Every ski area has those must-ski pistes, from scenic beauties to Olympic landmarks and challenging leg-burners. Here are our favourites across Italy.
Best ski run for advanced skiers
Kandahar Banchetta – Sestriere
Black + Red
Ready to feel like an Olympian? Kandahar Banchetta was the star of the 2006 Olympic men’s downhill race. A steep drop-in hits you with a rush of adrenaline – this is one for experts and the most confident intermediates only. The twisting 2.5km piste mellows out in the middle, before plunging into the trees for a final steep stretch at the end.
The longest ski run in Italy
Ventina – Cervinia
Blue + Red
With many slopes claiming to be the longest, Ventina is one run that could take the crown. A memorable final-day challenge for your first trip, or an old sparring partner for seasoned skiers – Ventina brings mountain lovers together for a long run under the Matterhorn. Starting at 3,480m from the top of the Testa Griglia cable car, you get all the excitement of an 11km descent without the steep surprises. It’s called Red 7 on the piste map and drops 1,430 vertical metres to Cervinia, giving a real sense of triumph.
The prettiest ski run in Italy
La Longia – Santa Cristina
The 10.5km La Longia is a winding, testing trail that takes in the best of this area’s scenic backdrops. It’s one of the longest runs in the Dolomites and the beautiful surroundings demand that you take even longer still. Start at the top of the 2,511m Seceda peak, high above the town of Santa Cristina. Along the way you’ll take in views of the imposing, plateau-shaped Sella mountains. Descend through sheer rock faces and frozen waterfalls and finish on easy tree-lined slopes.
The sunniest ski run in Italy
Olympica – Sestriere and Sauze d’Oulx
Black + Red
Starting as a black, this run drops down through the trees from Mount Fraiteve before opening out into a red at the halfway mark. Bask in the south-facing sunshine on the final leg down to the village of Sansicario. The Olympica took centre stage for the women’s downhill race in the 2006 Olympics. Follow in their tracks and complete it in one go or take your time and stop off for a lunch at the Soleil Boeuf mountain restaurant along the way.
Best ski run for intermediates
Sella Ronda – Arabba, Corvara, Kronplatz, Ortisei, Santa Cristina, Selva Val Gardena and Val di Fassa
Blue + Red
If you like long, wide runs and landscapes with the ultimate ‘wow’ factor, you’ll love the Dolomites – UNESCO-protected mountains, known for their dramatic rock formations. Join the famous 23km Sella Ronda circuit of blues and reds from any of the resorts along the loop. You can ski a small section or take on the challenge of going all the way around in a day. And there are plenty of picture-postcard villages where you can stop off at for a quick coffee or pizza.
Start planning your Italian getaway to ski one of these popular pistes or find your own favourite.