Ski resorts in Italy: ranking of the 12 best places for ski holidays
Italian ski resorts are considered some of the best in Europe on a par with France and Switzerland. But if you compare with its northern neighbors, Italy is a little cheaper and skiing is at a different pace, with a relaxed atmosphere, where the main thing is to have fun, not to break records. This, combined with low ticket prices, makes Italy a very attractive place for a relaxing ski vacation.
So I’ve prepared a ranking of the 12 best ski resorts in Italy for you to get the most out of your vacation.
- A little bit about skiing in Italy
- Where to ski in Italy
- 1. Cortina d’Ampezzo
- 2. Livigno
- 3. Bormio
- 4. Val Gardena
- 5. Cervinia
- 6. Sestriere
- 7. Courmayeur
- 8. Alta Badia
- 9. Madonna di Campiglio
- 10. Val di Fassa
- 11. Monterosa
- 12. the Alpe di Susi
A little bit about skiing in Italy
Europe’s highest mountains, the Alps, border Italy to the north and west. On their snow-covered slopes are some of Europe’s most famous ski resorts. Only in the Dolomite Alps more than a dozen peaks exceeding 3,000 meters, so snow is almost guaranteed from November to April, and often the season lasts even longer.
The best region for skiing in Italy is the Dolomite Alps, where 12 major ski areas have a total of more than 1,200 kilometers of pistes. But whichever region you choose – the Dolomites, Val d’Aosta (where Italy borders France and Switzerland) or the Savoy Alps west of Turin – you’ll be rewarded with spectacular scenery and excellent ski slopes that can last for hours, descending from the high peaks to the resort towns at the bottom.
You’ll find plenty to do in your free time as well, and vacation costs here are usually lower than in ski resorts in France or Switzerland.
Where to ski in Italy
To make it easier for you to choose, I’ve categorized the resorts:
- Best ski resorts in Italy overall: Cortina d’Ampezzo, Livigno, Bormio
- Best elevators: Val di Fassa, Val Gardena
- Off-piste skiing: Monterosa, Sestriere, Cervinia
- Best for families with children: Livigno, Cervinia
- Value for money: Val di Fassa, Sestriere
- Nightlife: Livigno, Sestriere, Courmayeur
And now the top of the best ski resorts in Italy in order:
1. Cortina d’Ampezzo.
The Dolomite Alps have been carved by a glacier, creating many vertical faces and rocky peaks. Because of this, the Dolomites have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the skiing here has become world-class. The most famous of the Dolomite Alps ski resorts is Cortina D’Ampezzo, since it hosted the Winter Olympics in 1956.
The surrounding countryside is a very breathtaking sight. Towering over the town are the Cinque Torri, five peaks that not only serve as beautiful scenery for Cortina, but also provide daylifts from the peaks directly into the town. More than three dozen elevators take skiers virtually from their hotel door to the snowfields just below the highest peaks.
If that’s not enough, a Dolomiti Superski pass includes full use of the elevators and slopes at 11 other Dolomite Alps resorts.
Families with beginners and intermediate skiers will find many opportunities in Cortina d’Ampezzo, where there are slopes and pistes (routes) for beginners, and about half of the skiable terrain belongs to the intermediate level. The gentle wooded slopes in the Mietres area are especially good for children.
Experienced skiers won’t be bored – the rest of the slopes are for them, including the Olympia slope in Tofane, where the 2019 Women’s Alpine Ski World Cup was held.
The town is well equipped: there are hotels of all categories, excellent stores (it is the most fashionable of all Dolomite Alps resorts), restaurants, cafes and several spas. If you want a high-end vacation in an Italian ski resort, you’ll find it here (although you can find mid-range accommodations in Cortina as well).
Livigno is known for its great freestyle winter parks, which are considered the best in Europe, as well as its remote location. But its relative inaccessibility makes it even more attractive to those who get to these places, because it has pretty low prices and good snow at 1,815 meters above sea level.
The ski slopes are located on both sides of the valley: excellent beginner and intermediate slopes on the west side of Costaccia-Carosello, and freestyle parks in the Mottolino area to the east. The main relief park has more than 60 trails for all skill levels. Experts can ride the off-piste slopes or ride from a helicopter.
Livigno is scheduled to host snowboarding and freestyle competitions at the 2026 Winter Olympics. Livigno has a total of 110 kilometers of ski slopes: 12 for experts, 37 for intermediate level and 29 for beginners. There are also 250 VAT-free stores for those who want to buy ski equipment and rent.
North of Verona, near the Swiss border, Bormio offers skiers the only piste from the summit to the base with the largest vertical drop in Italy at 1,787 meters. Bormio’s main ski area, Vallesetta, is a great resort for intermediate skiers: 58 percent of the slopes are for them. About a third of the slopes are suitable for beginner skiers, making Bormio popular with families.
Only nine percent of the pistes are for experts, but the piste from the summit to the base is an unforgettable experience that makes up for it. The Stelvio circuit has hosted annual World Cup downhill competitions since 1985. In 2026, it will become the official skiing venue for the Winter Olympics. There are two dedicated free ski areas and a snow park.
The town itself is an attraction; it’s an old resort town with a rich history. There’s a charming old quarter filled with palatial buildings and dotted with squares, fountains, churches and chapels. There are also three excellent spas that draw water from hot mineral springs.
As a day trip, you can go to Livigno, which is about an hour by car through the mountains.
4. Val Gardena
Val Gardena is a region with small resorts and offers a more secluded ski holiday than, for example, the elite Cortina d’Ampezzo. Val Gardena is a region with a number of valleys, with 160 km of slopes and ski elevators, which are interconnected to form almost 400 km of interconnected skiing. From here you can ski down to the Marmolada glacier.
In Val Gardena there is also the longest ski run in the region, over 10 kilometers long. The piste is characterized by a variety of terrain, including a natural canyon with a frozen waterfall. The total height of this trail is 1,273 meters.
But Val Gardena has facilities for beginner and intermediate skiers – they won’t get bored here – about 65% of the trails that can be accessed from here are for advanced and experienced skiers, one of the highest in the Dolomite Alps.
Skiers come to Val Gardena not for the evening entertainment, but just to ski and relax afterwards in the small authentic alpine villages, of which there are three: Ortisei, Santa Cristina and Selva Val Gardena.
The Italian region of Valle d’Aosta northwest of Milan offers an experience that is on almost every skier’s wish list: skiing right below the summit of the most famous mountain in the Alps, the Matterhorn. The mountain itself is on the border between Italy and Switzerland.
The resort town of Cervinia on the Italian side is not as beautiful as Zermatt on the Swiss side, but its location is excellent – beneath the steep southern slope the profile of the mountain is just as beautiful and distinct.
Using the elevator directly from the center of Breui-Cervinia, you can ski the 350-kilometer Matterhorn piste system, which connects the two countries and three resort towns. The elevators reach a height of over 3,500 meters at Piccolo Cervino (called Little Matterhorn by the Italians), which makes Cervinia one of the best ski areas in Europe in terms of reliability of snow cover at high altitude.
The third resort town with pistes connected to this network is Valtournanche, whose elevators connect it to the elevators of Cervinia – a total of 23 elevators. The terrain on this side is surprisingly gentle, with plenty of beginner and intermediate level trails – about half of the 150 kilometers of pistes are marked as beginner trails.
Most experienced skiers will want to go for the more challenging runs on the Swiss side. Although the hotels and infrastructure in Cervinia and Valtournansch are not as upscale as in Zermatt, they do not have the big Swiss prices. Here you will find very comfortable accommodation and excellent Italian food, as well as tourist attractions and entertainment for non-skiers.
The ski resort of Sestriere, located in the Savoy Alps west of Turin, is the legacy of Fiat founder Giovanni Agnelli, who built several hotels and four ski lifts here in the 1930s. This makes it one of Italy’s oldest ski resorts and the world’s first purpose-built ski resort.
For most of the time Sestriere was known mostly only to ski fans from Turin, but in 2006 they decided to hold the Winter Olympics here, and that breathed new life into the resort, with all the infrastructure renovated and many new hotels built.
The region of Sestriere includes about 163 connected pistes, more than half of them for intermediate skiers, about 40 for beginners and 30 for experts. The altitude reaches 2,800 meters above sea level, so like Cervinia, Sestriere is among the best resorts in Europe for the reliability of snow cover in the highlands.
Despite its skiing history, Sestriere itself does not have many interesting places and attractions, not counting of course the beautiful mountain peaks.
In addition to skiing, bobsledding, ice skating, and dog sledding can be enjoyed here. The region is also home to the small ski resort of Pragelato, where you can ski the trails used in Olympic cross-country skiing competitions and possibly see the Olympic ski jump competition.
Courmayeur is one of Italy’s most interesting ski resorts because it is located at the foot of Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in Europe.
To admire the view from Mont Blanc you will need to take the Funivie Monte Bianco cable car up the ridge line. Experienced skiers looking for a thrill should hire a guide and hope for ideal conditions when the unmarked and expert-only trails are open. If the weather isn’t ideal, you won’t even be allowed to elevator your skis on the elevator.
However, it is still worth to go here at least for the sake of the beautiful views. There’s a lot of off-piste skiing in the area, for which you’ll also need a guide.
But not all slopes are for experts: beginners will find gentler slopes in the “suburb” of Courmayeur Dolonne, but most slopes are best suited for advanced and intermediate skiers. In Val-Ferré, not far from Courmayeur, begins a 20-kilometer network of ultra-beautiful cross-country ski trails.
Also in Courmayeur you will find upscale restaurants, gourmet stores and luxury hotels. Because of its chic reputation and proximity to Mont Blanc, prices here are higher than in most other Italian resorts, but you can also find quite inexpensive hotels.
8. Alta Badia
Alta Badia is located in the heart of the Dolomiti Superski. The resort covers six villages, the largest of which are Corvara, San Cassiano and La Villa. The area has 130 km of its own pistes, but is also a good base to go to other Dolomiti Superski resorts.
Most of Alta Badia’s slopes are quite gentle and are good for beginners and intermediate skiers, only the slopes will be interesting for advanced skiers. For the experts there is one “black” trail – the descent of the Grand Risa World Cup in La Villa. There are plenty of off-piste descents, including the Val Mezdis, known as the “Valle Blanche of the Dolomites,” and the 1,400-meter downhill at Val Setus. What Alta Badia may lack in terms of steepness, it more than makes up for in scale.
When it comes to Italian food and wine, no other valley in the Alps has such a density of upscale restaurants in such a small area, including two Michelin four-star restaurants. Even the mountain huts here offer fine dining.
9. Madonna di Campiglio
In Madonna di Campiglio you get some of the best maintained pistes in Italy (with awards to prove it), elevators right from the center of town and a stylish atmosphere second only to Cortina d’Ampezzo. Its location in the Brentian Dolomites, just north of Lake Garda and Verona, is not as easily accessible as the more famous Dolomite resorts to the east, but once here, you’ll find enough snow and surrounding beauty to spend an entire vacation here.
More than 150 kilometers of pistes and slopes, among which there is the difficult for experts 5.75 kilometers of Dolomitica with 70 percent gradient, and skiing does not stop until sunset on the equally difficult Canalone Miramonti, which is illuminated for night skiing. People with an intermediate level of training will appreciate this resort, and the Ursus Snow Park snow park for freestylers is considered one of the best in Europe.
There’s plenty to do in the four villages beyond skiing, with cross-country skiing, ski mountaineering, ice skating, snowshoe trails, tobogganing, dog sledding and ice climbing.
Throughout December and until January 6, the town is transformed into a fairyland of lights and holiday decorations, and the Christmas market sells local handicrafts and food in small houses.
10. Val di Fassa
Val di Fassa is a good choice for serious skiers. It’s not meant for beginners, and there aren’t many lower intermediate-level runs either, although all Dolomiti Superski resorts have at least 20 percent intermediate-level runs.
Canacei is the largest and most famous of the resort towns in the Val di Fassa region, with a mix of modern and traditional buildings and facilities, including spas and more post-ski fun than the nearby smaller towns.
Campitello is an older town – in fact, it was the first ski resort in the region – and more traditionally alpine, with charming wooden barns and narrow streets. A cable car from either town provides easy access to the popular four-mountain pass trail, Sellaronda, which is 40 kilometers long, 26 of which are skied.
Although there are several alternatives here for experts, the entire trail can be completed in about six hours by skiers with average level of training in good condition.
One of the largest ski networks in the world, Monterosa includes the resort towns of Alanya, Champoluc and Gressonei, connected by elevators and creating 180 kilometers of ski terrain in the Italian Aosta Valley. This is a wonderland for off-piste skiers, who can access miles of untouched snowfields, and the altitude of the terrain suitable for skiing reaches almost 3,000 meters. The views of Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn and Monte Rosa, Europe’s three highest mountain peaks, are as breathtaking as the skiing.
From the charming alpine village of Alanya you can take the cable car up to 850 meters, then a second cable car for the same distance to Col d’Olen, at 2,881 meters.
From here you can reach two other villages and even more pistes and snowfields. It is one of the world’s largest mountains served by ski elevators. While this terrain is only suitable for experts, the separate Vold area near Alanya is designed for beginners and intermediate levels of training and is equipped with a snowmaking system.
This area is part of the Aosta Valley Pass system, covering a total of 800 kilometers of ski terrain, about 200 elevators and more than 10 ski areas.
12. the Alpe di Susi
In the heart of the Dolomite Alps, near Val Gardena, the 60 kilometers of Alpe di Susi pistes have something rare – almost guaranteed snow, even if nature doesn’t go for it. Because 100 percent of the slopes are equipped with a snowmaking system, they can guarantee good skiing from December to March.
86 percent of the slopes at Alpe di Susi resort are designed for advanced skiers, which is the highest in the Dolomite Alps. But the 60 kilometers of its own slopes and the 175 kilometers of runs and trails it shares with Val Gardena keep intermediate skiers and even beginners occupied.
Alpe di Susi is known as one of the most family-friendly resorts in the Dolomite Alps. It has a children’s ski park, ski school, children’s amusement parks, children’s excursions and state-of-the-art safety systems for children on the elevators. It’s also home to some of the best snow parks for boarders, equipped with boxes, steps and kickers.
Although lodging at these popular Dolomite Alps resorts can be expensive, small traditional hotels that can cost half as much as large hotels.
That’s all for now, thanks for finishing up. I hope I helped you with your choice of ski resort in Italy and that you have a great holiday! If you still have any questions, ask in the comments.
Excellent knowledge of all the sights Italy. He travels around the country in his spare time and is willing to share his experiences in articles on Italy-Insider.
The best ski resorts in Italy: rating, description, videos, prices, map
The Italian Alps today are one of Europe’s leaders in the number of ski resorts, the quality of pistes and snow, elevators and snow parks. Here come to rest not only rich people, but also people of average income, as well as students. Prices for accommodation in 2021 (apartments and hotels), as well as ski passes may vary from resort to resort.
Map of the best ski resorts in the Italian Alps
Resort rating: 4.9/5
The famous luxury and expensive resort COURMAYEUR is located at the foot of Mont Blanc, on the other side of the mountain is the French resort of Chamonix.
There are several types of single ski pass: Courmayeur + SkyWay MonteBianco, Courmayeur + Valle d’Aosta (Aosta Valley), Courmayeur + Chamonix (Chamonix).
The nearest airport is Turin (150 km).
In total, the ski area COURMAYEUR has about 42 km of pistes, more than half of them are red slopes (of medium complexity).
The cost of a ski pass in 2021-22: from €50/adult/1 day
The resort offers heliski services, helicopter rides over Mont Blanc. And also there is a wonderful snow park Courmayeur-Mont Blanc.
While vacationing in Courmayeur don’t forget to visit neighboring Pre Saint Didier where you can swim in thermal springs overlooking Mont Blanc.
2. VAL DI FIEMME
Resort rating: 4.7/5
This unique resort is located in the Dolomite Alps and is part of the Dolomiti Superski ski area.
A single Val di Fiemme ski pass allows skiing in five ski areas at once. And a ski bus helps tourists move between resorts.
The nearest airport is Bolzano (22 kilometers).
In total in the skiing area VAL DI FIEMME is about 112 km of pistes, 50% of which are red (of medium complexity).
The cost of ski passes in 2021-22: from 47 euros/adult/1 day
Val di Fiemme resort has evening skiing, as well as facilities for children in the form of: snow parks, children’s instructors, children’s slopes.
3. FOLGARIDA MARILLEVA
Resort rating: 4.5/5
The famous ski resort in the Dolomites di Brenta is part of SKIRAMA DOLOMITI, one of the largest combined ski areas in the Alps.
The nearest airport is Verona (160 km).
The cost of the ski pass in 2021-22: from 44 euros / 1 day / adult.
The single ski pass allows skiing not only in FOLGARIDA but also in all SKIRAMA DOLOMITI ski areas.
In total, in FOLGARIDA MARILLEVA there are about 62 km of slopes, most of them red and blue (medium and easy).
The resort is famous for its unique facilities for children: the family park DAOLASA and MARILLEVA. Here can be trained the youngest skiers – from three years.
Resort rating: 4.5/5
A major ski resort in the Dolomites di Brenta along with Folgarida is part of SKIRAMA DOLOMITI, one of the largest combined ski carousel in the Alps.
The nearest airport is Verona (160 km).
The cost of the ski pass: from 51 euros / 1 day / adult.
A single ski pass allows skiing not only in Madonna di Campiglio but also in the Madonna di Campiglio-Folgarida-Marigliano-Pinzolo area.
In total, the resort MADONNA-DI-CAMPIGLIO has about 39 km of pistes (150 km in the combined ski area), most of which are red and blue (medium difficulty and easy).
The resort is famous for its longest track DoloMitica – 5.7 km long, and with an altitude difference of 1248 m, which is suitable for beginners and gives the opportunity to go down on skis from the peak to the parking lot at the elevator below.
Resort rating: 4.3/5
A major ski resort in Alta Valtellina in northern Italy at an altitude of 1816m, bordering Switzerland. Since Livigno is in a duty-free zone, tourists can combine skiing with shopping.
The nearest airport is Trento (188 km), Bergamo (192 km).
The prices for ski passes in 2022: from 47 euros / 1 day / adult.
A single ski pass allows skiing not only in LIVIGNO, but also in the united zone: Santa Caterina, Bormio, Cima Piazzi-San Colombano.
In total, the united ski area of Livigno has about 115 km of pistes (76 km in Livigno itself), most of which are red and blue (medium and easy).
The resort is famous for its MOTTOLINO, Beach, Amerikan Park and Woodpark snow parks. There are nighttime skiing, sunrise skiing and also a unique LIVIGNO nighttime parallel slalom show.
Resort rating: 4.2/5
Sestriere is part of the Via Lattea ski area (from Italian “Milky Way”) where the Turin Winter Olympics were held in 2006.
The nearest airport is Turin (100 km).
The cost of the ski pass 2022: from 38 euros / 1 day / adult.
A single ski pass not only applies to SESTRIERE but also to the Sestriere-Sauze D’Oulx-SanSicario-Claviere ski areas.
In total, in the united ski area of Via Lattea there are about 320 km of groomed slopes (146 km in Sestriere itself) of all levels of difficulty.
How to organize a trip to the ski resort on your own
There are many nuances to take into account: from choosing the dates of the trip to booking a hotel and organizing a transfer from the airport. Read more in a separate article about independent travel to the Italian Alps .
How much does it cost to stay in an Italian ski resort: hotels or apartments?
Which should I choose: an apartment or a hotel? Decide your choice after looking at accommodation prices.