Italy's mountainous landscape makes it ideal for skiing. There are plenty of top class resorts including the famous Cortina d'Ampezzo and Courmayeur resort. The best conditions and resorts can be found in the north of the country, in the alpine regions. Down south, there are a few resorts, but not as many.
As well as taking a month long summer holiday, most Italians are lucky enough to be able to take a winter ski holiday, a 'settimana bianca' (white week), right on their own doorstep.
Where to ski
Turin, in the North West of Italy is one of the country's prime winter sports locations. It's also very easy to get to. It has one of the most convenient budgetairports for ski holidays in Italy.
Then there's a place called Valle di Susa. It's just west of Turin, very close to the French border. It's also on the Paris-Turin train route. Valle di Susa has several busy ski resorts including: Sauze d'Oulx, Bardonecchia and the very 'chic' Sestriere resort.
Sestriere is a very well developed modern resort. It has over 20 ski lifts, an ice scatting rink and many cross country trails. You can easily get a bus from Turin to Sestriere, or else you can just take a local bus from the station at Oulx, which is also on the Turin-France rail route.
Valle d'Aosta is further north. It's a massive area with a very unique identity; they speak French as well as Italian here. This is home to some of Europe's most daunting mountains - Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn, Monte Rosa and Gran Paradiso. The surrounding countryside is filled with idyllic castles, pine forests and quaint wooden chalets.
Courmayeur is probably one of Italy's best ski resorts. It's certainly the most glamorous. It lies at the foot of Mont Blanc, and is ideal for summer as well as winter skiing. It has excellent facilities including: cable-cars, chairlifts and helicopters along with plenty of downhill skiing, cross country skiing and even ice skating. Other places to check out in this area include: Breuil-Cervinia, the spa town St Vincent, Pila and Cogne.
In the northeast of Italy you'll find the stunning Dolomites mountain range. There are endless possibilities for winter sports here and it's also a popular summer holiday location.
There are in total 12 different areas here. They link together to form the 'Dolomiti Superski' network. This is home to the world famous Cortina d'Ampezzo resort and the very popular Madonna di Campiglio resort.
Italy's Northern Dolomite ranges are home to the most well known and best developed resorts, but there are also plenty of opportunities for winter sports along the southern section of the Dolomites. Check out the Gran Sasso, just east of Rome. Here you'll find the Campo Felice Ski resort. It's got 16 ski lifts in total and a top class ski school.
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