Photo: ©DOLOMITES/ValGardena

Top 5 Ski Resorts in Italy

Blessed with spectacular scenery, excellent restaurants, fantastic lift networks and snowmaking systems, Italy is a wonderful destination for a luxury ski holiday.

Alta Badia - for excellent cuisine

Luxury Chalets in Alta Badia
Photo: Alta Badia/ Alex Moling

Situated at the north-east corner of the Sella Ronda circuit in South Tyrol, Alta Badia combines stunning nature, centuries old culture and mouth-watering cuisine. The resort is made up of six main villages - Corvara, Colfosco, La Villa, San Cassiano, Badia and La Val. Each village offers something different but all are fantastic bases for enjoying the superb skiing and diverse range of activities on offer.

With four Michelin-stars to its name, Alta Badia is famous for its gastronomic scene. As well as many gourmet restaurants, the resort is also popular for its traditional Ladin cuisine and there are a number of food-based initiatives to enjoy in summer and winter through the ‘Peaks of Gastronomy’ programme, from cookery demonstrations to tasting tours.

With excellent nursery slopes and good runs to progress to, Alta Badia is a great choice for beginner skiers but there is also plenty of more challenging terrain for experienced skiers.

Cortina d'Ampezzo- for fashionistas

Luxury Chalets in Cortina d'Ampezzo
Photo: Cortina Marketing/ Simone De Cillia

Often referred to as “The Queen of the Dolomites”, Cortina d’Ampezzo has a rich history, blending local traditions and heritage with a cosmopolitan lifestyle. Located in the wide and sunny Ampezzo Valley, Cortina was among the first Alpine destinations to host tourists and was home to Italy’s first Olympic Games in 1956. Since then, the resort has gone from strength to strength with its picturesque town centre and wide variety of wellness and sporting activities drawing visitors from around the world.

Home to one of the best shopping streets in the Alps, Corso Italia, Cortina is extremely popular with fashionistas. This central pedestrian road displays some of the most prestigious and exclusive brands in the world, alongside jewellers, antique shops and artisan’s workshops. A stroll through Corso Italia is a must when visiting Cortina.

Cortina offers 120 km of pistes and is ideal for beginners but the mountains offer a lot of variety with something to suit all levels. With countless itineraries, snowshoeing is another popular activity here whilst ice skating and curling can be enjoyed at the Olympic Ice Stadium.

Kronplatz- for families

Luxury Chalets in Kronplatz
Photo: Kronplatz TO/Manuel Kottersteger

Situated in the picturesque Pustertal Valley, Kronplatz is one of the top winter sports resorts in South Tyrol. This dome-shaped mountain between Bruneck-Brunico, St. Vigil-San Vigilio and Valdaora-Oland caters for all abilities. The village gondolas serve excellent easy blue runs for beginners, intermediate skiers can enjoy wide runs down into the valley whilst experts can test their mettle on the Black Five.

Popular with families, Kronplatz has numerous ski schools, family fun parks and sled runs. In addition to swimming, hiking, skiing or ice skating, there are two museums including the MMM Corones, designed and built by world-renowned architect Zaha Hadid. Families will appreciate the quiet village yet there are still some good restaurants and a few bars to satisfy any apres-ski urges.

Madonna di Campiglio- for top events

Luxury Chalets in Madonna di Campiglio
Photo: Bisti

Located on the western fringes of the scenic Dolomites, Madonna di Campiglio is an upmarket ski resort with 156 km of interconnected runs across three ski areas. This pretty Alpine town has a car-free centre, buzzy bars and some excellent restaurants including three Michelin-starred establishments.

The resort plays host to some fantastic events during the winter and summer season. Taking place on the Canalone Miramonti in December is the historic FIS Ski World Cup Men’s Night Slalom whilst in January the Winter Marathon sees antique cars compete in a series of races and time trials on the resort's icy lake. Another popular event is the famous Habsburg Carnival, which sees Madonna di Campiglio’s streets coming to life with costumes, music and gala dinners.

Off the slopes, visitors have a myriad of activities to choose from, including lift-served tobogganing, ice skating on the lake, dog sledding, ice climbing, paragliding and horse riding to name just a few.

Val Gardena - for spectacular skiing & extensive scenery

Luxury Chalets in Val Gardena
Photo: DOLOMITES/ValGardena

Situated at the north-west corner of the Sella Ronda circuit, Val Gardena is made up of three towns - Ortisei, Santa Cristina and Selva. Ortisei is Val Gardena’s main town and arguably the prettiest of the three with a cobblestone-lined pedestrian area. In the middle of Val Gardena is Santa Cristina, the smallest and most laid-back of the three whilst Selva at 1,563m is the highest.

If you are looking for instagramable views then Val Gardena is the place to be. The Sella massif and Sassolungo at sunrise or sunset make for a spectacular sight, as does Vallunga, a long valley lined with high mountains on both sides in the Puez-Odles nature park. You can also enjoy a 360° panoramic view of the Dolomites from Mount Pic, one of the smaller mountains in Val Gardena.

Part of the Dolomiti Superski region, Val Gardena offers direct access to the Sella Ronda and over 1,200 km of slopes - perfect for skiers who like to rack up the kilometres.

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