Italian Alps Skiing Resorts and Destinations
The Italian Alps could be the perfect ski destination for you | © Boerescu Flaviu / Alamy Stock Photo
If crispy pizza, steaming bowls of spaghetti and Barolo wine by the glass after a day on the slopes sound perfect, the Italian Alps could be the ski destination for you.
Whether you are looking for the sky-scraping peaks of the Dolomites or the glitzy Val d’Aosta, you are guaranteed world-class food and wine and a warm Italian welcome. Reasonable prices also make a noticeable change from the eye-watering restaurant bills you’ll see in Switzerland and France.
Sun worshippers will enjoy the south-facing slopes, but do make sure you travel in January and February for the best snow conditions.
© robertharding / Alamy Stock Photo
Luxury hotels, designer shops and sophisticated cuisine define the Italian resort of Courmayeur. As you speed through the Mont Blanc tunnel, you’ll find this glam resort under Western Europe’s tallest mountain. Just an hour and 20 minutes from Geneva, it is suited mostly to intermediate and advanced skiers. Ascend the new Skyway Monte Bianco cable car for unparalleled views of the Alps, and a superfast link to neighbouring Chamonix.
Livigno, Lombardy, Italy | © Ian Dagnall / Alamy Stock Photo
Beginner skiers should look no further than Livigno. With dozens of gentle slopes it is the perfect place to learn, plus there are plenty of freeride opportunities for expert skiers. With pistes at 2,797m (9,177ft) above sea level, you are sure to find snow. It’s no surprise the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Olympic freestyle events will be held in Livigno. Don’t forget to indulge in a spot of shopping while you are here: the resort has duty-free status.
Madonna di Campiglio
© haris vithoulkas / Alamy Stock Photo
With Madonna in the name, you know this ski resort is going to have a certain pizzazz. The chocolate-box village is frequented by fur-jacketed Milanese alongside baggy-trousered snowboarders, both attracted to the perfectly groomed pistes and excellent terrain. Beginners and intermediates are well catered for, with 117 runs to choose from. Get hold of the local Superskirama lift pass – you can use it at eight different resorts with hundreds of kilometres to track over a week.
Cervinia is known for its shared border with the famous Swiss resort Zermatt. While this town won’t win any beauty prizes, you can’t beat the morning-coffee views overlooking the Matterhorn. Lifts top out at over 3,500m (11,483ft), preserving the crisp snow even on the sunniest days. There are 72 runs to explore, including the incredible 8km (5m) red descent into the valley. Get up early to beat the crowds that start drifting over from the Swiss side at lunchtime.
© Boerescu Flaviu / Alamy Stock Photo
Known as the Queen of the Dolomites, Cortina is surrounded by jaw-droppingly stunning vertical peaks. Host of the 1958 Winter Olympics, Cortina has long been a popular ski destination, with a mix of gentle and technically challenging pistes. There’s a reason the Women’s World Cup ski events are held here every year. If you manage to track out all 85km (53 mi) of runs, you can enjoy a further 1,000km (621mi) with the Dolomiti Superski pass, one of the world’s largest ski circuits.
Val Gardena is a ski resort boasting 62 days of sunshine each winter. It’s made up of three villages, and there’s enough variety of pistes to keep everyone happy. Take the chair lift to Val Gardena’s highest point at 2,518m (8,261ft) before enjoying an Aperol in one of Selva’s après-ski bars. Set aside three hours (plus lunch) to circumnavigate the 24km (15mi) Sella Ronda ski circuit.
These recommendations were updated on September 8, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.