- Unique mountains
Selva Val Gardena, Ortisei, Corvara and Arabba are home to the UNESCO-protected Sella Massif mountains.
- Olympic tricks
Follow in the tracks of the 2006 Olympians and try out the half-pipe in Bardonecchia.
- Off-piste kicks
Extreme riders can get their powder fix in Gressoney or Champuloc or try heli-skiing in La Thuile or Cervinia.
- Ladin mountain food
Tyrolean dumplings and apple funnel cake - sample the local delicacies in Selva Val Gardena and Val di Fassa.
- Slopes and more slopes
Linking 12 resorts, like Kronplatz and Val di Fassa, the Dolomiti Superski is one of the world’s biggest ski networks.
So what's it like?
Relaxed Italian hospitality, gourmet food for less and quiet slopes with great snowmaking – if you’re after an authentic European ski holiday without the stuffiness or the price tag – Italy is it.
Linked ski areas
Italy has three large, linked ski areas so you can get some serious mileage under your belt.
The Dolomiti Superski covers 1200km of piste, backed by the dramatic, UNESCO-protected mountain range in its title. It also takes in the Sella Ronda, a connected 26km loop of runs which takes in the best of the breathtaking mountain views. Stay in Kronplatz, Selva Val Gardena, Ortisei, Val di Fassa, Arabba or Corvara to take advantage of this ski pass.
If skiing in one country isn’t enough, you can do Italy and France in one day with the Milky Way area. Its 400km of pistes connect a web of resorts – from the family-friendly to the party-hard – stretching across Sauze d’Oulx, Sestriere, Sansicario and Claviere in Italy and over the border to Montgenèvre.
Last but not least, the Monte Rosa ski area brings together Champoluc, Gressoney and the remote resort of Alagna in the Piemonte. One of Europe’s best kept secrets, there’s 180km of piste – and extensive off piste – to explore, with panoramic views and relatively unspoilt villages.
Best for families – Claviere is home to our Pepi Penguin Nursery and Whizz Kids Club, Passo Tonale is snowsure but not extreme, and La Thuile has a friendly, family-focused village.
Best for après – Livigno claims to have the most bars of any ski resort in the world – 150 to be precise – while Sauze D’Oulx is also renowned for its active nightlife.
Best for beginners – Bardonecchia’s well-groomed runs are a good place to start, Kronplatz has an enviable lift system and Corvara & Colfosco offer some of the most scenic starter slopes around.
Best for intermediates – Courmayeur’s variety is great for improving skiers, while Pila is mostly red runs and Arabba gives great access to the intermediate-friendly Sella Ronda circuit.
Best for experts – Champoluc boasts challenging black runs and great off-piste options, while Cervinia gives cheap access to the extreme playground of Zermatt in Switzerland.
As with most of the Alps, different resorts will cater to different travellers and tastes – from Alta Badia’s pretty villages of Corvara and Colfosco, to the more modern and purpose-built (by Fiat’s boss in the 1930s) Sestriere, which was upgraded by the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics.
This means we offer everything from cosy rustic chalets to well-appointed apartment blocks. There are Crystal Childcare hotels in Claviere and Val di Fassa to help families, high-end shopping and dining in Madonna di Campiglio if that’s your thing, or some duty free-aided après in Livigno.
Italian ski resorts border France, Switzerland and Austria – picking up different influences depending on how far east or west you end up. There’s often a more Mediterranean approach – rising late and enjoying long lunches – nearer the Aosta Valley shared with France, while in the more Germanic South Tyrol things move a bit quicker and the cuisine is distinctly different.
Meanwhile, in some Dolomites valleys the Ladin culture is still very much alive, with locals determined to preserve their heritage through their language, customs, songs and food.
Food and drink
Great hospitality, fine weather and incredible food and drink – all things the Italian Alps can lay claim to.
Lunch on the slopes is almost as important as the skiing here, with some truly world class – and sometimes Michelin-starred – mountain restaurants dotted around. You can fill up on delicious pizza and pasta on a sun deck with an Aperol Spritz, then get back to it with a quick espresso or warming brandy-based Bombardino.
Ski Plus for winter 16/17
Take a look at Crystal Ski Plus in Italy. For one great price you’ll get:
- Lift Pass
- Ski or board hire OR carriag