Italy: a European gem for skiers

Italy: a European gem for skiers

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

Instead of your searching for your usual holidays to the Caribbean with Thomson and sticking with the same old sun, sea and sand vaction, why not try a skiing holiday in Italy instead? The country is one of the top places in Europe to learn how to ski as it has some of the finest snow conditions, suitable for any fitness or skill level.

Italy is surrounded by mountains, including the Alps and the Dolomites, all of which provide excellent ski conditions during winter months. But it’s not all about the slopes: après ski is an integral part of the holiday experience too. Italy is a European gem for skiers, and is renowned for its fine wines, superb cuisine and inclusive hospitality.

So where are the best places in Italy to ski?  

Ski Piemonte hosted the 2006 Winter Olympics. This region is located in the north-west of Italy and the villages in the region offer excellent skiing and mountain sports. With 53 ski resorts and 800 miles of ski runs, there is boundless space and, of course, the facilities are excellent. There is also a strong tradition of culture and gastronomy associated with the region.

For the intermediate skier, Ski Cervinia at the base of the Matterhorn or Monte Cervino, is generally regarded as good destination. The village is located close to the Swiss border and is easily accessible. Cervinia hosts a casino, cinema, restaurants, swimming pool, ice skating as well as numerous shops for those who want to take a break from the skiing. Unlike some areas, Cervinia is situated high up and therefore has heavy snowfalls that allow skiing all-year-round. One of the longest runs in the world (12.5 miles) is found here.

Near the Austrian border are the Italian Dolomites, which boast numerous skiing villages. Two of the most famous are Cortina d’Ampezzo and Val Gardena. It should be noted, however, that skiing at Cortina d’Ampezzo is more expensive as this has become an exclusive resort for visitors. With 47 ski lifts and facilities including tobogganing and bobsledding, the resort is more suitable for beginners and intermediates.

David in the Dolomites
Sella Ronda – the most recognized ski route of the Dolomiteshchalkley / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Close by is the resort of Val Gardena, which in the past has hosted World Cup skiing events. Val Gardena is part of the well-known Sella Ronda circuit, which has a huge ski range suitable for all types of skiers.

On the opposite side of Mont Blanc is Courmayeur, a traditional alpine village known as one of the best all-round ski resorts in Italy. Fabulous Italian restaurants and a lively nightlife make this village extremely popular among visitors.

Whatever your history of skiing – whether you’re just starting or something of a pro – Italy is an ideal choice for winter sports.