Welcome to Week Four of our series on late skiing in the Alps. Last week we looked at Swiss resorts, the week before was Austria, and before that was the turn of France – all of the resorts picked have been those which we consider have reliable snow until late in the season. Now it’s the turn of Italy.
For guaranteed early and late cover you could opt for glacial resorts such as Cervinia or Val Senales, where skiing continues throughout much of the year – but a few others are also open late.
Here – in no particular order – are six resorts with a ski season that finishes at the end of April…or later.
This is where we recommend coming when other resorts are getting slushy. Cervinia is an excellent place to learn to ski, with its high altitude offering a good chance of reliable snow conditions. However, the terrain is essentially intermediate, with none of the black runs worthy of the description. Some of the 23km of glacier skiing is on the Theodul glacier on the Swiss side of the border, above Zermatt.
Stay: Saint Hubertus Resort with Erna Low. Lifts close: May 1 and reopen June 30.
The good-value village of Passo Tonale has snowsure skiing from late October until early May, as well as year-round skiing on the Presena Glacier. There’s plenty of beginner and intermediate terrain, with access by cable-car to Passo Paradiso, where lifts bring you to the 3069m summit.
Stay: Four-star Grand Hotel Paradiso with SNO.
Lifts close: May 1.
The village of Livigno is a straggling 20km development along a valley with skiing on both sides. Some 30 lifts rise to a top height of 2795m. Livigno is one of the highest ski villages in the Alps – in fact the satellite village of Trepalle claims to be Italy’s highest inhabited parish – and has an excellent snow record.
Stay: La Pineta apartments with Crystal. Lifts close: May 1.
Kronplatz is a ski area rather than a single resort in the South Tyrol. It has one of the most sophisticated network of gondolas in the world, 119km of piste, one of the largest ski schools in the region, but is largely unknown outside Italy and Germany. The skiing goes up to 2275m.
Stay: Four-star Hotel Teresa with Inghams. Lifts close: April 23.
The slopes in Val Senales are open from September to May each year and the glacier is equally suited to beginners and experienced skiers. A favourite is the 8km long Schmuggler slope that leads down to the valley. But the area is also famous as the location where Europe’s oldest-known human Mummy, Oetzi (also known as the Ice Man), was preserved in ice for 5,300 years.
Stay: The Grawand Glacier Hotel is the highest mountain hotel in Europe. Lifts close: May 7.
The spa town of Bormio is set at 1225m in the Lombardy region, with its highest lifts and slopes rising to 3012m – making it pretty snow sure. The Stelvio Pass with its glacier skiing (9km of slopes and 6 lifts) is located in the municipality of Bormio.
Stay: Four-star Miramonti Park Hotel with SNO.
Lifts close: (Bormio) April 25, Stelvio Pass summer skiing late May to early November.