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Which ski resort is right for you? The best peaks in Lombardy, Italy

Novice, pro or simply keen for apres-ski relaxation, you’ll be well catered for in the Lombard Alps . We round up the best resorts for your next wintry getaway.

Published 27 Dec 2020, 08:00 GMT
Livigno resort is best known for its world-class terrain park, attracting freestyle skiers and snowboarders.

Livigno resort is best known for its world-class terrain park, attracting freestyle skiers and snowboarders.

Photograph by Alamy

Ponte di Legno, Tonale 
Best for: Off-piste skiing

Plugging directly into the slopes around Passo Tonale, the large town of Ponte di Legno offers access to an extensive network of slopes that reach over 9,900ft in altitude. Advanced skiers and snowboarders can enjoy one of Europe’s longest runs (at almost seven miles in length) and there are plenty of off-piste options both above and below the treeline, as well as on the Presena Glacier. The majority of the other runs are graded red, so there’s plenty to keep intermediate-level skiers happy, too. 
What else: This pretty valley is an excellent place to learn cross-country skiing, with more than 12 miles of trails available.

Best for: All-round fun

High altitude and snow-sure, the resort of Livigno is most famous for its tax-free status, but it packs a punch when it comes to winter fun, too. The relatively long drive from the nearest cities deters short-break skiers, meaning quieter slopes on weekends. It’s a first-timers’ utopia, with wide nursery slopes and gentle pistes. More experienced visitors will enjoy the long blue and red runs, while the really adventurous can try the heli-skiing and ski touring options offered by qualified mountain guides. The big attraction is the world-class terrain park, attracting freestyle skiers and snowboarders; the resort will play host to the freestyle events during the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Olympics. In town, a large pedestrianised area makes shopping the centre of attention — its duty-free prices make it one of the most appealing ski resorts in the Alps. The apres-ski scene is lively, but there are also plenty of quieter, cosy bars for those craving a more relaxed time. 
What else: Treat yourself to a long lunch at Carosello 3000’s mountaintop La Stuvetta refreshment centre, which comprises a pasta restaurant and a gourmet eatery serving local specialities such as pasta with rabbit ragu. 

 Bormio's well-maintained, tree-lined runs are best suited to strong intermediate and advanced skiers. 

Photograph by Getty Images

Best for: Après-ski spa and leisure 

Medieval Bormio has been attracting visitors since Roman times, when aristocrats would enjoy the natural thermal baths that exist to this day. It’s also rich in skiing history, having hosted the annual World Cup Downhill Men since 1993. Its well-maintained, tree-lined runs are best suited to strong intermediate and advanced skiers. 
What else: Head to one of three major spa and wellness centres: QC Terme Bagni Vecchi, QC Terme Bagni Nuovi Bormio and Bormio Terme. 

Best for: Families

A relaxed vibe, extensive nursery areas
and a long blue run make Aprica the ideal choice for beginners and families, but the 30 miles of ski runs offer something for everyone. This might not be the place to go if you’re after a wild après-ski party scene, but there are 20-plus pizzerias dotted around town that are sure to satisfy hungry mouths after a long day of sliding down slopes. 
What else: Explore some of the extensive snowshoeing trails around Aprica town.

Published in the Lombardy 2020 guide, distributed with the Nov/Dec 2020 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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