Italy's Biggest Ski Resorts

The biggest and best skiing in the Italian Alps.

Cortina

Spectacular scenery , Olympic resort , Friendly local...

Great for:

  • Intermediates
  • Off-piste
  • Families

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Cervinia

Great for beginners, Ski 2 countries in 1 day , Glaci...

Great for:

  • Snow sure
  • Families
  • Beginners and intermediates

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Sauze d'Oulx

Links to Milky Way, Amazing Italian après , Somethi...

Great for:

  • Après-ski
  • Intermediate skiing
  • Italian Alpine charm

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Canazei

Beautiful setting, Cuisine and culture , Great value

Great for:

  • Families
  • Intermediates
  • Sports

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Madonna di Campiglio

Classic ski village, Linked area , Epic Dolomites sce...

Great for:

  • Families
  • Scenery
  • Snow sure

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Livigno

One of Italy’s highest , Duty free shopping , Authen...

Great for:

  • Late season
  • Après ski
  • Non skiers

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Sestriere

Relaxed atmosphere, Cuisine & Culture, vast Milky Way

Great for:

  • Families
  • Snow-sure
  • Groups

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

La Thuile

Ski 2 countries in 1 day, Off piste forest trails , H...

Great for:

  • Families
  • Beginners
  • Heli-skiing

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Bardonecchia

Superb snowparks , Own rail station , Bordering France

Great for:

  • Beginners & intermediates
  • Cheap skiing
  • Families

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Courmayeur

Pretty, car-free village , International ski pass

Great for:

  • Families
  • Off-piste
  • Foodies

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Top 10 Most Popular

A nation that’s big on food and fashion doesn’t fall short when it comes to skiing - from little towns with big character (and even bigger ski areas) to full-sized ski towns with all the trimmings.

And the best thing’s that in spite of having mammoth linked ski areas, fabulous resorts and all manner of activities on and off the mountain, prices have managed to stay wonderfully small.

Italy: Top 10 Biggest Ski Resorts

The Queen of the Dolomites, this Olympic ski town is Italy’s version of St Moritz – and it’s big in reputation, slopes, scenery and shopping. Cortina even made the big time on the silver screen, as the setting for the original Pink Panther and 007’s legendary ski chase in For Your Eyes Only. The iconic Corso Italia is where the hustle and bustle’s at, with more wine bars, restaurants and designer shops than you can shake a Spritzer at. Not stopping at one, there are THREE local ski areas: Faloria/Staunies, Tofana/Socrepes and Mietres - tallying a respectable 140km of pistes. They form a chunk of the wider Dolomiti Superski Area, where a whacking great 1200km of slopes are covered all by one lift pass. If there’s any time left over from skiing and La Passeggiata, other activities abound: snow-kiting, snow-driving, ice-trekking, snowmobiling, skating, go-karting…

This is a pretty sizeable town in itself, but it has some even bigger claims: besides having one of the highest resort bases in the country (2050m), Cervinia also has the highest ski area and snow park on the continent. And it’s a whopper – linked with Swiss legend Zermatt, the slopes total 360km and reach a heady 3883m at Piccolo Cervino. There’s also the option of the smaller Breuil-Cervinia Valtourneche pass and its 160km of glorious slopes. Back at base, you’ve a jumble of hotels, B&B’s, apartments and chalets to choose between, housed in old and new buildings. The list of activities, restaurants and bars goes on and on, but if we had to pick one of each, it’d be Ice Karting in the town centre, Restaurant Les Nieges D’Antan and the White Rabbit disco, Bianconiglio.

One of the main bases in the Milky Way, Sauze is a fairly spread out town hugged by thick larch forests. The ‘old town’ is a good looking centre of narrow lanes and traditional chalets. It’s surrounded by newer builds, many stemming from the 2006 Olympics which saw big developments all over the resort. Having shifted the ‘lad’s holiday’ feel of days gone by, the après is lively and friendly with cheap drinks (€3 beers, €4 cocktails) and plentiful bars, from Irish Paddy McGinty’s to discos like Banditos. Eating out’s wallet-friendly too, with pizzas and pasta costing around €6 in most restaurants. And the great sums continue on the mountains – bag a Milky Way ski pass and you’ve got 400km of slopes in every category to ski, leading all the way over the border to Montgenèvre in France.

Canazei’s the biggest resort in the Val di Fassa, sleeping over 13,600 guests in its family-run hotels, chalets and apartments. This is over twice as much as neighbouring villages, and gives Canazei the capacity to host big annual events like the Sellaronda Skimarathon. It also comes top in the area for low prices and lively après, which tempt in a huge international following every year. Still holding onto its old-style alpine charm, the town itself is a buzzing hotbed of accommodation, restaurants, shops and bars - there’s even room for the mammoth Dòlaondes water centre, with its waterslide, FIVE indoor and outdoor pools, gym and spa. Then there’s the skiing: The Fassa/Carrezza ski pass covers a decent weeks’ worth over 230km, including the resorts of Campitello, Pozza and Carezza. But to really rack up the mileage, get the Dolomiti Superski pass which unlocks 1220km of pistes around Cortina, Val Gardena and Alta Badia.

Somehow managing to have 23,000 guest beds and still feel exclusive and cosy, this old-school mountain town has a lot going for it. It’s not often you have a resort with so much history that’s directly linked to the ski area - but with lifts whisking you straight from the centre, there’s no bussing or hiking here. Linked to Folgarida-Marilleva and more recently Pinzolo, the Val di Sole has 150km of pistes to sink your skis into, with a decent chunk dedicated to each ability and a brilliant Snow Park to boot. For more, get the Skirama pass, which extends the cover to 380km over the glorious Brenta Dolomites (including the Passo Tonale glacier). But you could easily spend a week here without clipping into a ski (and many do) – with shops selling all the finest garbs, food and ornaments, plus a gaggle of cafes, historical sites and spas. However you spend the daylight hours, the choice of après ski ranges from mountain bars to discos, stone baked pizzas to Michelin Star restaurants and snowshoeing to dog-sledding.

Stretching for 10km along the Spol Valley, Livigno’s a whopper. It’s divided into eight districts: Centro, Comunin-Pemont, Forcola, Ostaria, Plan to Sora, Saroch, Teola, Trepalle. Or, a little simpler, three parishes: S. Maria, S. Rocco and S. Anna. Between them you’ve got a living, breathing town with things like sports centres, a wellness park, bowling and a public library. Its tax free status makes Livigno huge for shopping - the open air mall has over 250 stores to browse, from Barbour to Bulgari. The number of lifts from town - over 15 on the last count – is impressive, keeping walks to a minimum wherever you’re based. In all, there’s 115km to ski, from wide blue groomers to deep powder trails and a socking great snowpark. If you have the local ski pass for 3 days or more, they often throw in a day’s skiing in Upper Engadine, which lets you explore Swiss classic St Moritz (which is just over the mountain).

Hogging the top spot of the 400km Milky Way, Sestrière’s high, linked slopes always go down a storm - the choice of trails is extensive with the whole area pass taking you to surrounding slopes of Sauze D’Oulx, Sansicario, Cesana, Claviere and France’s Montgenèvre. If you want to wake up to fairy-tale views you’re probably better off elsewhere, but if you want to get from PJ’s to piste in minutes, it rarely gets better than this. Thanks to the owner of FIAT, this became Europe’s first purpose-built ski resort in the thirties and the two original hotel towers still stand. The bed base grew when it became an Olympic Village for the 2006 games, and these days you’ll find a peppering of hotels and apartment blocks amidst oodles of restaurants, bars and sports shops.

Known as Little Siberia amongst the Italians, La Thuile’s right at the eastern end of the Aosta Valley. It shares the 150km Espace San Bernardo ski area with French La Rosiere, letting mile-hungry skiers cover two countries in one day. It’s also around 20 minutes’ drive or a (usually free) bus ride from Courmayeur, another Aosta resort that shares slopes with Chamonix – so running out of areas to explore is a rarity. The resort itself is made up of two parts: One a pretty former mining town, and the other a purpose built complex on the mountainside. They’re linked by a bus and have a whole host of restaurants, bars, hotels and apartments between them – certainly enough to hold everyone that comes along to see big events like the World Cup races.

Having become one of Italy’s first ever ski resorts in the early 20th century, Bardo’s grown into a decent sized town that shot to fame as the host of the snowboard events in the 2006 Olympics. Having its own rail station makes Italy your oyster, with direct trains to Turin and Milan. Though there’s more than enough to do without needing to travel, with the resort having its own cinema, indoor tennis courts, ice rink and leisure centre. And the shops here seem to sell everything, from toys to antiques and Italian leather shoes to diamonds. Up on the mountainside, three ski areas are bundled into the local lift pass: Colomion-Les Arnauds (the biggest), Mezelet (boarding central) and Jafferau (fabulously snow sure). And the mighty Milky Way - in all its 400km glory – is only half an hour or so away.

A little spa town with huge character, Courmayeur’s crammed with enough restaurants, bars, and shops to keep the crowds from Turin and Milan coming back every weekend. And while they’re busy in resort, the ski area’s yours to explore: The local 39km of routes up around Plan Checrouit (wide, open and a dream for intermediates) are trumped by the 100km of backcountry here. Included in the lift pass, the Skyway Monte Bianco gets you over the border to Chamonix for a taste of pastures new. Here a further 173km of the good stuff is waiting, and for experts, the best route down is the Vallee Blanche (the world’s longest lift-served descent at 20km). Being one of the main resorts in the Aosta Valley, Courm’s not far from a number of others – La Thuile’s just over 20 minutes’ drive for a wee wintery road trip.

If you want to ski or snowboard really big miles, then the very biggest Italian ski resorts and linked ski areas in Italy are what you need, this is a list of Italy's biggest ski resorts.

All of these ski and snowboard mountains have at some stage held titles like "largest ski resort in Italy" or "biggest Italian ski resort"... the biggest ski areas in Italy.


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