The winter months offer plenty of opportunities for experiencing thrills among the tranquil colors of the snow and the striking views of snow-covered valleys.
Whether you are a sports fan, unable to stand still even on vacation, or someone who can't wait for a chance to rest and relax during the holidays, a mountain break is right up your alley. From the latest facilities at the ski resorts to the spas—the realm of relaxation—Italian resorts, where you can spend a ski holiday with your friends or family, await you for the rest of the winter.
THE MAGIC OF THE DOLOMITES
Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to the unique characteristics of its peaks and natural parks, the Dolomites mountain range offers ideal locations for an imaginative and exciting vacation.
One of the most well-known destinations for ski holidays is certainly Cortina d'Ampezzo. A joy both to look at and for the biggest ski enthusiasts, the area is one of the best in the industry. Since 1956, when the Veneto region hosted the Winter Olympics, the facilities have always been state of the art. This is not just because it has over one hundred kilometers of slopes, but is also thanks to the Cortina Snowpark—a facility dedicated to snowboarding enthusiasts—with areas for beginners and the more experienced, as well as its spaces where children can start snow sports.
Also in the Ladinia region, another great destination is Canazei. Canazei is the most famous location in the Fassa Valley, not just for the sporting activities available, but also for the abundant nightlife on offer in these après-ski areas, making it a particularly popular destination for young people. After a long day in the snow, vacationers gather in the area's bars to enjoy an aperitif, a cocktail or a mulled wine, before dinner or before going home.
To see this magnificent scenery and enjoy a dream vacation, you can fly to Venice Marco Polo Airport or Verona Villafranca Airport with Alitalia.
THE SUSA VALLEY, A STONE'S THROW FROM THE CITY
Less than one hour's drive away from Turin Caselle Airport, you will find another wonder of the Italian side of the Alps, the Susa Valley, which boasts two of the most renowned destinations — Bardonecchia and Sestriere. The latter, in particular, is almost legendary in the field of sport. The historical summit of the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France, Sestriere is a real landmark of the annual world cup in the world of skiing and hosted the world championship in 1997 and alpine skiing events in the 2006 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.
In the same year, Bardonecchia hosted the Olympic snowboarding events. The town has a long tradition related to winter sports, which started with the first facilities that were already in place at the beginning of the last century and is still alive today, with its one hundred kilometers of slope, more than twenty ski lifts, one snowpark and one Olympic half-pipe for snowboarding enthusiasts, and slopes for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
THE HIGHEST PEAK
Just before the border with France, at the foot of the highest mountain in Italy—Mont Blanc—Courmayeur has pride of place in the parade of destinations that are ideal for your winter vacation. Sports destination for both novices and seasoned off-piste skiers, the town in the Aosta Valley offers a comprehensive range of services, from the cross-country slope and snowboarding, to slopes for snowshoeing, for enjoying every aspect of the beautiful alpine views.
However, Courmayeur is also a place of sophistication and nightlife. Once the ski equipment has been taken off, Italian and foreign tourists head to the area's streets for shopping or socializing in local bars, discos and night clubs for the full experience.
In addition, thanks to the "Vallée Blanche Aerial Tramway," you can cross the border and head over to Chamonix, through an unforgettable route that glides over Mont Blanc. Getting to Courmayeur is simple thanks to Alitalia flights to Turin Caselle.
NOT JUST SKIING: WELL-BEING AND MOUNTAIN CUISINE
The mountain doesn't only provide entertainment for winter sports enthusiasts. In addition to the natural magic, in many high-altitude locations you can find more modern yet traditional magic — wellness centers where you can spend hours relaxing. After a sauna and a steam bath, a massage and a beauty treatment, spending days in the gym or time enjoying natural and herbal infusions, your body will find the perfect way to rest and restore your energy so you can go back to everyday life feeling refreshed. Each spa has its own characteristics, which are linked to its location, from warm springs to special treatments using the region's herbs.
The moment that the whole family can agree upon will surely be when everyone is around the table together, whether sporty or not. No matter which Alpine town you choose to eat in, the area's delicacies will delight even the most discerning palates, as well as the eyes and the soul. In Trentino you can enjoy many dishes originating from Central Europe that have now also become traditional in the country's northern regions, such as Knödel dumplings or desserts like strudel, zelten (typical Christmas sweet fruity bread) or strauben (a fritter with grappa, dusted with powdered sugar). Between the Piedmont and Aosta valleys, you can lose yourself in the flavors of PDO cheeses, truffles, sausages and local wines. Then everywhere, from one part of the Alpine crown to another, you will find a good plate of polenta waiting for you, to warm you up after a day in the snow.
© Scott Hughes
© DualD FlipFlop
© Ferruccio Zanone