So what's it like?
Relaxed Italian hospitality, quiet slopes and great-value resorts ... If you’re after an authentic European ski holiday without the stuffiness or the price tag, Italy is it.
Whether you’re a first timer or an expert, there’s an Italian resort for you. The friendly towns of Passo Tonale and Bardonecchia are great for newbies, with lots of beginner slopes to learn on and buzzy little après scenes. And if you’re only interested in the steep and deeps, it’s got to be Selva Val Gardena or Arabba for the pick of the advanced slopes. Italian resorts run the gamut from the picturesque to the more functional and purpose-built. Sauze d’Oulx and Cervinia are great for lively nightlife and if it’s high-end style you’re after, head to Madonna di Campiglio. Bringing the little ones with you? They’ll settle right in at our Crystal childcare hotels in Claviere and Val di Fassa – and we’ll even take them to and from their ski lessons.
Italy has plenty of large, linked ski areas so you can get some serious mileage under your belt. The huge Dolomiti Superski sprawls across the UNESCO-protected Dolomites and takes in the Sella Ronda, a connected 26km loop of runs, with breathtaking mountain views. Stay in Kronplatz, Selva Val Gardena, Ortisei, Val di Fassa, Arabba or Corvara and you can reach Dolomiti Superski’s 1200km of pistes, all on one area lift pass.
And if skiing in one country isn’t enough, you can ski Italy and France in one day on the lift-linked Milky Way ski 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 in France. The Winter Olympics came to the Milky Way in 2006, bringing speedier lifts, which means less time queueing and more time on the slopes.
Italian holidays are all about the laid-back atmosphere, the incredible food and the unmistakable warmth of your Italian hosts. And ski holidays are no different. Whether you’re taking a long, leisurely lunch at the top of the piste or just stopping in for a quick coffee or Bombardino to prep you for your next run, the people are charming and the food’s excellent – and a lot cheaper than in most European resorts.