search burger
search ×

5 low cost destinations for those who love winter sports (if there is snow)

Thinking about skiing, snowshoeing and polenta with roe deer served boiling on a wooden cutting board seems a heresy, with leaves that have not even fallen from the trees. But sooner or later the cold and snow will come, or we’ll have to go and flush them out.


One of the great riddles on which the conversations revolve on public transport and around the smoking cafes of bars (in addition to the war, the reduction of taxes, the professional fate of some famous journalist in marital crisis) concerns the arrival of cold, the end of the half seasons but especially the snow. Yes, because for many, winter is the season of white weeks, snowshoeing, mountain huts with breathtaking views and rows of lifts. And the current climate does not seem to promise very well, both for the planet and for the ski slopes located below three thousand meters. In addition, the fateful date of December 8th is coming.

THE ETHICAL TORMENT. That then, as fans of skiing and winter sports are notoriously very attentive to environmental issues, with the approach of the right season - say after December 8 - will arise a terrible ethical dilemma that will see many sportsmen tear and despair: Is it right to take advantage of artificial snow, with its environmental cost and its being basically a winter fiction? In addition to its unnatural texture, which I’m told makes skiing less spontaneous and elegant, artificial snow requires cannons to be fired, as well as water and electricity. According to some estimates ( cosa-sono-che-impact-hanno-environment/) 95 million cubic meters of water are consumed and 600 gigawatt hours of energy are used. All numbers and dilemmas that we hope can be overcome by abundant natural snowfall in the Alps and the Apennines, so as to make happy skiers and snowshoers of all latitudes.

THE GEOGRAPHICAL NODE. Once you have verified that the snow is really there, you will have to choose the right location and this will affect the starting point of the ski holiday. Given that certainly the mountains of Trentino are a coveted destination as good, not everyone will feel like traveling several hundred kilometers just to reach the slopes and the hotel chosen. To the kilometric evaluations will be added also the economic ones since, they tell me, the sum of: cost of equipment rental + ski pass + insurance + overnight stay + meals + dozens of grappas needed to combat the cold would = at a rather high figure. Also and especially as a result of the general increases that also affect the holidays at high altitude.

LOW COST DESTINATIONS. Not all slopes are the same, no doubt. And not all resorts offer the same services. But if you don’t have an unlimited budget some small waiver will have to be made, adapting to the nearest or less pretentious locations. You could start from Molise, with Campitello Matese and Capracotta, destinations underestimated by great fans of skiing and winter sports but not too high up, not too far from the capital and not too expensive. Snowbiking, tobogganing, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, snowboarding, snowshoeing and slopes of varying difficulty are part of the menu of this area. Also in Central Italy, but slightly further north, we find Roccaraso, Ovindoli and Campo Imperatore, in Abruzzo. The Roccaraso ski area, for example, has one hundred and forty-seven kilometres of slopes and thirty-eight lifts. There are also sixty kilometres of cross-country skiing trails, snowshoe trails and various other attractions. Not less Tuscany, which on the Abetone has twenty-one lifts, thirty kilometers of medium slopes, thirteen easy slopes and two kilometers of black. The Val di Luce, the Scoltenna Valley, the Sestaione Valley and the Lima Valley are covered by forty-five kilometers of slopes for alpine skiing. Leaving national borders for a moment, the mountain resort of Kranjska Gora, in Slovenia, can be suitable for those who want to learn a new language or want to experience the eighteen slopes ranging from 800 and 1,215 meters, with six chairlifts and thirteen elevators. Among hotels, campsites, hostels and farmhouses you will surely find the way to organize a skiing holiday not too expensive.

Returning to Italy and going on the classic, in Trentino there is the Skiarea Alpe Cimbra with the ski resorts of Folgaria and Lavarone: one hundred and four kilometers distributed among 66 slopes and the possibility to do alpine skiing, ski mountaineering, snowboarding, freeride, cross-country skiing and also to ride on the Fat-bike and to jump on sleds.

Another hundred kilometers of slopes can be found in Berdonecchia, in Piedmont: twenty three lifts and a snow park, with a web of paths that starts from 1,330 and reaches 2,400 meters of altitude, with the exception of Jafferau who stands at 2,800 meters. Hurry up, you still have a week to buy the season ticket discounted!



Images by Marco Squadroni

Illustration by Gloria Dozio - Acrimònia Studios