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Ten Italian ski resorts that winter sports-lovers have to visit

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Ten Italian ski resorts that winter sports-lovers have to visit
File photo: Pexels
08:26 CET+01:00
Italy may be better known as a summer destination with beaches and culture galore, but there's plenty of reason to visit during the winter months. With over 300 skiing areas, winter sports lovers from novice to expert level are bound to find somewhere perfect for them. From classic Alpine resorts to the more unusual (Mount Etna, anyone?), here are the top ten locations for winter sports enthusiasts in Italy.

Cervinia, Aosta Valley


Photo: James Preston/Flickr

At the foot of the Matterhorn (Monte Cervino in Italian) lies Cervinia, one of the highest and largest resorts in the Alps. That means good snow cover, long runs - some up to 22km - and the chance to ski over to Switzerland. There are three dedicated children's ski areas, Europe's highest snowparks, and some more challenging options for advanced skiers.

Madonna di Campiglio, Dolomites


Photo: ItaliaABC/Flickr

Relatively isolated compared to other Dolomite resorts, this popular resort offers the combination of a charming pedestrianized town and large variety of slopes, including a 1000-metre descent.

Sauze D'Oulz, Val di Susa

Photo: Peter Fordham/Flickr

Just 80km from Turin and one of five villages making up the lift-linked 'Milky Way' ski area, Sauze offers access to over 400km of ski slopes, whilst the options for après-ski include excellent Italian restaurants, bars and clubs.

La Thuile, Aosta Valley


Photo: foshie/Flickr

Based in a quiet, old mining village, La Thuile makes for an uncrowded ski experience - but there's no need to get bored, as you can ski across to La Rosière in France, or other resorts in the Aosta Valley including Courmayeur and Pila. There are lots of options for anyone learning to ski, and for experts, there's a snowpark which encourages visitors to "unleash their creativity with a touch of madness".

Livigno, Alps


Photo: acidka/Flickr

Located high in the Italian Alps, Livigno offers stunning views and a range of runs for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities, as well as the 'Mega Fun Park 2' terrain park.

Abetone, Northern Tuscany


Photo: lo.tangelini/Flickr

Not far from Florence, Pisa or Siena, the Apennine resort will challenge your perceptions of Tuscany. It's the hometown of world champion skier Zeno Colò and offers about 50km of slopes. There are other activities on offer, including hiking and snowmobile trips, and you can easily arrange trips to the medieval towns and villages in the area to keep any non-skiers in your group entertained.

Val Gardena, Dolomites


Photo: Val Gardena - Groeden Marketing/Flickr

Val Gardena offers a large range of options for alpine excursions, freestyle and snowboarding as well as connections to the rest of the Dolomites. Picturesque mountain huts house most of the accommodation, restaurants and bars.

Monterosa, Alps


Photo: Zacharie Grossen/Wikimedia Commons

Three valleys make up the Monterosa resort, spread across Valle d'Aosta and Piedmont. Many of its runs are well-suited to beginner-level skiers, but if you're advanced - or prefer cross-country skiing or even snowboarding - head to the Passo dei Salati. Expect long runs, uncrowded slopes and stunning mountain scenery.

Mount Etna, Sicily


Photo: Jeanne boleyn/Wikimedia Commons

Fancy ticking 'ski down a volcano' off your bucket list? The high altitude of Etna means you should get great snow cover, and although there's less choice and variety compared to the larger resorts, it will be a unique experience. Plus, you can spend the rest of the trip exploring everything that Sicily has to offer.

Kronplatz, Dolomites


Photo: Chroustik2/Flickr

As well as lying in the heart of Europe's biggest cross-country ski trail system, Kronplatz also offers outdoor ice rinks, sledging and tandem paragliding.

 

A version of this article was first published in December 2013. The original version can be viewed here.

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