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Best Italian Ski Resorts

Italian ski resorts offer everything from vast ski areas, amazing food, potentially the best in the alps, quieter slopes and world-class snow-making technology meaning the snow coverage is great season round. With the beautiful scenery as well, it's easy to see why people flock back year on year. Read on to discover what we think are some of the best ski resorts in Italy.

1. Sauze d’Oulx

400km of pistes (Milky Way)
Best for: Intermediates, Older Families, Groups and Party Animals

Sauze d’Oulx is part of the Milky Way, has access to over 400km of runs and is only an hour from Turin, so you can be in the resort in no time once you’re off your flight. It is a fantastic option for intermediate skiers, groups, and older families alike. It has some of the best on-piste skiing in Italy and hosted the Olympic Freestyle competitions back in 2006 resulting in a massive infrastructure boost at the time, it's easy to see why this is one of the best resorts in Italy. The Milky Way Ski Area combines several resorts in Italy as well as the French resort of Montgenevre, across the huge ski area there are lots of tree-lined slopes in case you aren’t blessed with bright blue skies for your whole trip.

Sauze d’Oulx has some great value hotels, and lively après including the legendary Ghost bar with its fantastic cheap prices it is an absolute bargain when it comes to ski holidays.

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Top Ski Resorts Italy - Sauze d’Oulx

2. Cervinia

350km of pistes (Cervinia-Zermatt Ski Area)
Best for: All Levels, Groups and Families

Cervinia is one of our most asked-about ski resorts in Italy. It is a popular ski holiday for families, groups and those wanting a large ski area with guaranteed snow conditions, but also have the opportunity to experience Zermatt for a fraction of the price.

The whole area has brilliant skiing, and it is better on the Italian side with some fantastic off-piste, a lovely range of easy to mid-range intermediate runs and the longest pistes in the world from Zermatt to Valtourneche. There are some lovely restaurants on the mountain with the legendary Chalet Etoile serving delicious creamy pasta and their awesome bombardinos aren’t to be missed, perfect for warming you up for your ski home.

The après ski is lively and fun, and there is plenty to choose from to suit all budgets with some great happy hours just after the lifts close. The bars are mostly pub-like and are situated around the centre of the village and the Hotel Principe delle Nevi is a great stylish option. There are lots of activities for non-skiers as well, and due to its south-facing position a lovely place to just relax in the sunshine.

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Top Ski Resorts Italy - Cervinia

3. Sestriere

400km of pistes (Milky Way Ski Area)
Best for: Beginners, Intermediate and Families

Sestriere is another resort offering great value for money but is the most upmarket resort within the extensive Milky Way. It is more suitable for beginners, intermediates and families.

It was the world's first purpose-built ski resort in the 1930s by Fiat’s Giovanni Agnelli. Although the resort is not as pretty as some of the other ski resorts in Italy it has everything conveniently located, and benefits from being very easily accessible meaning a much shorter transfer. It is also one of the highest resorts in the Milky Way region so historically has had the best snow in the area. For any non-skiers, there are also plenty of activities to keep you entertained such as ice skating, snowshoeing, paragliding and a sports centre with a swimming pool. You won’t get a better value-for-money ski holiday in Italy here, which is why it’s one of the best in our opinion.

The après ski is not so lively during the week but with the locals travelling there at the weekends it kicks off at the not to be missed Pinky's bar and pizzeria.

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Top Ski Resorts Italy - Sestriere

4. Champoluc

150km of pistes (Monterosa Ski Area)
Best for: Low-key Family Holidays, Powder Hounds

Champoluc is the hidden gem of Italy. One of the quieter ski resorts, it has developed a formidable reputation for family ski holidays over the years. Families love the empty and fun slopes in the large Monterosa area. Skiers of all abilities have something to keep them entertained, however, the backcountry is where it comes into its own with easy accessible off-piste and cheap heliskiing making it legendary in Italy.

There isn’t much in the way of après, however, you will make lifelong friends with the locals. Families come back year after year after enjoying the intimate feel of the area. A good après ski bar is the Galion which is perfect straight after skiing and the Golosone has some good live music to enjoy in the evenings. There is some fantastic gourmet cuisine to be enjoyed and restaurants like Petit Coq, Atelier Gourmand and on the mountain Rascard Frantze shouldn’t be missed.

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Top Ski Resorts Italy - Champoluc

5. Courmayeur

100km of pistes
Best for: Intermediates/Advanced and Powder Hounds

Courmayeur is well known for being one of the most stylish ski resorts in Italy. Set in the beautiful Aosta Valley and at the foot of Mont Blanc on the opposite side of Chamonix. The resort oozes class with boutique hotels, shops and spas. The après ski has nice cafes offering champagne and canapés with one of the best being the Caffe della Posta.

There is great skiing, and the majority is above the tree line, unfortunately, you’ll need to catch a gondola to get home as you can’t ski the final section. Skiing is more suitable for upper intermediate to the seriously advanced. Every year they host the Freeride World Tour here and for good reason too. The resort borders France and you can ski the Vallee Blanche into Chamonix, or if you want to stay on-piste for your ski holiday you have the benefit of La Thuile and La Rosiere on your pass.

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Top Ski Resorts Italy - Mayrhofen

6. Livigno

115km of pistes
Best for: Everyone

If you want to have that ski holiday in Italy but save a few pennies, then one of the best resorts is Livigno its had duty-free status way back to the 16th century. It still holds this status and is one of Italy’s great ski resorts. It isn’t just the shopping but the bars and restaurants that are duty-free too.

The second thing that Livigno is known for is the longer transfer (by Italian standards… 2hrs 45 minutes from Innsbruck), however, the guaranteed snow, a season that lasts from late November to May, and the wide range of skiing for all abilities more than makes up for this. There are two separate ski areas with Costaccia-Carosello 3000 and the other Mottolino area to the east surrounding the town. The slopes are great for beginners and intermediates, however, Italy's best freestyle snow park is in the Mottolino area, where the UK British Freestyle team train in the winter, and there are some awesome backcountry routes to explore and even heliskiing is available.

There is a lively après ski scene here with Daphne's Pub and Helvetia being amongst the best. For non-skiers, there is a whole host of activities including ice diving, dog sledging and Skidoos.

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Top Ski Resorts Italy - Livigno

7. Passo Tonale

100km of pistes
Best for: Families, Beginners and Intermediates

Passo Tonale is one of Italy’s highest ski resorts, sitting at 1883m it has a great snow record. The area offers terrain that is perfect for learning and improving on, with short transfers, well-located hotels and a compact town centre. It is a paradise for families wanting to have a ski holiday on a budget. The resort attracts families by offering great discounts, and quality lessons and has facilities to look after your little ones.

Passo Tonale has over 60 per cent of its pistes marked as red runs and there is also access to the Presena Glacier making it the perfect destination for intermediate skiers. It has some great backcountry routes which due to the altitude keep their snow for longer keeping the powder hounds amongst you happy.

There is some nice reasonably priced après ski with some good bars sitting at the bottom of the slopes. The La Baracca and Magic Pub are particularly popular and one of the best restaurants in our opinion is ‘il Fococlare’ serving delicious authentic Italian food and lovely local wine.

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Top Ski Resorts Italy - Passo Tonale

8. Arabba

1200km of pistes(Dolomiti Superski Area)
Best for: Intermediates, Groups and Families

If you are looking for ski resorts in Italy which are popular, picturesque and unspoilt, then Arabba is the perfect ski resort for you!

Whatever side of the village you are staying on, then there are fast lifts accessing the massive Sella Ronda circuit, making this an ideal location to be based in. It is fantastic for those that want to enjoy cruising runs, the best mountain scenery in the alps and delicious local cuisine on their ski holiday.

Arabba isn’t brilliant for beginners but is great for intermediates with perfectly groomed cruising runs and fantastic snow coverage. The Marmolada Glacier and the gentle blues of Pralongia above Alta Badia are also worth exploring. For the more advanced there are some lovely long blacks from the top of Porta Vescovo, and with a guide, there is also some good backcountry to explore. Each year Alta Badia plays host to the Ski World Cup, the Gran Risa piste is used to host Giant Salalm events, so if you feel like stepping into the boots of the pros, make sure you make your way to Gran Risa.

There isn't much in the way of après, however, Bar Peter in the middle of town is lively for those that want to party. For a great lunch experience, Rifugio Fodum offers some lovely food and the Ristorante Malita in town is excellent for an evening treat.

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Top Ski Resorts Italy - Arabba

9. Cortina d'Ampezzo

140km of pistes
Best for: Beginners and Intermediates

If you're looking for one of the most fashionable and photographed ski resorts in Italy then you have found it in the ‘Queen of the dolomites’ - Cortina D’Ampezzo. Part of the Dolomiti Superski ski area you won’t be short of ski runs to explore during a holiday here.

Famed for its amazing views, quality hotels, sophisticated boutiques shops, chic restaurants and lively bars, it is well frequented by the high society of Italy. As a result, you have the next level in gourmet dining and après ski and we would recommend trying Rifugio Averau or 5 Torri to see what we mean.

The local skiing doesn't disappoint either, there is epic off-piste here with the Sci 18 being the region's most famous backcountry route and on piste, there are extensive well groomed slopes, although sometimes you will need to get a bus. The Dolomiti Superski is easily reached from here and the area offers the perfect ski holiday in Italy for all abilities. Like Alta Badia, Cortina d'Ampezzo is another stop on the FIS Alpine World Cup circuit but for the downhill race. Head to the Olympia delle Tofane piste which is where the Women’s Downhill event is held, we’d recommend putting in quite a few more turns than the pros though.

For non-skiers there is a good range of activities; from sunning it up at one of the mountain restaurants to having a go on the Olympic bobsleigh run or trying Curling.

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Top Ski Resorts Italy - Cortina d'Ampezzo

10. Val di Fassa (Canazei)

210km of pistes
Best for: Intermediates

Val di Fassa suits all levels but in particular, intermediates will get the most out of it. It is another ski area in Italy that sits directly on the famous Sella Ronda circuit. There are several villages here that make up the area, however, Canazei is one of the best ski resorts overall.

For beginners, there is a gentle area at the edge of the village and also higher up at the top of the Ciampac Gondola. There is also a chance to progress with the long gentle blues and reds. The area though is a veritable paradise for intermediate skiers being in the heart of the Massive Sella Ronda. For Advanced skiers, there is a selection of blacks and a bit of off-piste. For family ski holidays this is particularly good, as the ski pass for the under 7’s is free.

Once again Italian hospitality abounds, with delicious restaurants serving local food and a lively après ski scene here. Non-skiers can enjoy lovely walks and the centre of Canazei has great shops, cafes and a nice spa centre. One of the best restaurants in the area for nighttime dining is the Ristorante El Cianton serving delicious gourmet food. A great cocktail bar is the Primo Piano bar and the après ski paradise does what it says on the tin.

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Top Ski Resorts Italy - Canazei

Discover more about ski resorts in Italy here.