north-west of Italy,
Turin is one
of the most convenient budget airports for ski
holidays. It was also the base for the
2006 Winter Olympics.
Directly west of Turin, and very close to the
border with France, lies the Valle di
valley on the Turin-Paris trainline. In this
area there are several busy ski resorts,
and the fashionable and modern
(2035m). Sestriere lies in the Valle del Chisone, and is a well-developed resort with 20 ski-lifts, an ice-skating
rink and cross-country trails.
|Thanks to Italy's mountainous geography, the country offers plenty of good ski resorts,
including the famous Cortina d'Ampezzo and Courmayeur. The best winter sports facilities can be found in Italy's
northern, Alpine regions, which are well-served by flights from Canada. But even the south of Italy can offer a
few winter sports options. Skiing is popular in Italy and, thanks to the number of ski resorts, a fairly commonplace
activity. A large proportion of Italians, in addition to their month-long summer holiday, will take a 'settimana
bianca' (white week) and spend a week skiing in the winter.
The most useful Italian airports (served by budget airlines) for skiing
holidays are Turin, Milan, Bergamo, Verona and Venice Treviso. An advantage of planning your own holiday is that
you can combine a break in one of these cities with a few days skiing at your own pace.
Where To Ski In Italy
Buses run to Sestriere from Turin; alternatively local buses travel from Oulx
station on the Turin-France railway. Further north lies the Valle d'Aosta, a large area with a distinct identity
of its own. French is spoken here as well as Italian. Castles, pine forests and wooden chalets shelter in the shadows
of high peaks including some of Europe's mightiest mountains: Gran Paradiso, Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn, Monte
Rosa. Courmayeur is one of Italy's
best and most glamorous ski resorts; offering masses of downhill skiing, ice-skating, cross-country skiing, cable-cars,
chairlifts and helicopters. The resort lies at the foot of Mont Blanc, and caters for summer as well as winter
The Gran Sasso, east of Rome, is home to the Campo Felice ski resort, with 16 lifts and a ski school. In Calabria, the Sila Massif offers 35km of cross-country skiing trails, although only 2 downhill slopes.
|Other good destinations in this area include Breuil-Cervinia, the spa town St Vincent, Pila and Cogne. Over to the north-east of Italy are the Dolomites (Dolomiti), an extensive mountain range
offering countless possibilities for winter sports and summer holidays. 12 different skiing areas are linked together
to form the 'Dolomiti Superski' network. Resorts in this area include the popular Madonna
di Campiglio and Cortina d'Ampezzo, one of the most well-known ski resorts in Italy. Although the Alpine areas of northern
Italy offer the most well-known and developed resorts, Italy's mountainous backbone creates plenty of more southerly
opportunities for winter sports.