Skiing in Italy is a joy. The variety of resorts, slopes and restaurants is huge, with everything from Cervinia with its miles and miles of slopes in the foothills of the Matterhorn, to Alta Badia in the centre of the Dolomites with seemingly more mountain restaurants than ski lifts. Whichever resort you pick for your next ski holiday in Italy you’ll find a genuine, warm welcome and a refreshing focus on the simple things in life. The Italians just do it better, right?
And if you prefer your powder a bit hotter, why not try skiing on an active volcano down in Catania?
If the skiing wasn’t so good in Alta Badia you’d think it an after thought to the area’s food and drink, which is off-the-scale brilliant. Fortunately for greedy gluttons, eating and drinking go hand in hand with the skiing here, and you’re never more than ten ski lengths from an excellent mountain restaurant. The 130km of local slopes, spread around the villages of Corvara and San Cassiano, are part of the larger Sella Ronda circuit that tours around the Dolomites’ stunning Gruppo del Sella, a pink-tinged, plateau-shaped rock, and it’s all wonderfully easygoing and flattering. Just what’s needed before a big lunch.
On the opposite side of the Gruppo del Sella to Alta Badia, Val Gardena is a valley of superlative views among the Dolomites with three distinct villages – Selva, Ortisei and Santa Cristina. The largely intermediate skiing is spread out and linked by efficient buses, and feels all the better for it – a winding run may take you to a remote farm, another may pass through ancient woodland, yet you’re never far from civilisation and a decent meal. On that note, the local Ladin culture plays strong, mixing Austrian and Italian influences into a unique blend.
Expect prestige and pampering in Cortina, one of Italy’s oldest and most fashionable ski resorts. Host of the Winter Olympics in 1956 and a regular fixture on the women’s World Cup circuit, Cortina is like a grand old dame, expertly coiffed and wrapped in furs – just like many of its visitors. Promenading the main street is a priority for most, which leaves the slopes wonderfully empty for skiers. Split into three distinct and separate areas, the 120km offer a mix of demanding reds and blacks, and more easygoing blues, all set among the striking Dolomites.
Fly to Venice
A safe bet for beginners and early intermediates, Passo Tonale is a high, snow-sure resort on the border between Trentino and Lombardy. The resort stretches for 1km or so along the mountain road, and lifts run up the northern side to a bank of south-facing gentle runs. Venture further afield and link into the small mountain town of Ponte di Legno in one direction, the Presana glacier in the other; all told there’s 100km of slopes, ideal for building confidence and enjoying the views.
It’s a puzzle why Kronplatz isn’t better known. A resort on the edge of the Dolomiti Superski and Sella Ronda areas, it’s made up of several small villages that surround the Kronplatz mountain, a smooth, rounded dome of a peak – all the more unusual and striking as it sits among the rugged, rocky giants of the Dolomites. Yet those curves makes for some classic ski runs – mainly red and blue – served by an astonishingly high proportion of gondolas in comparison to chair lifts. It’s a dream resort for vertigo sufferers.
Fly to Innsbruck
The Italian side of Mont Blanc couldn’t be more different to the French. Yes Courmayeur has off-piste terrain to rival Chamonix but that’s where the similarities end – Courmayeur is all the best bits of Italy, wrapped up in a chic, snowy package. The extent of the pistes isn’t huge, but that matters not one jot if you’re on holiday here – it’s all about the mountain restaurants (nearly as many as there are kilometres of piste) and the buzzing town, as well as such activities as dog sledding through Val Veny or sinking into the thermal baths at Pré Saint Didier.
Named in honour of the mighty mountain this high, snowsure resort sits beneath, it’s a little confusing when the rest of the world knows the peak as the Matterhorn. But to the Italians, the Matterhorn is Monte Cervino, and they’re as proud of it as the Swiss are over the border. The resort shares its slopes with Zermatt, and the international region covers 360km of pistes. Cervinia’s slopes stretch from the glacier at Plateau Rosa, at 3,480m, down to the wood-fringed village of Valtournenche at 1,525km, and are a dream for intermediates of all stripes.
Fly to Turin
Tucked away among some of the highest mountains in Europe, the Monterosa spans three valleys and includes the villages of Champoluc, Gressoney and Alagna. Not to be confused with Les 3 Vallées in France, the Monterosa is a thoroughly different beast. Fiercely Italian, it’s a network of 132km of pistes, cutting their way through the foothills of its namesake, the Monte Rosa massif. Quiet and chilled, it appeals to both families (head for Gressoney) and experts (head to Alagna or Champoluc for epic off-piste) with bundles of Italian charm on the side.
Of all the Milky Way resorts straddling the Italian/French border – a sprawling network of over 400km of pistes – Sauze d’Oulx is our favourite. Once known simply as a big party town, it’s evolved into so much more. The local slopes are nicely snow sure and provide plenty of entertainment for intermediates, while freestyle skiers and snowboarders should find much to enjoy – the resort hosted the 2006 Winter Olympic freestyle events. But it’s the town that really sets this place apart – it feels vibrant thanks to its year-round community, that après scene is still lively, and it’s fantastic value.
Fly to Turin
High up in the mountains close to the Swiss border, Livigno is worth the trek from the airport – a duty-free resort, thanks to a centuries-old quirk in the law, it’s great value and great fun. Due to host the freestyle and snowboarding events at the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Olympics, its terrain park is worth the long transfer alone. The high, snow-sure slopes cover 115km and best suit beginners and early intermediate skiers; with its lively atmospheric village packed with bars, restaurants and shops, Livigno is a great introduction to a ski holiday.