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Largest Ski Areas in Italy

France and Austria is a lot of people's go-to place to ski but Italy shouldn't be overlooked! Italian ski resorts tend to be easily accessible with short airport transfer times, large ski areas and everything you'd expect to come with that; good après ski, excellent ski schools and a great selection of accommodation options, and that's before considering the amazing food. For a more reasonably priced ski holiday then look no further than Italy.

There are fewer chalets and self-catered apartments in Italy, with half board and B&B hotels much more common, but there's something for whatever your budget.

1. Dolomiti Superski

1200km of pistes
Altitude: 865m - 3,269m

The Dolomiti Superski region is at the top of our list of largest ski areas in Italy and for good reason. It has some of the best mountain views in the world with its UNESCO mountain landscape, over 18 peaks above 3,000m, multiple steep runs and long valleys, the area includes the Sella Ronda circuit, which according to some estimates has over 500km of linked pistes. There are 12 regions:

  • Alta Badia
  • Alpe Lusia/San Pellegrino
  • Arabba/Marmolada
  • Cortina d'Ampezzo
  • Valle Isarco/Eisacktal
  • Civetta
  • Kronplatz
  • San Martino di Castrozza/ Passo Rolle
  • Val di Fassa
  • Val di Fiemme / Obereggen
  • Val Gardena / Alpe di Siusi
  • 3 Zinnen Dolomites

The ski runs are generally more cruizy, however, there is something for all levels across the 12 snow sure regions. Intermediates love the Sella Ronda route and for freestyles, there are multiple parks across the area with the best being in Seiser Alm. For freeriding, there are some great routes to be done around Cortina with a guide.

The Dolomiti ski area really does have it all, whatever your budget or après requirements you will find a home in one of the villages. Alta Badia is well known amongst foodies, the area boasts several Michelin-starred restaurants, one of which is St. Hubertus which has 3. Cortina d’Ampezzo is a hotspot for the rich and famous with movie stars frequenting the area. Selva Val Gardena is reasonably priced for those on a budget and Kronplatz is perfect for families with its great ski school. The resorts in the Sella Ronda have a lift system akin to the French. However, the Dolomiti Superski has many villages with their own lift system, that also connects to the Sella Ronda via bus. Wherever you decide on staying we are certain you'll be coming back for years to come.

Learn more about each resort below:

Biggest Ski Areas Italy -  Dolomiti Superski

2. Milky Way

400km of pistes
Altitude: 1509m - 2823m

The Milky Way is the largest connected ski area in Italy and had a massive boost in investment from hosting the 2006 winter Olympics. The area covers over 400 kilometres of pistes and is famed for its range of skiing for all abilities and glorious long hours of sunshine. The area includes the ski resorts of Sauze d'Oulx, Sestriere, Claviere, Pragelato, Sansicario, Cesana and over the border in France; Montgenevre.

The Milky way has it all from the family-friendly resorts to lively après ski. Sauze d’Oulx is better suited to intermediate skiers and groups wanting to party together. However, Sestriere is better for beginners, families and advanced skiers. There is a range of fun parks in each of the areas but Sestriere has the best park for snowboarders.

The area is great if you're after value for money, with the lift pass, accommodation and extras being amongst the most reasonable in the alps. Most of the accommodation is either Half Board or B&B hotels, however, there are also luxury all-inclusive options and chalets. All of the resorts are within easy reach of Turin airport making this area an ideal location for a ski holiday.

Learn more about each resort below:

Biggest Ski Areas Italy -  Milky Way

3. Matterhorn Ski Paradise

350km of pistes
Altitude: 1620m - 3899m

Third, on our list of largest ski areas in Italy is the Matterhorn Ski Paradise which includes the resorts of Breuil-Cervinia and Valtournenche in Italy and Zermatt in Switzerland. The lift system goes up to 3,899m, making it both the highest in Italy and Switzerland. The area has so many runs that you can easily go a day without doing the same run twice and it is famed for having the second biggest vertical drop in the world (2,379m) with a stunning 20km descent down to Valtournenche.

The most photographed mountain in the world, the Matterhorn, is over in Zermatt which is well known for its beautiful scenery, fantastic skiing for intermediates, experts and its prices alike. Over on the Italian side, there are the linked resorts of Valtournenche and Cervinia. Valtournenche is the perfect snow playground with endless ski slopes. Cervinia has the best snow record in Italy and is a great base for early or late skiing holidays, in fact, you can actually ski here all year round if you want to. The varied ski area caters for all abilities, but it is most popular with families and those who want to do Zermatt without the Zermatt prices.

Most of the accommodation on offer in Cervinia is well positioned half board hotels, however, there is something to suit most budgets. As to be expected from Italy the food is great and the après ski is lively, and all for a fraction of the cost of Switzerland.

Learn more about each resort below:

Biggest Ski Areas Italy - Matterhorn Ski Paradise

4. Espace San Bernardo - La Rosiere/La Thuile Ski Area

152km of pistes
Altitude: 1190m - 2800m

Fourth on our list of largest ski areas in Italy is the Espace San Bernardo, this is another area where you can ski in France and Italy in one day. The large ski area has over 150 km of pistes and 33 lifts, most of which are south-facing offering fantastic mountain views.

La Thuile is a former mining town and has great terrain for both intermediates and advanced skiers, with pistes 3 and 5 offering challenging runs through the trees to the resort. For powder hounds, there is a large amount of easily accessible off-piste that you can ski weeks after it has snowed. La Tuile is very reasonable for food and drink and to complement this, there is some good self-catering accommodation with large rooms and great facilities in La Thuile.

La Rosiere in France is famous for families and has won several awards as a result. The wide pistes here mean that the terrain is much better for less confident skiers, however for advanced there is a new area opened up on Mont Valaisan. Another benefit of the area is that you can ski for free for two days in nearby Pila and Courmayeur on your lift pass, these are connected via a bus which you will need to pay for separately.

Learn more about each resort below:

Biggest Ski Areas Italy - Espace San Bernardo - La Rosiere/La Thuile Ski Area

5. Monterosa Ski Area

132km of pistes
Altitude: 1,212m - 3,275m

Fifth on our list of largest ski areas in Italy is the Monterosa ski area, which lies at the foot of the Monte Rosa Massif, the area covers over 130km of pistes that are great for all abilities from beginners to experts. It covers three valleys around the resorts of Alagna Valsesia, Gressoney La Trinite, Champoluc and Frachey with a total of seven ski areas.

The lift system is good and the slopes are quiet. The two ends of the ski area are 17 kilometres apart which gives you a real sense of travel when you are skiing. All of the areas have their own highlights however Stafal gives the best access to the lifts, Champoluc has the livelier centre and is more popular with families, but if you want the best off-piste in Italy then Alagna has over 2000m of lift-served off-piste.

Accommodation here tends to focus on half-board hotels and like in the rest of Italy the prices here are reasonable and the food is delicious.

Learn more about the resort below:

Biggest Ski Areas Italy - Monterosa Ski Area

6. Livigno Ski Area

115km of pistes
Altitude: 1816m - 2798m

Livigno is the sixth on the list of largest ski areas in Italy, with 115 kilometres of well-connected pistes. Livigno lies on the sunny side of the Lombardy Alps and has been known as a duty-free haven for a while. It now has a great range of B&B, half-board hotels and self-catered apartments, making it particularly popular amongst those trying to save extra pennies.

The high altitude, guaranteed snow conditions and range of pistes are good for all levels. Beginners and intermediates are well served and Italy’s premier snow park is based in the Mottolino area, where the UK’s Freestyle team trains. There is some great off-piste and heli-skiing is possible here too. The area also has a large cross-country skiing area with over 30km of well-kept trails to explore. With over 150 bars in the town, we're confident you'll find somewhere that suits your après desires.

Although only connected by bus, the lift pass gives you access to the Alta Valtellina region which is 214 km of slopes including Bormio and Santa Caterina. In addition, you can ski at the exclusive resort of St Moritz in Switzerland for a day.

Learn more about the resort below:

Biggest Ski Areas Italy - Livigno

Discover more about skiing in Italy here.