Expert Skiing in Italy

Italy’s best steeps, deeps, moguls and more.

Courmayeur

Pretty, car-free village , International ski pass

Great for:

  • Families
  • Off-piste
  • Foodies

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Cortina

Spectacular scenery , Olympic resort , Friendly local...

Great for:

  • Intermediates
  • Off-piste
  • Families

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Sestriere

Relaxed atmosphere, Cuisine & Culture, vast Milky Way

Great for:

  • Families
  • Snow-sure
  • Groups

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Arabba

Pretty mountain village , High altitude skiing , Jaw-...

Great for:

  • Scenery
  • Linked ski area
  • Foodies

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

La Thuile

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

Great for:

  • Families
  • Beginners
  • Heli-skiing

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Selva

Access to Sella Ronda , Awesome Dolomite scenery , Ne...

Great for:

  • Families
  • Cross country
  • Foodies

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

Livigno

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

Great for:

  • Late season
  • Après ski
  • Non skiers

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Kronplatz

Authentic Tyrolean charm , Pristine pistes , Excellen...

Great for:

  • Families
  • Foodies
  • Non-skiers

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Top 10 Most Popular

Day-long circuits, tremendous powder descents and perfectly manicured steeps are the makings of Italy’s expert classified terrain – with UNESCO-listed peaks to spur you ever onwards, it’s up to a restorative mix of Dolce Far Niente, good food and great vino to finish each day.

Racking up the miles here is easy, and you get a lot more piste for your pennies – last time we checked the Dolomiti Superski pass cost about the same as a Three Valleys ticket, but covered a ski area twice as big...

Italy: Top 10 ski resorts for Experts

Adrenaline is part and parcel of time on the slopes here, and anyone classed as an expert has first shot at the best stuff. Over on the Cresta d’Arp summit and Val Veny, lengthy itineraries draw out the rush and raise expectations. 39km of piste and 100km of off-piste make up the numbers here, with the hub of all activity focused on the bumpy blacks and web of reds in the centre - Pista dell’Orso’s a true SNO favourite. When it comes to the black Diretta, the only option is full throttle, but try to hold back long enough to take in the cracking views over the Mont Blanc massif. For a true test, take the Skyway Monte Bianco to Punta Helbronner and ski the Vallée Blanche into Chamonix – 24km of powder past rocks, crevasses and frozen waterfalls that make up one of the most spectacular routes on the planet.

They call it ‘The Queen of the Dolomites’ and in the realms of challenging skiing, Cortina certainly rules. The Mandres gondola’s your carriage to some beauties - red Floria Normale and blacks Vitelli and Stratondi have stunning views of the surrounding peaks, and extreme steeps give a real surge of adrenaline. For a high altitude hair-raiser, head to Rio Gere at 2930m, where the challenging black Staunies follows a narrow route flanked by craggy peaks (featuring the steepest bit of piste in the Dolomites with a 64% gradient over 900m). In Tofana, powder-hounds are often seen making a beeline for the black Vertigine Bianca for a splendidly steep unpisted descent. Another must-ski here’s Canalone for some serious vertical, and the Schuss, where you glide right alongside Dolomite giants. One last experience that simply can’t be missed is carving patterns in the ‘Hidden Valley’ from the top of the Lagazoui chair – it feels like you’re in the middle of nowhere and a horse-pulled rope awaits at the bottom for something completely different.

After a week spent skiing Sestriere, don’t be surprised if the flight home is buzzing with mentions of its steep drops, tree lined treats and off-piste itineraries. Black #32 often crops up in conversation - a top-to-bottom test for even the fittest of skiers, with red #32 forking off it for an easier ski. So does black #64, a splash and dash affair over a steep pitch, which comes with an unforgettable rush. One thing’s for sure, black #5 will get a mention - up on the Mt. Sises ridge this tantalising slope divides into several other blacks, including the unmissable #2 and #57. Anyone who’s clocked up the mileage is guaranteed to be speaking about the webs of reds that lead over to Montgenevre or Sauze d’Oulx, with the whole plane nodding in agreement over the appreciation of red #9 Alta, a field of fluffy powder.

Whether you prefer piste or powder, you’ll find some of the greatest descents the Dolomites have to offer here. The Porta Vescovo peak has oodles of powder after a dumping, or in the groomed department, top-to-bottom red Ornella is a smooth ride that knocks up the mileage and the MPH. When you’ve completed the infamous Sella Ronda (detours into the Edelweiß Valley add some spice to the circuit), spend a day skiing the looming Marmalada glacier. Here, scrumptiously long pistes blast down from 3343m - we love the Variante Sass Del Mul which later on joins the Sass Del Mul Fedaia. For a thrilling, hard on the knees mogul run, black Sourasass will work up an appetite, finishing back down in the village, where you can replenish your sugar levels at Miky’s Grill. And that’s just the local area – go for the Dolomiti Superski pass and you can spend the week roaming a whopping 1200km across TWELVE ski areas.

Bringing some of the town’s finesse onto the mountain, the team of groomers here have often been rated the best in Italy. 150km of pistes connect the Campiglio Dolomiti di Brenta area and the longest of them all, Dolomitica, is a must ski – a black graded giant stretching for 5.75km with a vertical drop of 1248m and 70% gradients. Monte Spinale is home to the infamous Spinale Direttissima, which starts off as a gentle red, but quickly turns into a hair-raisingly steep black over the Schumacher Streif. Once this is conquered, you’ll have no trouble with the black Amazziona that snakes down between the trees from the Pradalago express gondola. Don’t miss a plunge down the World Cup slalom course Canalone Miramonti either – if you can’t squeeze it into a ski day, it’s often floodlit for an awesome ski under the stars.

While you have to scour other piste maps for black runs, they’re easy to spot in La Thuile - with the best of them (Muret, Diretta and Franco Berthod) leading through the trees and back to the village. The reds are pretty spectacular here too, with top to bottom descents along both edges of the ski area featuring powder pockets and mountain huts along the way. Catch some air over the Wazimu Snowpark, found on red number 12, where 4 kickers and 3 boxes make for a fantastic freestyling session. Or, to really reach new heights, Heliski La Thuile have tantalising drop off points at the top of the Rutor (3486m) and Miradvidi (3051m). Having access to the whole Espace San Bernado area is a bonus, letting you flit between the powder, pistes and restaurants of both Italy and France.

The Sella Ronda is a bucket-list route for any confident skier… and while it’s not too technically demanding, you can extend the circuit with a few detours to the Marmolada glacier, Arabba (most notably the Porta Vescovo slope) and the Edelweiß Valley. There are a number of black graded runs in the local area but the king is the World Cup ski run, Saslong, from Ciampionoi. It’s a demanding 4km trail into St Cristina with 3 famously fearsome camel humps that separates the advanced from the experts. Also above St C, the Mont De Seura lift leads to a number of runs including a gruelling, sometimes mogulled black. If there’s been a dumping, the Sella Valley is home to some spectacular off piste descents… closest to home being between the trees under the Dantercëpies lift, while further out a guide can take you to Sass Pordoi and Val Mezdi.

Cervinia has a lot going for it: a corking two-country ski area, snow-sure slopes from 3883m, and some of the fiercest powder skiing on the planet. 8km long, the red Ventina valley run is great for getting back into a rhythm before you cut your teeth into the network of pistes at Theodulpass - the black here’s short, but definitely not sweet! The off piste is hard to beat, with local Alpine Guides showing you the best of it in Cervinia, Zermatt and beyond - we love the Spazzatura and Canale del Teodulo on the Italian side. Heli-skiing’s big here too, with local delicacies including the Roisette (sunny, fast paced descent into Cheneil), Colle del Breuil (glaciers and gorges, then a XC track into Cervinia) and Mont Rosa (Europe’s highest heli-drop: glaciers, canyons, lakes and phenomenal views).

For groomers, it’s all about Vetta Belsccia on one side of the valley and Della Neve on the other. From these, the black routes are an intense work out session all the way down – and we could easily lap them all week. Mottolino opens up a network of reds and freeride runs that start wide and open and end spiralling through woodland, keeping it varied and exciting. This mountain is also where you’ll find a heli-pad (for awesome drop offs in Monte and Mine) and a socking great snow park - Italy’s best - where five lanes range from easy to seriously challenging. A day trip over the border to Switzerland’s legendary St Moritz brings a change of scenery if needed, with more steeps, powder stashes and snowparks than you can shake a ski pole at.

One particular side of the Kronplatz Mountain’s yours to enjoy – without a cruisey blue in sight, two fabulously long top-to-bottom black pistes - Sylvester (7.61km) and Hernegg (7.85km) – wind pitchy pathways through the trees. These are often used by the national teams for training, and we love the handful of punchy reds and black at the top for adding variety on your subsequent descents. It’s worth exploring the other areas too – with favourite runs including the Erta (Italian for ‘steep’) into S. Vigilo and the Piculin towards S. Martino. For competitive spirits, there’s usually a giant slalom on the black Pre da Peres (and another on the blue/red Sonne to prepare for it) as well as a bog standard slalom on the red/black Trasse. With the Dolomiti Superski pass the skiing goes on and on - the Sella Ronda and Giro delle Cime are two fabulous routes for a day trip, clocking up 40 and 30km respectively as you tour the surrounding valleys.

The definitive list for advanced skiers and snowboarders of the top 10 best expert ski resorts in Italy.

If you're looking to ski or snowboard somewhere special... and your skill level is up to it... the best Expert Italian resorts will take your advanced skiing to the next level.

All of these expert ski and snowboard mountains have at some stage held titles like "best Expert Italian resorts" or been included in the lists of top Italian ski resorts such as "top advanced Italian resorts" and "top Expert Italian resorts in the alps"... they are simply the best Expert Italian resorts.


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