Italy has to be one of the very best places in the world to go skiing. It is far more laid back than the expensive glitzy resorts of Austria, Switzerland and France and has a terrific ambiance. Don’t forget the fantastic food and the superb wine and you can see why Italians are quite happy to see their ski resorts ignored by people preferring the more pretentious famous resorts.
Having said all this, let’s not forget just how beautiful the mountains of Italy are. These Italian ski resorts span some of the greatest ski domains in Europe, and dominating the skyline are the awesome Dolomites. So here are some pointers if you are looking at going skiing in Italy.
Bormio is what Italian skiing is all about, it is full of typical Italian ambiance, and the old town has that buzz to it that many bigger resorts simply have lost. This spa town based in Lombardy is a perfect place for day trips to Santa Caterina and Livigno. The main skiing area is based around Vallecetta, which utilizes the slopes of Cima Bianca. There is also a superb summit to base run that to say the least offers some of the scariest vertical drops of any ski resort. Bormio will not break the budget and is simply irresistible.
If you have a limited budget, then Livigno is perfect. Located right on the border with Switzerland, this ski resort is also perfect for beginners as well as more capable skiers. Livigno is so high up in a remote area of the mountains that many locals call it Little Tibet. And the enchanting ski village is actually a combination of three small villages, San Rocco, San Antonio, and Santa Maria. There are two ski areas, Mottolino and Costaccia-Caosello, which offer a mixture of red runs, and a couple of short black runs. The pick of them all is from Carosello down to San Rocco. There are several lively bars for that all important après ski.
This part of Italy’s ski domains is dominated by the Milky Way, which links many ski resorts together for ease of access. It too is the perfect resort for intermediates and beginners as the slopes are not too steep and there are plenty of ski coaches to help you along the way. If you make your way right up to Monte Sises you will be able to see the fantastic pistes that have been featured in the World Cup. Make sure you take in the world-famous Kandahar Banchetta, which is a famous downhill course. Sestriere is a sleepy town during the week, it tends to change at the weekends when the locals from Turin come up for the weekend. These Italian ski resorts might not be as glamorous as some of the more fashionable resorts of France or Austria. However, that is their beauty, they offer fantastic skiing whilst at the same time are some of the most affordable places to ski. They have retained their local village charm and have not become too commercialized.