Skiing Italy

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Ski and snowboard Italy. La Thuile ski resort.
Ski and snowboard Italy. La Thuile ski resort.
The Italian side of the Matterhorn (Monte Cervino). Cervinia ski resort.
The Italian side of the Matterhorn (Monte Cervino). Cervinia ski resort.
The freeride paradise of Alagna, part of Italy
The freeride paradise of Alagna, part of Italy's magnificent Monterosa Ski.
Classic Italian skiing at Oulx, part of the Via Lattea.
Classic Italian skiing at Oulx, part of the Via Lattea.
The magnificent Skyway cable car uo to Monte Bianco above Courmayeur.
The magnificent Skyway cable car uo to Monte Bianco above Courmayeur.
World
World's best train to ski lift connection is the Dolomites resort of Kronplatz.
Italy has some of Europe
Italy has some of Europe's best backcountry and heli-skiing terrain.
Perfect Italian groomer into the village of Sesto. 3 Peaks Dolomites ski resort.
Perfect Italian groomer into the village of Sesto. 3 Peaks Dolomites ski resort.
Zermatt to Valtournenche Italy, over 20km of super skiing.
Zermatt to Valtournenche Italy, over 20km of super skiing.
Cortina ski resort Armentarola trail ends with a horse drawn ski tow!
Cortina ski resort Armentarola trail ends with a horse drawn ski tow!
Skiing Italian off piste powder at Gressoney, part of Monterosa Ski.
Skiing Italian off piste powder at Gressoney, part of Monterosa Ski.
Courmayeur ski resort Italy, below huge Monte Bianco (Mont Blanc).
Courmayeur ski resort Italy, below huge Monte Bianco (Mont Blanc).
Food is a wonderful part of the ski Italy experience. Lunch at Alta Badia.
Food is a wonderful part of the ski Italy experience. Lunch at Alta Badia.
Ski Italy and start the morning with a calimero - brandy eggnog & espresso.
Ski Italy and start the morning with a calimero - brandy eggnog & espresso.
Apres ski Italy. Not as rowdy as Austria, but more refined & still great fun.
Apres ski Italy. Not as rowdy as Austria, but more refined & still great fun.
Ski Italy for powder. Oulx (Sauze d
Ski Italy for powder. Oulx (Sauze d'Oulx) ski resort, Via Lattea near Turin.
Amazing fun slopes for families are popular in Italy. Val Gardena ski resort.
Amazing fun slopes for families are popular in Italy. Val Gardena ski resort.
Alpine huts & rifugios in Italy offer cosy retreats from the cold. La Thuile ski resort.
Alpine huts & rifugios in Italy offer cosy retreats from the cold. La Thuile ski resort.
Shopping in some Italian ski resorts is brilliant. Cortina d
Shopping in some Italian ski resorts is brilliant. Cortina d'Ampezzo.
Ski and snowboard Italy, Toula Glacier Monte Bianco
Ski and snowboard Italy, Toula Glacier Monte Bianco

Skiing Italy

Ski & Snowboard Italy

Skiing & snowboarding in Italy is a perennial Powderhounds favourite. Whilst Italy doesn’t necessarily come immediately to mind as one of world’s best known powder ski & snowboard destinations, the resorts of Italy are absolute world class in all aspects.

The Italian ski resorts are predominantly located across the mountainous areas of northern Italy that border France, Switzerland and Austria. Being on the southern side of the Alps, the Italian ski resorts boast an 80% chance of beautiful weather during winter. So, in true Italian style, one can sit outside and not let the snow get in the way of enjoying delicious pasta, grappa, spritzer, espresso or café latte with your new Italian friends.

Skiing in Italy is sometimes like being in two (or three!) different countries. German and Austrian cultural influences are prominent in South Tyrol (parts of the Dolomites & Val Venosta) in the north-east of the country. French culture insinuates itself into the Aosta Valley.

Generally less expensive than their northern and western neighbours, Italian ski resorts are also known for their relatively uncrowded slopes. The ski resorts are not far from numerous airports making transit easy, particularly from centrally located Milan. Another bonus is that the fabulous cities of Rome, Florence and Venice are never far away.

In Italy you can ski the massive and spectacular Dolomites region in the east, go skiing in the true Alps in the north west, ride the 2006 Olympic resorts of the Via Lattea , or even ski down Mt. Etna in Sicily. Italy offers a diverse array of skiing options across more than 200 resort. It’s favoloso!

The Italian ski resorts can broadly be placed into several regions including the Dolomites, Brenta Dolomites, Valle d'Aosta, Ortler region, Alta Valtellina, Via Lattea, Apennines and others.

Aosta Valley Ski Resorts

In north west Italy bordered by Switzerland to the north and France to the west, the Aosta valley (Valle d’Aosta) has several of Italy’s premier ski resorts and some of its most eye popping scenery. Surrounded by western Europe’s highest mountains, the ski resorts of Cervinia at the base of the Matterhorn (Monte Cervino), Monterosa Ski (Champoluc, Gressoney, Alagna) at the base of Monte Rosa and Courmayeur at the base of Monte Bianco (Mont Blanc) are all wonderful ski destinations. The brilliant La Thuile & Pila ski resorts round out the main fare in this sensational valley. Small Valle d’Aosta resorts for the more discerning among you include CrevacolChamoisChamporcher & Torgnon. Access to the area is best via Turin or Milan.

Dolomites Ski Resorts

The main Dolomites (Dolomiti Superski) ski area in the north east of Italy provides one of the largest ski networks in the world. as the 12 main ski areas in the region are connected by 460 lift systems. The best way to experience this sunny and snowy area is with the “Dolomiti Superski” pass which accesses 1200+ km of ski slopes across the twelve ski areas. The ski resorts have either big reputations or none (!) and include Cortina d’Ampezzo, Alta Badia, Val Gardena, Val di Fassa, Arabba-Marmolada, 3 Peaks (Drei Zinnen a.k.a. Sesto), Plose, Gitschbegr-Jochtal, Kronplatz, Civetta and others. The world famous “Sella Ronda” ski route is in the Dolomites and whilst overloaded with skiers, enables one to visit 4 of the resorts in one day around the spectacular Sella massif. The easiest route to the Dolomites is via Milan (Malpensa airport), Innsbruck, Munich or Venice and then a taxi, private shuttle, train and/or bus from Bolzano to the resorts.

Brenta Dolomites Ski Resorts

The other large ski area in the western Dolomites region is in an area known as the Brenta Dolomites. The Skirama Dolomiti ski area combines 8 ski resorts to access 380 km of piste and 150 lifts. The ski resorts include the popular Madonna di Campiglio, Pinzolo, Folgarida-Marilleva, Pejo, Tonale, Andalo & Monte Bondone. Access is best via Milan, Venice, or Innsbruck through Tirano or Trento.

Via Lattea Ski Resorts

Just west of Turin is “The Milky Way” (Via Lattea) ski area that has 320 km of piste and connected by 70 lifts and is the best value ski area in Western Europe. The main interlinked ski resorts include Cesana-SansicarioClaviere, Oulx (Sauze d'Oulx),  & Sestriere. Hosting many of the 2006 Winter Olympic events, “The Milky Way” region is easily accessed via train or car from Turin. The TGV fast train from Paris stops at Oulx for quick and easy access to this great ski area. Also, nearby is the cracking ski resort of Bardonecchia, plus the region’s superb French connection - Montgenevre.

Alta Valtellina Ski Resorts

Never heard of the Alta Valtellina? Think Bormio, Livigno & the lesser known Santa Caterina, Passo dello Stelvio & Cima Piazzi-San Colombano (Bormio's close neighbour). Some excellent skiing & snowboarding in the alps north of the Brenta Dolomites. Access is best via Milan. Passo dello Stelvio is only open in summer - there is too much snow in winter!!

Ortler Ski Resorts

The Ortler Ski Arena is a little-known ski region made up of 15 resorts in the Venosta valley & near Merano, Bolzano and Eisacktal. Located in north east Italy wedged between the Austrian border, the Dolomites and the Alta Valtellina; the Ortler ski resorts include a number of real Powderhound secret treasures. The relatively unknown resorts of Solda, Val Senales, Belpiano & Reinswald have some great value skiing at elevations up to 3260m. Access is best from Milan via Bolzano or Innsbruck via Reschen Pass.

Apennines Ski Resorts

Further south is Italy's longest mountain range called the Apennines. They extend for 1200km south east along the spine of the entire Italian peninsula. Several small ski resorts are spread along the Apennines, but also some quite extensive ones with over 1000m of vertical and 80km+ of piste trails. The larger resorts include Abetone, Alto Sangro, Cimone and Campo Felice.

Other Italy Ski Resorts

Aside from several excellent outlying Italian Alps ski resorts ranging along the Swiss border like Aprica, Alpe Palu – Valmalenco, Macugnaga, Madesimo & San Domenico, a number of resorts are in the mountains of the southern Piedmont towards the Mediterranean. The area can get seriously heavy snowfalls during particular storm cycles. The largest of the ski resorts are Mondola & Riserva Bianca-Limone Piemonte.

One of the more interesting Italian ski area graces the potentially fiery slopes of Mt Etna. Sicily's famous volcano and the highest point at 3,350m, Mt Etna often gets deep winter snow and has up to 1,400m of vertical skiing at two ski resorts combined with off piste. The Piano Provenzana and Nicolosi ski areas on both the south and north side of Mt Etna are best accessed via Catania.

Summer & Glacier Skiing in Italy

Year-round skiing is possible in Italy utilising the several glacier ski resorts. The most obvious is Cervinia with its links to the broad Matterhorn Glacier Paradise & Zermatt. Cervinia includes a summer ski season.

As winter winds down & summer approaches, Stelvio Pass (Passo dello Stelvio) opens for business from early May until November. Located near the Swiss border, it is the final piece in the puzzle to provide lift assisted winter skiing in Italy for a full 365 days of the year.

Italian glacier ski areas with extended seasons from late October to May including Tonale, Solda-Sulden & Val Senales, are all located in the country's north-east alps along the Austrian border. In the Dolomites, the Marmolada glacier (encompassing parts of Arabba-Marmolada & Val di Fassa ski resorts) has the longest season in the region, extending through to the start of June.

Heliskiing in Italy

Italy is one of the few European countries to have several heliskiing operations on the high Alps, particularly around the Aosta valley. Heliski operators are based near Sestriere (Val di Susa), La Thuile, Valgrisenche, Courmayeur, Gressoney (Monterosa) and further afield at Livigno & remote Riale (Val Formazza). More information on heliskiing is coming soon.

Travel To & Around Italy

Getting to Italy is easy via either of the major northern Italian international airports at Milan Malpensa (MXP) & Venice (VCE). Whilst Milan is just about central to everything other than the Dolomites (that’s where Venice comes in!), minor airports serving flights from within Europe & the UK include Turin (TRN) & Verona (VRN). Airports in Austria & Switzerland also provide access, particularly Innsbruck (INN) & to a lesser degree Zurich (ZRH) & Geneva (GVA).

From the airports, numerous train lines are useful in getting to the mountains. Several ski resorts even have integrated stazione (station) & ski lift installations. Bus services in Italy are OK without being brilliant & the mountain roads can be challenging to drive in bad weather, partly due to the surface conditions, but also because most rental cars in Italy are well winterised. A safe bet to get to a resort in Italy is via a private transfer direct from an airport or city.

For detailed information & hints on the best ways to get to Italian ski resorts, see our Travel to Italy page.

When to Go

It is possible to ski via lifts every day of the year in Italy. High season at Italian ski resorts is from Christmas to the first week in January, most of February & most weekends through to early April. The last 3 weeks of January & mid-week in March & all of April can be a good time to save a few pennies, ski deserted slopes & some amazing late season powder days in the high alpine. Our pick is the last few weeks of January for deep, cold powder snow & no competition for fresh tracks. Later in the season (particularly April) is best for the glorious sunny days & stable snowpack for alpine touring in the higher reaches of the Alps.

For more information on the best times to ski or snowboard Italy, see our When To Ski Italy page.

Affordable Skiing in Italy

Aaah Italy. Not only is the food better, the coffee smoother & the wine exceptional compared to most ski destinations on earth but the cost of skiing is also amongst the cheapest in the western world. Ski lift passes are incredibly competitively priced - easily the cheapest of the 'Big 4' Alps ski nations that includes Switzerland, France & Austria.

The Turin Olympics ski resorts of the Via Lattea have the best value lift pass in the world. In season 2019/20 a day lift pass cost a tiny €38 providing access to a total of 310km of quality piste trails & 50 ski lifts in the Italian section. Astonishing! There are a host of other well-priced options including the likes of Madesimo,, Monterosa & Santa Caterina.

As with any ski resorts, it is possible to spend a fortune on accommodation when skiing Italy. The opportunities for a cheap overnight in a gorgeous rifugio or guesthouse are prolific & the general cost of living is less - food, drink, car hire.

Why Ski & Snowboard Italy?

There are so many reasons to ski and snowboard Italy. Here are just a few.

Awesome skiing and snowboarding. Several Italian ski resorts are Powderhounds favourites because of the quality of the ski experience. The ski resorts of the Aosta valley (Monterosa, Cervinia etc), Via Lattea, the broader Italian Alps (Livigno) and the Dolomites are exceptional by world standards.

Geographic and cultural diversity – from the heights of Monte Bianco and Rosa to the unique Dolomites, the Apennines and even Mt Etna, the mountains in Italy are as diverse as the culture, which can change from one valley to the next.

Value for money. Italy offers some of the cheapest skiing snowboarding in the western world world.

World’s best snowmaking. If mother nature is being fickle, the Italians have snow-making down to a fine art. You will be guaranteed endless skiing, fresh natural snow or not.

Après. A few Aperol spritzers on the sunny deck of a high alpine rifugio will be all you need to say, “I love skiing in Italy.” You can then understand why so much in Italy is about la dolce vita!

Compare Italian Ski Resorts to Europe & the World

See how ski resorts in Italy compare to the rest of the European ski resorts on the Europe ski resort ratings page. Alternatively see comparisons to the rest of the world on our Best Ski Resorts page.

Reviews

The Powderhounds Europe team are constantly reviewing new ski resorts in Italy & Europe or having a second or third look at old ones. See our reviews via the links on each ski resort overview page.

Follow Powderhounds Europe on Facebook or Instagram to see where we are currently skiing.

Ski Tours in Italy

Safari (Road Trip) Tours

SPECIAL Dolomites Ski Safari
HOSTED SKI SAFARI | DOLOMITES
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Ski Days
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
A special ski adventure set amongst the awe inspiring landscape of the Dolomites. Linking 9 ski resorts via groomed slopes by ski, taxi, helicopter & snowmobile, spend 5 nights in mountain rifugi under the guidance of your dedicated host. Join a "fixed date" tour or get your own group together for a custom tour.
Price p/p From price based on fixed date tours, twin/double-share room.
Base/invoice currency is in EURO incl taxes.
AUD 4,171
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CLASSIC Dolomites Ski Safari
HOSTED SKI SAFARI | DOLOMITES
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Ski Days
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
The very best skiing in the Dolomites linking 6 ski resorts & spending 4 nights in mountain rifugi under the guidance of your dedicated host. Ski the best groomed trails in the Dolomites on this classic ski safari. Join a "fixed date" tour or get your own group together for a custom tour.
Price p/p From price based on fixed date tours, twin/double-share room.
Base/invoice currency is in EURO incl taxes.
AUD 3,245
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Tarentaise Powder Ski Safari
GUIDED OFF-PISTE SKI ADVENTURE
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Days Skiing | 3+ Resorts
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Discover untouched powder in some of the most famous ski areas of the world in Haute Tarentaise of France. An experienced guide will show you vertical descents of up to 2,000m through untracked powder, even days after a snowfall. Join a "fixed date" tour or get your own group of 4+ together for a custom tour.
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share room occupancy & min group of 7 people
Base/invoice currency is in EURO inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
AUD 3,445
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See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Italy here

Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours

Skiare SILVER Packages
MIXED GROUP GUIDED INSTRUCTIONAL PACKAGES
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Ski Days
Ability: Beginner to Expert
Make the most of your Dolomites ski holiday with a MIXED GROUP guide / instructor who will show you many of the great sights & ski areas whilst helping you to improve your skiing. Whilst this example package is based on 7 nights, packages are fully CUSTOMISABLE from 3 days plus and can start from any day of the week.
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share in a 3-star hotel room during medium season (Dec 1 - 23, Jan 6 - Feb 2, Mar 10 - 24).
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
AUD 3,795
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Skiare GOLD Packages
PRIVATE GUIDED INSTRUCTIONAL PACKAGES
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Ski Days
Ability: Beginner to Expert
Make the most of your Dolomites ski holiday with a private guide / instructor who will show you many of the great sights & ski areas whilst helping you to improve your skiing. Whilst this example package is based on 7 nights, packages are fully CUSTOMISABLE from 3 days plus and can start from any day of the week.
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share in a 3-star hotel room during medium season (Dec 1 - 23, Jan 6 - Feb 2, Mar 10 - 24).
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
AUD 5,200
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Tarentaise Valley Star Ski Tour
GUIDED OFF-PISTE ADVENTURE
2 - 7 Days | 3+ Resorts
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
Ski some of the most famous ski areas of the world in France with an experienced guide riding vertical descents of up to 2,000m through untracked powder even days after a snowfall. Join a "fixed date" tour or get your own group of 4+ together for a custom tour.
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share room occupancy & min group of 4 people on a 3-day tour
Base/invoice currency is in EURO inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
AUD 1,771
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See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Italy here

Backcountry Skiing Tours

Chamonix Alps Ultimate Women's Ski Tour
CUSTOMISED GUIDED SKI TOUR | WOMEN ONLY
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Ski Days
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Ski 3 countries in one week with an all female group based in the legendary Chamonix. Experience the Grands Montets, Aiguille du Midi, the Valley Blanche, Verbier & Courmayeur in amongst the highest peaks of the Alps.
Price p/p From price based on min 4 guests & twin/double-share room.
Base/invoice currency is in USD ex taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
AUD 4,438
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Chamonix Ultimate Alps Ski Tour
HOSTED & GUIDED SKI TOUR
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Ski Days
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Ski 3 countries in one week based in the legendary Chamonix. Experience the Grands Montets, Aiguille du Midi, the Valley Blanche, Verbier & Courmayeur in amongst the highest peaks of the Alps. Join a fixed date tour or customise your own private tour.
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share room.
Base/invoice currency is in USD ex taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
AUD 4,438
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La Grave-Sestriere Powder Skiing Safari France-Italy
GUIDED OFF-PISTE ADVENTURE
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Ski Days | 3+ Resorts
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Skiing between the French & Italian alps over the southern alpine glaciers, this exceptional tour begins in La Grave, France, passes through Serre Chevalier & ends in Sestriere, Italy. Great off-piste combination of high alpine & tree skiing, plus beautiful villages & accommodation.
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share room occupancy, min group of 7 on an 8 day trip.
Base/invoice currency is in EURO inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
AUD 3,234
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See all Backcountry Skiing tours that visit Italy here