Skiing in Tuscany

988571_85959745[1]_gross_888The most visited region of Italy, Tuscany is famous for its sunshine, vineyards, and the cultural marvels of cities like Florence, Siena and Pisa. However, Tuscany also comes into its own during the ski season, with powder coating the Apennine Mountains from the beginning of December until the end of March. With ski resorts peppered throughout the region, there’s something for everyone from seasoned skiers to beginners.

Mount Abetone in Northern Tuscany is the largest and most popular ski destination, with 50km of Alpine skiing and an additional 18km of Nordic skiing. It’s a good spot for novices, as 22 of the 36 slopes are suitable for starters: only two are labelled as expert ‘black’ runs. That hasn’t stopped the mountain from being used in competitions, with European Cup and World Cup contests under its belt, so you could well find some pros to watch and admire if you’re more of a spectator than a competitor. The après ski scene is equally good, with plenty of Tuscan restaurants offering spectacular views along with their celebrated regional delicacies.

Mount Amiata offers a number of trails in the picturesque setting of one of Europe’s largest beech forests. There are 10km of alpine trails, and 10.5km of Nordic ski trails. The resort has been popular since the early 20th Century, with Italy’s elite often heading here during the winter months. The mountain really had its heyday during the 70s and 80s, when the European Ski Cup for Women was regularly held there, and still retains an air of retro glamour.

For a family ski holiday, head to the pass of Due Santi and Zum Zeri in Lunigiana. With only 25km of slopes this is a quieter resort than most, but the baby playground makes it an ideal destination if you’re travelling with children. Once you reach the top of the 1600 metre high mountain, you’ll be rewarded with a view straight across to the Ligurean Sea. Another good beginner’s resort is Passo delle Radici in Garfagnana, which offers particularly gently training slopes for novices and children.

Cross country skiing can be found at Casone di Profecchia, which has 15km of certified cross country as well as two beginner slopes. An additional 5km of cross country is available at the Careggine resort, which also boasts astounding panoramas and a 5km downhill slope, too. Careggine has a bustling atmosphere that’s popular with tourists, so there are plenty of bars to choose from when you’re seeking that essential après ski tipple.

With great skiing in the winter and glorious sunshine in the summer, there are plenty of reasons to visit Tuscany in any season. If you’ve fallen in love with the region as a year-round holiday destination, you might want to look into purchasing local property with Engel & Völkers. With some spectacular homes on the market for incredible value, there’s no time like the present to invest in Italy.

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