Italy can offer the skiing vacation of your dreams; early morning espressos and pastries in a warm and cosy bakery in the mountains followed by an active day complemented by spectacular sights, fresh air and fun instructors. In general, more emphasis is put on the enjoyment factor than on sporting achievements when it comes to skiing in Italy, so what is there to know before planning the first ever skiing trip to Italy?
Comparatively, Italy is a budget-friendly skiing destination. Your euros will go a lot further there than in other mainstream destination in the Alpes. Daily lift tickets range in between €15-50 per adult depending on the resort you choose, and the prices at restaurants and hotels usually don’t bite either, so you get to enjoy your vacation without the constant underlying stress of overspending. And that is a valid concern, especially if you travel with the whole family!
Speaking of family, it is important to note that Italy is extremely family-friendly – you can expect family discounts in quite a few places and parents are welcome with or without their children in most hotels and restaurants, even the quite chic ones!
Giant ski areas are what Italy is well-known for. Aim for the central core of the Dolomites, because nothing can beat its picturesque scenery and terrain variety. Make sure to check out Sella Ronda while you’re there – the famous circular network of pistes and lifts that overlook the magnificent Gruppo del Sella, a limestone massif. What makes or breaks the beauty of the scenery and the success of resorts is whether it can catch good winter storms; no snow – no skiing. And Italy can’t always do that, thus the lower end prices. But don’t be discouraged, it can make up for it with highly efficient snowmaking.
The top resorts
From the cheaper to the pricier ones, here are some resorts so you have an idea of what to look for:
- Bardonecchia. A great place for beginners and intermediates – it offers a lot of mild, gentle slopes. The lift queues are short, the après scene is little yet lively and there are plenty of shops to keep you entertained while resting from skiing! You can expect prices starting at €400 per person.
- La Thuile. More in the intermediate range in terms of skiing, it offers a large ski area and unspoiled nature. It is also a very family-friendly resort. The prices start at around €450 per person.
- Cervinia. This one is for all the snowboarders out there. On top of the fact that you get to ski in the longest terrain park in Italy beneath the Matterhorn, Cervinia has barely any flat sections and has a bunch of rails, jumps and kickers installed for snowboarders of any skill level. Expect to leave around €500 per person there.
- Sauze d’Oulx. The only thing that can beat its Milky Way ski area and sunny slopes are the bars, clubs and pubs this ski resort is well-known for. Be sure that you will enjoy your time free from skiing and relax there! Prices start at around €520 per person.