Small but sweet, the Aosta Valley’s Courmayeur offers 100km of pistes on the Italian side of towering Mont Blanc. Best suited for intermediate skiers, the resort also provides good off- piste and cross country runs, as well as some of the finest heliskiing around. Easy access to nearby Chamonix (www.chamonix.com).
Close to the Swiss border, this resort has 115km of runs and because of its height, often has snow from November till May; with more red than black runs, there are fewer posers here. Also climbing, ice driving, horse riding, dog sledding and ice skating are available.
Madonna di Campiglio, 1500m to 2580m
Located 220km from Milan in the Dolomites, this is where the scions of Milan’s old money go. There are 60km of pistes, plus a natural ice rink, slalom stadium, tennis courts, bowling alley, dog sledding, paragliding, ice climbing, snowshoeing, holidays in igloos, mountain biking on snow and skiing till the end of April.
Host to the Winter Olympics in 2006, this prestigious resort near Turin was purpose-built in the 1930s; its massive snow-making facilities means it opens early December with access to over 400km of pistes, plus tennis, dog sledding, outdoor skating rink, night skiing and paragliding. Check www.vialattea. it for information regarding additional nearby ski resorts.
St Moritz, 1750-3300m
Widely regarded as the cre`me of all mountain resorts, St Moritz over the Swiss border has long attracted the likes of the Kennedys, Agnellis and Berlusconis. There are over 350km of runs, as well as bobsleighing, winter golf (on the snow), trekking, skydiving and apre`s-ski activities: plenty to keep even non-skiers entertained.