Skiing in Italy has much to recommend it including magnificent mountain scenery, uncrowded ski areas, superb skiing, good food, excellent mountain restaurants and reasonable prices.
Italy is an ideal choice for a family ski holiday: everyone from hotel managers to ski instructors seems to genuinely welcome small children. And the apres-ski in the resorts tends to be less raucous. There are plenty of nice restaurants and bars, and a few good nightclubs, but anyone drunkenly dancing on tables in ski boots will be politely directed to Austria.
Although many of Italy’s ski resorts have strong cultural and historical links to the bordering alpine countries, they all have a very Italian atmosphere as well. A good ski area is regarded as just one of the ingredients required for a successful winter holiday, alongside picturesque villages, buzzing bars, stylishly dressed locals, leisurely lunches, scenic views, strong coffee, good value pizzerias, delicious hot chocolate and constant chatter. How much you embrace this dolce vita vibe is up to you: keen skiers can cover much more ground in Italy because there are rarely queues for lifts first thing in the morning, and during the middle of the day when the restaurants are packed, the slopes are usually empty. The off-piste powder also tends to stay untracked for longer.
The Italian Alps tend to get less snow than those in France, Austria and Switzerland. Italian ski resorts, however, have some of the world’s most reliable artifical snow-making, guaranteeing that their pistes remain skiable in the middle of winter, regardless of the natural snowfall.
Here is our pick of the best Italian resorts and ski areas…