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The 10 Best Ski and Snowboarding Resorts in Italy

Take to the Italian slopes this winter

When people speak of la dolce vita, images of the summer most often come to mind – views of the Mediterranean ocean from dreamy seaside places like Sicily and the Amalfi Coast or of rolling green hills in Tuscany and Umbria. Winter is rarely considered, but that doesn’t mean that the season needs to be associated with doom and gloom. 

Italy is largely considered to be one of Europe’s best ski areas, making it the perfect place for a winter vacation. If impressive mountain ranges and traditionally lower prices than countries such as France and Switzerland aren’t enough, the country is also home to the Dolomiti Superski, a ski area comprising 12 ski resorts and over 770 miles of slopes –  the largest ski area in the world.

Below are the country’s top 10 ski and snowboarding resorts, all of which offer a wide range of snow-related activities, sweeping views, and miles of diverse slopes, suitable for beginners to advanced adrenaline junkies. Get your skis ready. 

CORTINA D’AMPEZZO

Located in the northern region of Veneto and set in the Ampezzo Valley, Cortina is completely surrounded by multiple imperious peaks that form part of the Dolomite mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Home to 140 ski runs and over 50 miles of cross-country pistes, the resort is a symbol of glamor and prestige among Italian and international sports enthusiasts. The town was the home of the 1956 Winter Olympics, and the 2021 World Ski Championships and will be the host of the 2026 Winter Olympics, alongside Milan. Apart from skiing, the area is renowned for its hearty cuisine often supplied by sustainable Alpine farms, as well as numerous spas and wellness experiences. 

COURMAYEUR

Courmayeur is a resort in the northwestern autonomous region of Aosta Valley, located at the foot of Mont Blanc, the highest peak in Western Europe otherwise known as the “King of the Alps.” A charming town made almost entirely out of cobblestones, Courmayeur is home to a number of high-end Italian luxury stores, including Gucci, Prada, and Fendi, and the Duca Degli Abruzzi Alpine Museum which documents the history of mountaineering in the area through photographs and vintage climbing equipment. Apart from regular skiing and snowboarding, the area is well known for heliskiing, an off-trail, downhill skiing, or snowboarding in which the skier reaches the top of the mountain via helicopter instead of a ski lift. 

ALTA BADIA

The mountain region of Alta Badia is located in the South Tyrolean Dolomites, Italy’s northernmost province. South Tyrol borders Austria and Switzerland and is unique for being home to Italian, German, and Ladin mother-tongue speakers. In fact, the Ladin language and culture, exclusive to the provinces of South Tyrol, Trentino, and Belluno, are among the oldest in the Alps. Six small villages, all located in a large valley, make up the Alta Badia region: Corvara, Colfosco, La Villa, San Cassiano, Badia, and La Val. All six offer year-round activities including skiing, snowboarding, hiking, cycling, and horseback riding. 

BORMIO

Bormio, a town located in the northern Lombardy region, is home to some of the most thrilling ski slopes in Italy. It is famous for having a 5,905-foot drop, one of the biggest vertical drops in Europe, making Bormio the ideal spot for intermediate and advanced skiers searching for an adrenaline rush. The resort also offers skiers the opportunity to ski beneath the stars at night on lit slopes or a first light to watch sunrise break over the mountain. In addition to modern skiing facilities, the ancient town is well known for the presence of several hot springs that provide water to three thermal baths.

LIVIGNO

Located near the Swiss border in the Lombardy region, Livigno is a great destination for skiers and snowboarders of all levels. Due to its high altitude and remote location, which earned it the nickname of “Little Tibet,” the resort is virtually snow guaranteed and is a reliable destination for skiers seeking to break free from the crowds and enjoy some off-piste, cross-country skiing. Not only a paradise for winter sports enthusiasts, Livigno is also popular with shoppers who often visit to take advantage of the resort’s duty-free status and more than 250 shops. 

MONTEROSA

The Monterosa Ski area has a reputation for deep powder, a variety of off-piste slopes, and a vast system of ski stations. It’s set across three valleys south of Monte Rosa, a heavily glaciated mountain and Western Europe’s second-highest peak. Straddling the regions of Piedmont and Aosta Valley, the area offers activities  for all experience levels at a lower price and is therefore a great place for families and beginners. However, for adrenaline junkies, the area does provide miles of routes that vertically drop to almost 6,000 feet. 

VAL GARDENA

Val Gardena, a valley in the South Tyrolean Dolomites, offers roughly 310 miles of unique slopes, 17 miles of hiking paths, and 71 miles of cross-country skiing slopes, all of which can be explored on foot, skis, or by sleigh. Its connection to the Dolomiti Superski, the world’s largest ski area, makes Val Garden a haven for winter sports enthusiasts. Stay in one of the valley’s three charming villages – Ortisei, Selva di Val Gardena, and S. Cristina – and shop from international fashion boutiques and artisan shops.  

SESTRIERE

Sestriere is one of the most accessible resorts in the Alps. Located west of Turin near the border with France, it is the best-known resort that forms part of the Vialattea ski area, an international ski area that includes seven other interconnected mountain resorts. The area encompasses 70 ski lifts and nearly 250 miles of slopes. Usually quiet on the weekdays, Sestriere offers a diverse range of freeride off-piste, high-alpine, and tree skiing and is largely considered to be the best value lift ticket in Europe. 

MADONNA DI CAMPIGLIO

The Madonna di Campiglio ski resort sits in a valley beneath the Brenta Dolomites in the Trentino Alto-Adige region. The ski area comprises four snow parks, 59 lifts, and  97 miles of interconnected runs across two other resorts, Pinzolo and Folgarida-Marilleva. A good spot for a family-friendly winter holiday, the resort offers unique experiences such as skiing at dawn and at sunset, ski mountaineering beneath the stars, panoramic sledding, and dinner on the slopes with a snowcat ride to the lodge. 

BREUIL- CERVINIA

Located in the Aosta Valley at the border with Switzerland, Breuil-Cervinia is a lift, trail, and pass interlinked with the Zermatt resort in Switzerland to form one of the largest international ski areas in the world  – the Matterhorn Ski Paradise. Significantly more affordable than Zermatt, Breuil-Cervinia offers 93 miles of slopes that are ideal for beginner and intermediate skiers. 

Asia London Palomba

Asia London Palomba is a trilingual freelance journalist from Rome, Italy, currently pursuing her master's in journalism at New York University (NYU). In the past, her work on culture, travel, and history has been published in The Boston Globe, Atlas Obscura, and The Christian Science Monitor. In her free time, Asia enjoys traveling home to Italy to spend time with family and friends, drinking Hugo Spritzes, and making her nonna's homemade cavatelli. 

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