We’ve picked out some of the best ski resorts in Italy. Enjoy towering plates of spaghetti, cobbled towns lined with glamorous shops and gourmet eateries. Skiing in Italy promises a laid-back, fun and culture-packed holiday. Plus, the added bonus that your money will go a lot further when eating out in comparison to other Alpine ski destinations. Here’s our top 10 ski resorts in Italy.
Eat like a king in the lovely, traditional feeling village of Courmayeur. This iconic ski resort is well-deserving of its prime position nestled at the foot of Europe’s highest mountain, Mont Blanc in the Aosta Valley. Fly into Geneva and enjoy a short, 90-minute journey that finishes at the Italian entrance to the Mont Blanc tunnel. The slopes stretch from a base altitude of 1,224m all the way up to the peaks of 2,755m. When you have had your fill exploring the slopes of the Plan Chécrouit ski area, return to the stylish town for gourmet feasts. From 13-course tasting menus made up of locally sourced ingredients to traditional rural fare in cosy Alpine huts, Courmayeur’s dining scene will whet the appetite of any discerning foodie. If you are looking for the best skiing in Italy and the best dishes, we highly recommend Courmayeur.
Stay at: Hotel Le Massif for a fabulous contemporary hotel with five-star grandeur.
One of the best ski resorts in Italy, this fabulous hidden gem boasts the beautiful scenery of the Dolomites. Attracting the most fashionable skiers from Italy and beyond, you can expect a quintessentially Italian town with all of the glamour of a world-class resort. Madonna di Campiglio has earned its place on the map as one of the best ski resorts in Italy due to its designer reputation and well-linked ski area that includes Folgarida, Marilleva and Passo Tonale. The local ski area is home to 22km of black runs, offering plenty of challenging ground for advanced skiers whilst beginners and intermediates are also well-catered for.
Stay at: Biohotel Hermitage, built from entirely natural materials and consequently run with a focus on sustainability.
Located in the Aosta Valley, Cervinia sits on the Italian side of the iconic Matterhorn mountain. Skiers will enjoy both the well-linked skiing and impressive views of the towering peaks. Choose a local lift pass to enjoy 160km of cruisy runs that are perfect for intermediates and beginners. Alternatively, cross the border into Zermatt for an extra 200km of epic descents. Take the cable car all the way up to 3,883m at the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise. Enjoy the magnificent vistas from the viewing platform, before trying your hand at the 25km run back down to the valley. This is the longest prepared downhill run in Europe, which can be enjoyed in one blissful, interrupted descent. Back in the town, Cervinia prides itself as being traffic-free, making for a relaxed atmosphere. Following a day on the slopes, stroll the characteristic Alpine streets, packed full of hearty local restaurants and boutiques.
Stay at: Sertorelli Sporthotel, a lovely, modern, family-run hotel in Cervinia.
The Italian Dolomites are world-famous for their instantly recognisable dramatic, jagged peaks. There is no finer place to enjoy them than the elite ski resort of Cortina, one of the best ski resorts in Italy. Cortina is a firm-favourite amongst both Italian and worldwide skiers for its peaceful slopes. There’s a huge choice of skiing across three distinct areas. As one of the oldest ski resorts in Europe, Cortina’s cobbled town has retained its classic Italian charm. You will find it packed full of gourmet lunch spots and stylish boutiques. The Piazza Venezia area comes to life in the evenings. The 65m high bell tower illuminates the cosy bars and eateries. Après ski is a refined affair. You can expect delicious platters of meats, cheeses and grappa, from a locally run, cosy wine bar.
Stay at: Grand Hotel Savoia Corina d’Ampezzo for elegant five-star comfort in a central location.
Livigno is famed for its snow parks and as a result, it attracts freestyle skiers and boarders from all over the world. Soak up the sun amongst the palm trees at The Beach atop the Carosello 3000 park. Alternatively, try the 1.2km freeride course at the Mottolino park. When the day draws to its close, the hoards of skiers and freestylers flock to Livigno’s après bars. You can expect a much livelier scene here than most other Italian resorts. There are venues dotted around both the slopes and in the town where resident DJs keep revellers going into the small hours. There is a vibrant choice of music and parties to suit everyone. From both open air bars with table top dancing to locally run pubs serving up hearty beers and snacks.
Stay at: Hotel Livigno, a classic, Alpine hotel set in the town centre.
The South Tyrol (Südtirol) deserves it’s place on our list of the top 10 ski resorts in Italy. It really is Italy’s best kept secret with sweet villages of Tyrolese architecture, antiquated churches and squares where locals cluster. In the craggy Dolomites, there are fantastic restaurants – both mountain refugios and stylish Michelin-star restaurants – delicious white and red South Tyrolean wine and crowd-free skiing. Rural Ladin culture lives on, and the region has Italian and neighbouring Austrian influences. Ladin is still spoken and their farming culture has been passed down since Roman times – the cured meats, cheeses and wines are delicious local specialities. This ski area is great for skiing as a family, foodies, learners and keen skiers too.
Little-known Kronplatz is a 2,275-metre-high mountain – also known as Plan de Corones – with lifts ascending each side of the mountain. The long slopes zigzag down through the Pustertal Valley and picking up speed on these thrilling runs is great fun. With 119km of pistes, the area is well suited to beginners and intermediates who want to practise their turns on cruisy blues and weaving reds. Those looking for a challenge will also find a handful of black runs, dubbed the Black Five, and the snowpark that has easy and medium jumps and features. Lifts are quick and efficient and if you’d like to clock up more miles there is a regular bus to Alta Badia. The Piculin cable car also links to the Sellaronda massif, which has gives you access to 1,200km of pistes under the Dolomiti Superski lift pass.
3 Zinnen – translated as three peaks from German – is a beautiful ski area in the Dolomites and one of the best ski resorts in Italy. Stay in Sexten or San Candido, two charming Alpine villages. The ski area is made up of five connected mountains: Monte Elmo, Orto del Toro, Corda Rossa, Passo Monte Croce and Dolomiti del Comelico. Under the 3 Zinnen Dolomites ski pass, you’ll find lift queues short, and slopes are virtually empty. Nearby Kronplatz is accessible on the Ski Pustertal Express train, which unlocks another 119km of slopes. There are also two toboggan runs that are great fun with the kids – one of which is 5km long – winter hikes, jump in the cab of a piste basher or hand feed reindeer by the cable car station.
San Cassiano is one of our top 10 ski resorts in Italy and for good reason. Just off the Sellaronda circuit, San Cassiano has some of Italy’s finest gastronomy. Restaurants vary between family-run rifugios serving traditional fare and innovative Michelin stars fusing Alpine-Mediterranean cuisine. For example, Hotel & Spa Rosa Alpina is home to the three Michelin-star Restaurant St. Hubertus run by Nobert Niederkofler. One of the chef’s most renowned dishes is a tender mountain beef fillet cooked in hay. The luxurious Hotel Ciasa Salares has a dedicated cheese and chocolate room, both of which host tastings that we highly recommend. Hidden away up the mountain, Rifugio Scotoni is a stone-built mountain hut with delicious Alpine food. On a clear day there are spectacular mountain views. Oenophiles should book the Sommelier in the Mountain Hut experience, taste wine and learn how to pair wines with a sommelier.
At the foot of the Sella massif is the charming village of Selva Gardena. Famed for Alpenglow – enrosadira in Ladin – the mountains are illuminated all shades of red, pink and orange at sunset. The most spectacular displays are seen on the Sassolungo peak in Selva. Part of the Sellaronda and the Dolomiti Superski area, Selva has plenty of slopes. At an altitude of 1,563m, it is the highest resort in the valley and ski runs reach 2,518m. The Dolomiti Superski pass covers 12 resorts in the valley and an extensive 1,200km of slopes. Don’t miss the Marmolada glacier skiing, where the snow tends to be the best in the area.
To find out more about the best ski resorts in Italy, please speak to our experts on 0207 471 7700.
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