The mountains in central Italy offer skiers in Rome a closer alternative to the Alps
There are many skiing resorts within an easy drive of Rome along the Apennines in Lazio and Abruzzo. Each resort offers promotional ski passes, season tickets, ski schools for adults and children, ski clubs, ski hire and reasonable accommodation, as well as several restaurants and chalets located along the slopes. Check the websites for snow conditions.
This relatively small ski resort is one of the oldest in the Apennines and is located in the province of Frosinone, about 100 km southeast of Rome. It has 12 km of slopes, located in a karst valley at 1,800 m. It has a chairlift and three ski lifts. The Canalino and the Vermicano slopes are connected and form a good slope of 1,500 m. See website.
Campo di Giove
Campo di Giove is on the western slope of the Majella natural park in Abruzzo, about 170 km from Rome. A chair lift and a ski lift take skiers up to about 1,800 m. Two bars / restaurants are located along the way. The numerous slopes are of different levels: the Serra Campanile is easy and suitable for kids, the Le Capre, Pareti Rosse and Delle Signore are of medium difficulty, while the Porrara is one of the most fascinating and challenging black runs in the Apennines. There are two school camps, served by conveyor lifts, where children are introduced to skiing and snowboarding. There is also a snow park, a snow playground for young skiers called Kinder Park Giovilandia, and a synthetic ice skating rink open throughout the year. See website.
Campo Felice is in the central Apennines of Abruzzo, located within the Sirente-Velino regional natural park, about 113 km from Rome. This ski resort is part of the Tre Nevi area, along with Ovindoli and Campo Imperatore, and is one of the favourite destinations for Romans. It offers 30 km of Alpine skiing of various levels, served by about 10 chair-lifts and several drag lifts for children, which can carry up to 18,000 skiers per hour and guarantee quick access to the slopes. A modern snowmaking system with 250 artificial snow cannons covers over 16 kms. A must for snowboarders is the Swup Snowpark with its new facilities, jumps and breathtaking passages. The Toro and Leono runs have been made longer this year. See website.
Campo Imperatore was the first ski resort to be developed in the Apennines. It is on the Gran Sasso mountain about 120 from Rome and at 2,200 m is one of the highest in Italy. A cableway takes skiers from Fonte Cerreto to Campo Imperatore and two chair lifts take them to five panoramic slopes. It offers 15 km of Alpine skiing and 60 km of Nordic skiing. There is also a snow park with half-pipe and boarder cross slopes for snowboarders. See website.
Campo Staffi is located in Filettino, 100 km from Rome. Its facilities include two chair lifts, three ski lifts and one manovia, which take skiers to 1,500-2,000 m. A 10-km long path is available for lovers of cross-country skiing. A shuttle service connects Filettino to the nearby villages. See website.
The Alpine skiing areas of Monte Livata, located about 75 km east of Rome, include Campo Minio and Monna dell’Orso. The slopes, which run from Fossa dell’Acero to Campo dell’Osso, are famous for cross-country skiing and are particularly suitable for families. Three drag lifts take skiers to the top of the mountain, from where they can choose an Alpine skiing descent or a snowboarding and tubing track. The traditional cross-skiing circuit goes from Campo dell’Osso to Campaegli. See website.
Ovindoli is located between Rome and L’Aquila in Abruzzo, about 130 km from the capital in the Sirente-Velino regional natural park. Some of the longest cross-country skiing slopes in central Italy are in the Altopiano delle Rocche which connects Ovindoli with Rocca di Mezzo. The Magnola mountain (1,400-2,220 m), offers 30 km of Alpine skiing, served by modern and efficient lifts. The slopes in the Tre Nevi ski area are of all levels and there are some challenging black runs. There is the Magnola upper park (1,980 m) as well as the lower park, located along the Dolce Vita slope (1,650 m). Ovindoli also has a very efficient snowmaking system, which guarantees a perfect quality of snow even when natural snow is lacking. See website.
Located in the heart of the Abruzzo national park about 160 km from Rome, this resort offers 20-km of skiing, divided in 14 slopes for all abilities, including two difficult black runs, six red or intermediate slopes and six blue or easy slopes for beginners. The 100-km long slope of Alto Sangro crosses the municipalities of Pescasseroli, Pescocostanzo, Aremogna, Pizzalto and Monte Pratello. The resort has three chair lifts and two ski lifts. See website.
Roccaraso, which is about equidistant from Rome and Naples, is one of the major skiing resorts in the Abruzzo. It is the heart of the largest ski area in central Italy, the Alto Sangro area, which includes 160 km of slopes and 36 lifts. Founded in 1910, Roccaraso’s skiing resort still hosts prestigious international competitions. Its numerous slopes include some that are suitable for children. See website.
This limestone mountain (2,215 m) is one of the few resorts north of Rome, close to Rieti and about 100 km from the capital. Since it was made fashionable by Mussolini in the 1930s, it has been a tourist destination for passionate skiers, and it is still one of the favourite winter resorts for Rome's skiers. It has one cable car, three chair lifts and a conveyor belt, as well as over 40 km of steep slopes for Alpine skiing and 20 km of perfectly beaten Nordic skiing slopes, which are also illuminated at night. Its variegated flora and fauna make it an ideal place for excursions, nature trails and other sporting activities, such as hiking and mountain races. It has a high-altitude riding school with horse-drawn sleds, and the possibility to rent powerful quads, which offer adventurous excursions on the snowy paths. See website.
This article first appeared in 4 February 2015 edition of Wanted in Rome.