Italian ski resorts may not be as famous and challenging as their counterparts in France, Austria and Switzerland, but there are some hidden treasures in this part of the world, and ski resorts on offer from the big and brash to the tiny and secluded. You can find summer skiing here, too, and let’s not forget that Italy offers some of the best cross-country skiing in the Alps.
If you’re looking for somewhere lively, try the Susa Valley/Val di Susa, in which you’ll find the resorts of Sauze d’Oulx and Sestriere, both with great nightlife and both on the Via Lattea, the Milky Way, a vast ski area straddling the French-Italian border. For something smaller and more traditional, try Livigno, a pretty village with duty-free status which makes eating out appealing. For some late-in-the-year skiing, head to Val di Sole which leads to the Passo Tonale with its Presena glacier which stays open until June; for sheer glamour you want Courmayeur the Italian counterpart to Chamonix at the foot of Mont Blanc. Or if you fancy a drop of culture, try the Aosta Valley, with its 13th century castles and Cervinia resort which gives direct access to the majestic Matterhorn.
Italy’s skiing also extends to the mighty Dolomites, and a good way to get the most out of the area is to get the Dolomiti Superski area pass, which encompasses many regions, all within their own resorts, including Val Gardena, Val di Fassa and Arabba. The Dolomiti Superski pass gives you access to 1,200km of trails and 1,000km of pistes, so you shouldn’t run out of variety.
The mentality in Italian ski resorts is laid-back, friendly and fun, and immensely varied in culture - take advantage of what’s on offer.