Italy Travel Notes presents: By Rachel Deutsch
This year’s winter Olympic Games are taking place in Turin; whether you intend to watch the games or not, Italy is a great skiing destination. The Italian Alps are home to many great and famous ski resorts such as Cortina d’Ampezzo and Courmayeur (Remember “The Pink Panther” with Peter Sellers? That’s where it happens). The best ski resorts with the most modern facilities are found in northern Italy, in the Alpine area. However, there are some ski resorts in the south of the country too.
Skiing is a very popular activity in Italy. Many Italians take a week off during winter just to go skiing. It is possible to find a ski resort for anyone in Italy. There are very luxurious resorts, and very affordable ones. Some slopes are only for the well trained, others are moderate enough for beginners or rusty skiers.
The best way to arrive to Italy for a ski vacation is through one of these airports:
Turin, Milan, Bergamo, Verona or Venice Treviso. They are all well served by international flights, and offer the option of taking a city break with your ski vacation.
Turin, this winter’s Olympic Games location, is a good place to arrive to. Going from Turin towards the French border (public transportation is available), there are Sestriere and Sauze D’aulx among other busy ski resorts. Sestreiere is a very modern and fashionable ski resort that offers 20 ski lifts, and ice skating rink and cross country trails.
Further to the north, on the border, is the area of Valle d’Aosta. In this area both Italian and French are spoken, and the food also has a lot of French influence. In this area you can find some of the highest mountains in Europe: Matterhorn, Monte Rosa, Mont Blanc and Gran Paradiso. The beautiful view of pine trees and castles is seen from wooden ski chalets. One of the most glamorous resorts in Italy is found here – CourMayeur, at the foot of the Mont Blanc. This resort offers all that a skier can dream of, even summer skiing. Also in that area is Breuil – Cervinia
In the north east of Italy are the Dolomites. The “Dolomiti Superski” is a network of 12 different skiing areas. A popular resort in this area is Madonna di Campiglio. This is also where the famous Cortina D’ampezzo is located.
In the winter, there are opportunities for ski in the southern mountains. Campo Felice is in the Gran Sasso, east of Rome, also has a ski school. The Sila massif in Calabria has 35 Km of cross country skiing, and only 2 downhill slopes.
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