees to the Melezet area. Intermediates will have a better time in the third area, Jafferau.
One thing that’s guaranteed to make learning to ski easier is great snow. Soft, fresh white stuff is breezier to turn on, and of course nicer to fall on; so if you’re learning to ski, head to Cervinia. It’s one of the highest resorts in Europe, at 2,050m, and you’ll typically find an abundance of fluffy, forgiving snow on its wide, cruising slopes. A great option for beginners and early intermediates, chairlifts access some lovely long blue runs straight from the resort. There is also gondola access to more cruisey blues at mid-mountain Plan Maison.
This relaxed car-free ski-in/ski-out resort in the Aosta Valley is a firm favourite with families and beginners who love how easy it is to get on the slopes and gain that all-important confidence. Extra bonus points are awarded for how quiet it usually is. This is all the better for practicing those turns in peace and for the excellent tuition from the ski schools. This makes it one of the best Italian ski resorts for beginners. Plus, Pila is really well placed for a ski holiday with a difference; it’s a 15-minute gondola ride to the ancient Roman town of Aosta, which is as far removed from a purpose-built resort as it’s possible to be.
Straddling the Italian-French border and sharing its slopes with Montgenèvre in France, Claviere is a wonderfully calm and peaceful place to learn to ski. Its immediate slopes contain the resort’s well-designed nursery slope, while further afield is the intermediate heaven of the Milky Way region; a network of 400km of pistes that covers Sauze d’Oulx and Sestriere too. Crowds are a rarity so lift queues are minimal but it’s not all total silence; there are several good restaurants and a couple of bars in the traditional village.
The skiing on Kronplatz’s dome-shaped mountain is a dream for beginners and early intermediates – largely because there are so many more gondolas here than any other type of lift. Ignore what anyone else may say, nothing beats the ease of a gondola. Easy access aside, the runs are also very learner-friendly, thanks to that smooth, rounded mountain the resort is based on. Unique among its jagged, rocky Dolomite surroundings, Kronplatz stands out like a sore thumb, a sore, very round, thumb. Largely unknown on the British market, it’s one of the best Italian ski resorts for beginners
Don’t let the long transfer time deter you, Livigno is worth the trek. A snow-sure resort set in a wide valley close to the Swiss border, it’s relatively rare in its combination of good reliable snow and wallet-friendly prices. The runs and the village spread along the valley, and you’re never too far from a good beginner slope; if you’re ready to push through to the next level, the longer blues around Costaccia are ideal. And as an added bonus, Livigno has duty-free status (because in ancient times it was completely isolated for much of the year), so it’s great for a bargain or two.
In one of the most stunning locations in the Dolomites, Ortisei is a fully-fledged town first, ski resort second. Part of the Val Gardena region, which links into the mind-bogglingly big Dolomiti Superski area (1,200km of pistes – now that’s something to aim for!), the main attraction for beginners and early intermediates are the slopes at Alpe di Susi. Accessed by gondola, they’re on a sunny plateau above the town and wend their way over meadows and pastures. One of the best Italian resorts for skiing, you’re never far from a charming pit stop. It’s also a key part of the Sella Ronda, an intermediate circuit around the Gruppo del Sella pink-tinged rocky massif.
Small but perfectly formed, Paganella has a serious amount of charm. Facing the Trentino Dolomites and overlooking the Molveno lake, the slopes are the ideal combination of racing reds and easy-going blues through the trees. The best place to learn is the nursery slopes above Andalo. If you’ve caught the bug and really don’t want to take your skis off at the end of the day, the resort offers night skiing twice a week.
On a mountain pass between the Trentino and Lombardy regions, Passo Tonale is a safe bet for family groups and beginners. Its sunny wide nursery slopes are hard to beat for learning on. There are also plenty of easy, reassuring blue runs to progress to. The resort’s slopes spread in one direction to the authentic mountain town Ponte di Legno and to the Presana glacier in the other; all told there’s 100km to play on reaching an altitude of 3,100m. And there’s plenty to entertain off the slopes too, including swimming, tobogganing and ice skating. Not to mention there’s more than enough bars and restaurants for a week’s holiday.
La Thuile is one of the best Italian ski resorts for beginners because of its great nursery slopes at the base of the ski resort. In addition, there is 50km of blue slopes to progress on once you’ve mastered the beginner area. If you’re a first-time skier the uncrowded slopes are a safe and encouraging environment to learn compared to busy major resorts. On top of this, there are excellent ski schools to book with top-class instructors.
To find out more about the best Italian ski resorts for beginners, please call our ski experts on 0207 471 7700.
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