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From Tuscany to Sicily: 8 of the best ski resorts in central and southern Italy

Giampietro Vianello
Giampietro Vianello - [email protected]
From Tuscany to Sicily: 8 of the best ski resorts in central and southern Italy
Besides the Alps, there are plenty of other ski areas scattered around the peninsula. Photo by ALBERTO PIZZOLI / AFP

Though they may be Italy’s most prestigious winter sports region, the Alps aren't the only place where you can put your skis on in the country as you'll find resorts as far south as Sicily.


With nearly 6,000 kilometres of slopes and a variety of breathtaking winter landscapes, Italy is one of the most sought-after ski holiday destinations in Europe.

But while the Alps mountain range in the north of the country is by and large the most popular ski area, you may find it surprising that there are plenty of other ski resorts scattered around the boot as you can get a chance to hit the slopes in all but three Italian regions (Puglia, Sardinia, Umbria). 

And, outside of the fact that the ski season is usually shorter (it starts later and ends sooner) and is far more dependent on local weather conditions than in the Alps, many resorts in central and southern Italy have little to envy to their northern counterparts, with affordable ski pass and accommodation prices further increasing their appeal. 

Monte Cimone (Emilia Romagna) – Perched atop the highest peak of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines, around a two-hour drive away from Bologna, the Monte Cimone ski area boasts some 50 kilometres of slopes, with most pistes geared towards intermediate and advanced skiers. 

The resort however also has options for kids (there are two baby snow parks and a 700-metre bobsled piste) and non-skiers, with notable local attractions including the Montecreto Fortress and the Sestola Castle.

Abetone (Tuscany) – Located about a one-and-a-half-hour drive away from Florence, this ski resort is known to enjoy good snow in the colder months despite its relatively low altitude (1,388 metres) and has more than enough to satisfy the needs of both beginners and intermediates.  

Abetone is also one of Italy’s best options if you’re on a budget. Here, the price of a daily high-season ski pass is 49.50 euros – that’s over 25 euros less than in Cortina (76 euros) – while accommodation in the area comes at an average of around 60 euros a day per person.

READ ALSO: How much more expensive will your ski trip in Italy be this winter?


Terminillo (Lazio) – If you’re planning on spending some time on the slopes this winter but are not so keen on the idea of travelling too far away from Rome, the Terminillo ski resort may be just what you’re looking for. 

Located some 100 kilometres (around one hour and 45 minutes by car) north-east of the capital, the resort pairs around 30 kilometres of pistes (10 for alpine skiing and 20 for cross-country) with picturesque views of the Rieti countryside. 


Terminillo is also a quick half-hour drive away from Campo Stella, another popular ski area in the Rieti province which boasts one of the longest runs in the Apennines (pista Rubbio). 

Roccaraso (Abruzzo) – With over 160 kilometres of slopes and some 30 kilometres of cross-country pistes, Abruzzo’s Roccaraso is the largest ski area in central Italy and one of the most popular winter holiday destinations in the whole country.

Located about a two-and-a-half-hour drive away from both Rome and Naples, the resort also offers a number of scenic snowshoe trails and snowkite courses.

Ovindoli-Magnola (Abruzzo) – Lying at the heart of Abruzzo’s Sirente-Velino natural park, the Ovindoli-Magnola resort may be less popular than the nearby Roccaraso area but still has plenty to offer as its 21 runs meet the needs of all types of skiers, from those that are just starting out to experts.

Ovindoli is also ideal for non-skiers as the surrounding area is dotted with Roman ruins and mediaeval constructions that are well worth checking out. 

READ ALSO: From experts-only to family-friendly: 12 of the best Italian ski resorts

Campitello Matese (Molise) – Campitello Maltese is a fairly small resort (13 runs for a total of around 40 kilometres of slopes) located just a few kilometres away from Molise’s border with Campania. 

But what the resort lacks in size, it largely makes up for in picturesque views as skiers can catch glimpses of the Thyrrenian sea and Naples’ mount Vesuvius on clear days. 


Campitello also offers a number of off-piste itineraries and freestyle runs.

Palumbosila (Calabria) – Located on Calabria’s famous Sila plateau, Palumbosila is arguably the best-equipped ski resort in the region as it includes 10 runs (mostly geared towards beginners and intermediates) and two modern chairlift facilities. 

The area also features a bobsled piste, an ice rink and a number of snowmobile tracks.

Etna (Sicily) – However hard to believe it may be, even Sicily, one of Italy’s most popular summer holiday destinations thanks to its immaculate beaches and crystal-clear waters, will give you a chance to put your skis on at the height of the winter season. 

Mount Etna – Europe’s largest active volcano – is home to two ski areas (Piano Provenzana and Nicolosi), which offer a total of 10 alpine skiing runs and two cross-country pistes. 

Both resorts are a short distance away from Catania, but can be reached in under two hours by car from both Messina and Syracuse. 

Piano Provenzana and Nicolosi are not the only resorts in the region as another small ski area (Piano Battaglia) can be found on the Madonie mountain range, east of Palermo. 


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