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Italy is one of Europe’s top destinations for skiing holidays. From thousands of kilometres of slopes and their mouth-watering cuisine to stunning scenery and great value for money, it’s easy to see why Italy skiing holidays are so popular amongst skiers from the UK and across the world.
A simple Google search will lead you to dozens of skiing destinations, which can make settling on one particular resort difficult. So, to make picking your next skiing holiday destination easy, we’ve done all of the research for you. In the section below, we’re going to cover some of the best Italian ski resorts. For each one, we’re going to take a look at:
- The distance from the closest airport and travel time
- The total length and the difficulty of the slopes
- What you can expect in terms of accommodation and dining options
Val Gardena (Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced)
Nestled in the heart of Dolomites mountain, Val Gardena is one of Italy’s most renowned skiing destinations. Known for its large variety of slopes, stunning scenery, and fantastic atmosphere, this charming resort is visited by tens of thousands of tourists from all over the world each year.
The closest airport to Val Gardena is Innsbruck airport, which is actually located in Austria. It’s approximately 120 km (75 miles) away from Val Gardena and the journey will take you around 90 minutes by car.
When it comes to the slopes, Val Gardena is home to one of the most impressive and vast ski areas in the whole of Italy. The skiing network of slopes here spans over 175 kilometres (109 miles). When broken down by difficulty, 52 km (32 miles) of the slopes are beginner-friendly, 105 km (65 miles) are for intermediate skiers, and 21 km (13 miles) are suited for advanced skiing enthusiasts seeking a thrilling challenge in the snow.
In other words, whether you’re travelling with young children, alone, or with a group of friends, Val Gardena offers plenty of skiing opportunities for anyone, regardless of their age or skill level.
As far as accommodation is concerned, options are plentiful. Whether you’re looking for a budget-friendly alpine-style accommodation on the outskirts of the resort or a luxury five-star hotel, in Val Gardena, you’re sure to find exactly what you’re after.
In terms of dining, Val Gardena boasts a wide selection of restaurants, cafes, and bars. From traditional Italian cuisine to more international flavours, you’re sure to find freshly made dishes that will satisfy your cravings. The restaurant that stood out the most during our research was the Zicoria Brasserie. It is a little bit more expensive, but the food and the views are truly second to none.
Cortina d’Ampezzo (Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced)
Widely regarded as one of Italy’s finest and most stunning ski resorts, the charming town of Cortina d’Ampezzo is located in the heart of the southern Dolomitic Alps. The closest airport to this part of Italy is the Venice Marco Polo airport, which is approximately 160 km (99 miles) away. The journey by car takes just over two hours.
Skiers of all levels find their paradise in Cortina d’Ampezzo, which is largely due to the diverse range of slopes around, totalling over 120 kilometres (75 miles). In terms of difficulty, 38% of the slopes are for beginners, 49% are for intermediate skiers, and 13% are for advanced skiing enthusiasts. As a result of its varied slopes, Cortina d’Ampezzo is often visited by a varied audience, ranging from families with young children to groups of friends looking for some winter fun.
What makes Cortina d’Ampezzo more unique than all of the other Italy ski resorts is the fact that the resort features the most vertical black slope in the whole of the Dolomiti Superski area. The Forcella Rossa slope has a maximum slope grade of 62% and is just over 2,000 metres in length – not to mention the stunning views that you’ll be exposed to of the whole of the Ampezzo valley when going down the slope.
As far as accommodation is concerned, Cortina d’Ampezzo is home to a wide variety of accommodation options for every budget. From hotels and apartments, to mountain huts and chalets, if you look hard enough, you’re sure to find exactly what you’re after. If you’re keen on getting stunning views and a bit more privacy during your stay, the chalets by Mi Chalet are the perfect option.
When it comes to dining, food and drinks options vary. Here, you’ll find anything from basic streetfood to proper Italian restaurants like the II Vizietto di Cortina and the Ristorante Al Camin.
Alta Badia (Beginner/Intermediate)
Alta Badia is a charming skiing resort in Northern Italy, situated in the heart of the Italian Dolomites. Located approximately 150 kilometres (93 miles) away from the Bolzano airport, Alta Badia is easily accessible by car and shuttle bus. The average journey to the resort is around 1 hour 40 minutes.
With over 130 kilometres (81 miles) of perfectly groomed slopes, this stunning skiing destination offers skiers the perfect opportunity to have a blast in the snow. Over 54% of the slopes are beginner-friendly, meaning there’s plenty of space for first timers, families with young children, and beginners as a whole to build their confidence and safely work on their skiing abilities.
Over 40% of the slopes are for intermediate skiers, and only 6% are ranked as black slopes, which isn’t great news for anyone seeking a thrilling skiing holiday.
Accommodation here is plentiful. There are villas, hotels, chalets, apartments, mountain huts, and a variety of other traditional and more luxury forms of accommodation. What’s more is that there is something for every budget, allowing those of us who don’t want to empty our bank accounts to still have a great skiing experience in the Italian Alps.
When it comes to dining options, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Here, you’ll find anything from budget-friendly Italian restaurants such as the Malga Sasso Piatto to more fine dining establishments in the likes of the Zicoria Brasserie.
Madonna di Campiglio (Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced)
Despite being known as a prestigious and high-end ski resort, over the last several years, Madonna di Campiglio has become a whole lot more appealing for ski enthusiasts from Britain that are travelling on a budget.
This charming small town is situated in the Italian region of Trentino, which is around 160 km (99 miles) away from the Verona airport. The average transfer time to or from the airport takes around two hours and can be done either by car or by shuttle bus.
Home to over 155 km (96 miles) of slopes, Madonna di Campiglio is one of the most evenly balanced ski resorts in the whole of Europe. What we mean by this is that there is a relatively equal amount of slopes for beginners, intermediate, and advanced skiers. Here’s a breakdown of the slopes at Madonna di Campiglio by difficulty:
- Beginner: 50 kilometres (31 miles) or 32% of all slopes
- Intermediate: 72 kilometres (44 miles) or 32% of all slopes
- Advanced: 33 kilometres (20 miles) or 21% of all slopes
Amenities, accommodation, and dining options here are nothing short of impressive, even the venues catering for travellers on a budget. Some notable restaurants you should definitely pay a visit to include the Rifugio Casinei Restaurant and the Agritur La Trisa. In terms of accommodation, the 4-star hotel Garni Caminetto really caught our eye, and is definitely worth checking out.
Other Skiing Destinations in Italy (That Offer Great Value for Money)
Italy is home to dozens of phenomenal ski resorts, and frankly, we can’t leave most of them out. If you couldn’t quite find what you were looking for in the destinations above, don’t hesitate to do some further research on:
- Val di Fassa
- Prato Nevoso
When Is the Best Time to Go Skiing in Italy?
The skiing season in Italy is between late December and early April. To avoid disappointment and practically guarantee yourself that there will be plenty of snow to ski on, we’d advise you to go during the peak season. In Italy, it’s between late December and late February.
Before deciding on the destination and when you want to go, it’s worth checking how high above sea level the resort is. This is because resorts that are higher up in the mountains tend to have snow throughout the whole season, while resorts that are at a lower sea level can get impacted by the warming weather. This is especially true during the end of the skiing season (late March/early April).
Italian skiing resorts strike the perfect balance between value for money and perfectly groomed slopes. The large majority of destinations for skiing holidays in Italy cater to skiers across all levels (with the exception of Alta Badia and a few others who are mostly for beginners and intermediate skiers).
If Italy is on the cards for your next skiing holiday, you won’t be left disappointed. And hopefully, by reading our article, we managed to help make your decision making process for picking a resort a little bit easier.
On a budget? check out our guide on Cheap Places to go Skiing in 2024.