Enjoy Winter Sports in Italy
For further information about winter sports, contact an italian man , Winter Sports Federation, Federazione Italiana Sport Invernali, Information about winter vacations and skiing in Italy including downhill and cross-country skiing and snowboarding.
The nation has over 2.5m keen skiers, who’re joined each year by countless foreign visitors from around the world. Both alpine or downhill skiing ( sci alpino or lo sci) and cross-country skiing ( sci di fondo) are very well catered for in Italy (most resorts provide facilities for), although downhill skiing is much more popular.
The Italian alpine resorts are arranged in many distinct geographical areas, because both versions have extensive networks of interlinked resorts. The primary areas include the Dolomites (Dolomiti) in the Trentino-Alto Adige and Veneto-Friuli regions, the Milky Way (Via Lattea) within the western Alps, and the Aosta Valley (Valle d’Aosta) and Lombardy within the north.
The most southerly skiing in Italy is on Sicily’s Mount Etna, which rises to in excess of 2,600m (8,539ft). The short season generally runs from January to late March, however the area has become more popular recently thanks to its breathtaking views, insufficient queues and low prices (the price of a daily lift pass is just around €20), and it now has nine lifts serving the southern and north-eastern faces from the mountain. Volcanic dust from Mount Etna regularly blackens the snow but doesn’t call a halt towards the skiing. If the rumbling gets an excessive amount of for your liking, Sicily’s beaches are simply 45 minutes away by car, so it’s easy to enjoy skiing and sea swimming on the day that.
The ski season generally lasts from December to late March, although at higher altitudes as well as in good years it can be longer. It’s vital that you check the snow conditions, as it’s hardly worth skiing when there’s little snow or snow the weather is bad, e.g. ice or slush. When snow cover is poor many runs are closed, specially those down to the valley or lowest station, and also you must endure a lot of queuing and walking between lifts.
Skiing in certain resorts, particularly at weekends (Sundays would be the worst), entails a lot of queuing. It’s a good idea to leave the top resorts to professionals and frequent some of the smaller, cheaper areas, a minimum of until you’re sufficiently skilled and fit to consider full advantage of the more difficult runs.
Although cross-country skiing ( sci di fondo) doesn’t possess the glamorous jet-set image of downhill skiing, it’s well-liked by Italians. It appeals to both old and young, particularly those whose idea of fun is really a million miles away from hurtling down a hill at 100kph (62mph) having a thousand metre drop on one side along with a rock face on the other. Cross-country skiing could be enjoyed at any pace and also over any distance, and therefore has great attraction for individuals who aren’t very fit or keen athletes. It may be exhilarating, particularly if you make the effort to understand the correct technique and persevere past the beginners’ stage. It’s also rates highly like a total body workout and is claimed by many people to be one of the best forms of exercise.
Many Italian ski resorts offer heli-skiing, that is a version of off-piste skiing that involves being come to your starting point by helicopter. Most skiing is off-piste and for that reason you need to be an expert skier and many heli-ski operators won’t take groups with no guide.
Increasingly popular throughout Italy, snowboarding includes a cool image and is a well known alternative for many, predominantly younger, thrill-seekers. Together with your feet attached across just one board you ‘surf’ down the mountain in soft boots and without poles. Snowboarders often share runs with skiers, although in certain resorts there are separate runs.
Ice skating ( pattinaggio sul ghiaccio) is possible in many ski resorts throughout the winter season and also year round in main cities. In resorts, rinks in many cases are outdoors and therefore subject to the vagaries from the weather.
Another region where it´s easy to play winter sports in Italy is Umbria, that provides the Monte Vettore on the border using the Marche region, near the Forca di Presta ski resort. Here it´s easy to play the following winter sports in Italy: freestyle, snowboard, trekking and ski tours. This mountain resort would work for people looking for a true connection with nature, as here there aren´t many ski and chair-lifts.It´s easy to play other winter sports in Italy in Umbria in Forca Canapine, also around the border between Umbria and Marche. Here you will find 4 ski- and chair-lifts and 16 ski fields, whose total length is 25 km.
It’s certainly a good idea to do some preparation and have a few precautions before attacking the ski slopes:
- Insurance – Make sure that your group is fully insured for ski accidents, including helicopter rescue. Many annual insurance schemes exclude skiing, if you don’t pay an additional premium to be specifically included. Even then, the kind of skiing covered may be limited and off-piste skiing might be excluded.
- Off-piste skiing – Only ski where it’s permitted. In certain areas, off-piste ( fuoripista) skiing is forbidden ( vietata) to safeguard plants and wildlife. Trees are planted in lots of areas to help prevent avalanches and therefore are easily destroyed by careless skiers. Some areas are designated as nature conservation areas and you may be fined for skiing there.
Don’t ski off-piste unless you’re a skilled skier and always hire an experienced local guide within an unfamiliar area. Each year over 150 skiers are killed in avalanches within the Alps, usually when skiing off-piste. Never ski off-piste by yourself.