The 9 Best Ski Resorts In Italy
When you think of skiing in Europe, you might first think of Switzerland, Austria, and France. But don't discount Italy! The northern reaches of this southern European country have some terrific ski and snowboard areas, with pistes suitable for beginners to experts. For the most part, Italy's ski resorts are more affordable than their northern counterparts. They're also more relaxed and low-key, with skiers content to soak up winter sun and mountain views over a long lunch before they hit the slopes again. At the bottom of the cable car or ski gondola, resort towns offer a range of accommodations and dining options, plus activities to keep families busy when they're not shushing down the mountain.
Here are our picks for the top ski resorts in Italy, and why we love them.
The highest mountain in Europe is the focal point of some of the continent's chicest ski resorts, including Courmayeur, the charming, exclusive village that sits right on the slope of Mont Blanc. The Courmayeur Cable Car is the only one adjacent to the historic center, and it connects with a series of lifts higher up the mountain. From there, skiers can reach Entreve (also reachable by car) and hitch a ride on the Funivie Monte Blanc Cable Car, which is the highest in Italy with an altitude of 3,466 meters (11,371 feet). In town, the shopping is pricey and the apres-ski scene is buzzy.
2. Cortina d'Ampezzo
Ask any Italian to name an Italian ski resort, and chances are Cortina d'Ampezzo will be their first reply. Cortina first hit the world stage as the site of the 1956 Winter Olympics and its winter sports infrastructure has only grown since then. It's also situated under the spectacular Cinque Torri—the set of toothy rock formations that overlook the town and form part of the Dolomite Mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Three cable cars depart from Cortina to transport skiers into the Dolomiti Superski area, an interconnected ski arena with more than 746 miles (1,200 kilometers) of pistes. Cortina d'Ampezzo is a highly family-friendly area, ski schools, snow parks, plenty of soft winter sports, and an abundance of family-focused hotels.
3. Madonna di Campiglio
Tucked within the Adamello Brenta Nature Park, the once sleepy village of Madonna di Campiglio became a favorite destination of the 19th-century Hapsburgs and developed as a ski resort in the 1940s. For an all-around winter experience in Italy, the town offers much more than skiing—though more than 93 miles of groomed slopes and trails should keep avid skiers occupied. A variety of snow sports are available here, including dedicated snowboarding areas, snowshoeing, and night skiing. For time off-piste, there are castles, museums, spas and wellness centers, an ice-skating rink, and Michelin-starred dining. In December, one of Italy's prettiest Christmas markets is held here.
In a hard-to-reach corner of Italy, and closer to the Swiss border than it is any sizable town in Italy, Livigno is popular with Italian families who come for its ready leisure options, affordability, and availability of beginner and intermediate ski runs. The high-altitude position ensures reliable skiing the whole season, even as resorts elsewhere in Italy are waiting for the snow to accumulate. Several ski lifts depart from the town and many runs finish up there, making this a true ski-in-ski-out destination. Livigno will be the site of several Olympic ski and snowboarding events when the 2026 Winter Olympics come to Italy, so expect it to get a lot more popular afterward.
If skiing or snowboarding in the shadow of the Matterhorn is on your winter sports bucket list, there's no need to go to Zermatt, Switzerland. On the other side of the mountain, the major Italian ski resort of Breuil-Cervinia offers Matterhorn views, Italian prices, and excellent ski opportunities. From lifts in town, it's even possible to access trails that lead over the border into Switzerland, have lunch, and ski back.
The town of Breuil-Cervinia lacks the charm of some of its Swiss neighbors but there's a solid infrastructure here, with plenty of hotels and restaurants for every budget plus ice-skating, snow-tubing, and kids' play parks. Four lifts depart directly from town. The ski season here starts as early as October and runs into early May.
6. Val Gardena
Also part of the Dolomiti Superski area along with Cortina d'Ampezzo, smaller Val Gardena offers challenging terrain for experienced skiers, including La Longia, a 6.2-mile run, as well as some lower pistes for beginners and intermediates. The Sella Ronda is also a big draw here—the 14.9-mile circuit is accessible from Santa Cristina Val Gardena and circles the 10,000-foot Sella Massif. The small villages that make up Val Gardena are big on charm with historic churches and town squares, cozy restaurants, and little of the see-and-be-seen apres-ski scene associated with bigger ski resorts.
Skiers don't come to Sestriere to vacation in a quaint, historic Alpine village. Considered the world's first purpose-built ski resort, Sestriese rose from the ground in the 1930s as a vacation destination for Fiat factory workers in nearby Turin. Its two round towers, now both hotels, are the symbols of the resort. Sestriere is part of the Via Lattea, or Milky Way ski arena, which stretches into France and is one of the largest in Europe. There are lifts and runs here for beginning to advanced skiers, including several pistes that have been part of Olympic and World Cup downhill runs. The apres-ski scene here is young and lively.
For lovers of winter sports and pampering wellness, Bormio offers the best of both worlds. Set near the Swiss border on the famously switchbacked Stelvio Pass Road, Bormio is also a spa town known for its thermal waters. They're perfect for a soak after tackling the 5,000-foot vertical drop for which Bormio is also known. Most of the action takes place on the Stelvio Slope, which will host Olympic action in 2026. There are plenty of beginner and intermediate runs, plus free ride zones, a fun old town, and thermal spa facilities right in the center.
9. Alta Badia/Corbara
On the other side of the Sella Ronda from Val Gardena, the Alta Badia/Corbara ski resort is a good one for families and novice skiers. It's also a great place to experience Ladin culture—with language, dress, and cuisine unique to this part of Italy. Skiing may be a little on the soft side here, but there are plenty of challenging pistes for experienced downhillers, including the Gran Risa, considered one of the most technically difficult in the Alps. The apres-ski scene is low-key, and you're as likely to see families out on the town as you are the stylish ski set. Alta Badia is also known for its great dining options and numerous celebrated restaurants.
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