What Is The Best Ski Resort In Italy? [Answered!]

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The Italian Alps present an exceptional skiing experience, offering magnificent glaciers, breathtaking views of lakes and stunning mountain scenery. There are plenty of fantastic resorts scattered around the magnificent country, but which one is the best? We have crunched the numbers to bring you the definitive list of the top Italian ski resorts, ranked in order of popularity.

Valle di Cardigan

This majestic valley in the northwest of the country is home to the iconic Matterhorn and its eponymous ski resort. This well-deserved reputation is a testament to the amazing backcountry terrain that skiers and snowboarders can explore, as well as the extensive range of pistes and terraces the resort is home to. The village of Cardigan itself is a picture postcard, with the iconic church, the baroque palace and the 19th-century railway station all adding to the beauty of the place. The ski resort is open all year round and offers fantastic panoramic views of the snow-capped peaks that fill the postcard view from many of the hotels and restaurants in the village. The elevation is great too, with the resort reaching 2,200 metres, offering amazing opportunities for advanced skiers and snowboarders. The Valle di Cardigan is easily accessible from Milan, the nearest major city, with regular daily flights available from the Italian capital. This makes the whole area easily accessible for British and European skiers and snowboarders who are looking to hit the slopes.

Matterhorn

This magnificent peak, which pokes above the northern French Alps, is one of the most photographed mountains in the world. The first recorded sighting of the Matterhorn dates back to 1553, and since then, the mountain has attracted visitors from all over the globe, with the Italian, French and Swiss borders, as well as the British Isles, all visible from the top. The Matterhorn cable car was opened in 1899 and connects the resort with the Base station, where you can catch the train to the top of the hill to catch the first sight of the fabulous mountain. There are actually two ski resorts situated at the base of the Matterhorn – Zermatt and the smaller, yet equally popular, St. Moritz. Together, they contribute to making this area one of the most popular in all of Europe. The ski season in the area runs from late June to October, and the whole region gets a good dusting of snow each year. During this time, the Matterhorn offers fantastic panoramic views of the entire region and is definitely one of the most photographed mountains in the world, as well as being one of the most famous.

Oberwald

Nestled in the heart of the country, between the southern Swiss lakes and the northern Italian lakes, lie the enchanting lakes of Lucerne and Geneva. The Swiss Alps are filled with spectacular lakes which are perfect for a summer holiday. Oberwald, one of the largest and most popular of these resorts, gets its name from the German word for forest, as the majority of the land is covered by pine trees and heavy forest. This is a traditional Swiss holiday destination and is immensely popular with German and French tourists. The town of Oberwald is a Unesco World Heritage Site as it is a conglomeration of many different parts from all over the country, with cobbled streets, baroque palaces, medieval castles and 20th-century brutalist architecture all added to the charm of what is truly a beautiful and historic town. The biggest attraction is undoubtedly the tourist office, which is housed in a magnificent Gothic mansion, and the Church of St. Ludwig, which hosts regular classical music concerts in the summer. The nearby villages of Unterwald and Bürgenstock are also beautiful, set amongst the lush green Swiss landscape. The town of Interlaken is only a few minutes away by foot and is a hub for shopping with major brands all on display in famous department stores like Berggruen and Harry Winston. The area around Oberwald is rich in karst caves that can be explored, as well as waterfalls that can be skipped off of in the summer. This is a hugely popular destination with families, so make sure you pack the right gear!

Lift Ticket Range

If you’re looking for the ultimate bucket list piece of travel envy, then look no further; the Italian Alps are home to some of the world’s most magnificent ski resorts. The resorts range from super-steep expert terrains right in the heart of the Italian Alps, to smaller and more intimate ones that are just as appealing. The resorts are linked by the Mergè ski pass, which is available to all European Economic Area (EEA) citizens (as well as those from Switzerland) and allows unlimited access to all Sesto Saint Julia and Val d’Isosta ski resorts. The range of tickets available range from €59 to €109 a day, depending on the resort and how many days you’re skiing. This makes it a very affordable luxury to be able to enjoy the slopes on a regular basis.

Riscone

Rising above green pastures, vineyards and quaint chalets, overlooking Lake Garda, is Risolino. This is one of the most picturesque villages in Europe, filled with baroque churches, palaces, castle towers and a 16th-century castle. The Italian town is also filled with parks, vineyards, piazzas, fountain terraces and winding lanes, which are a welcome relief from the bustle of Lake Garda. This picturesque town gives you an idea of the sort of vacation you can enjoy in Italy, set amongst the glorious Italian countryside. There is also a sandy beach, which is fringed by umbrellas and sun beds for those looking to soak up some rays. This is a real destination in paradise, blessed with some of the best food in the area and with the magnificent Hotel Villa Paradiso still attracting guests from around the world. The hotel provides access to a fully equipped gym, pools, tennis courts and a water park, which is definitely worth considering if you’re looking to stay in one place for the duration of your vacation.

Tiscali

The longest ski run in the world, the Trestle, is located in the Val di Fiems, a beautiful high-altitude valley in the Swiss Alps, close to the Italian border. This majestic run, which is actually a cable car ride up to the top of a glacier, gives you incredible panoramic views of the Swiss and Italian Alps and is definitely worth considering if you’re a fan of the extreme sports lifestyle. In addition, the hotel guests at Tiscali have access to a smaller ski run, the Corniade. A true bucket list destination, Tiscali is one of the most popular Swiss ski resorts and prides itself on offering some of the most luxurious accommodation in the area. What is more, the whole resort is completely smoke-free, so you won’t be interfered with by pesky cigarette packets while you’re soaking up the wonderful scenery and taking in the incredible nightlife.

La Plagne

Nestled in the French Alps, between the French and the Italian border, is the stunning Lake Annecy. This is one of the region’s best-kept secrets, with a small fishing village, Port de Balès, set amongst idyllic vineyards and medieval castles. During the day, you can explore the surrounding area, catching a glimpse of the majestic Alps as well as lakes and pasturelands. At night, you can sit back and relax, enjoying a fabulous meal and a few ales at one of the resort’s many bars and eateries. This is a truly beautiful destination and well worth a visit for those who love a romantic getaway, as well as families, as there are plenty of attractions for kids too.

Saronno

Saronno is one of the most famous Italian ski resorts, located in the Apennine Mountains, between the French and the Apennine peninsulas. This picturesque town literally springs to life during the summer months, with cafés and restaurants lining the streets. In the winter, however, the whole town is wrapped in silence, with only the skiers and snowboarders making their way down the slopes, lit up by the glow of their smartphones’ screens. This is a paradise for lovers, with a 17th-century palace and a 12th-century church, as well as a 16th-century fairmont hotel, which still attracts guests from around the world.

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