Skiing in Livigno: The Ultimate Guide to the Italian Alps

Skiing in Livigno: The Ultimate Guide to the Italian Alps

19 September 2022

Livigno is an adorable Italian mountain town about a two-hour drive from the city of Milan. It’s also home to some of the best skiing in Europe. In addition to quality, there’s quantity, too; Livigno has more than 150 trails and lifts – all covered by snowmaking, of course – that stretch across three peaks, each accessible by its gondola station. If you’re reading this and thinking, “The whole town is a ski resort?” Then you are correct. The main difference between Livigno and other ski resorts is that almost every hotel in Livigno also has access to winter activities. It’s not just something visitors can do after check-out. The hotels are all situated above the ski lifts so guests don’t even have to take their skis off when coming back from dinner or drinks. There are no cars in town during winter season because there’s no need for them

The Basics

The village of Livigno sits at around 2,300 meters above sea level at the southern edge of the Swiss Alps. Its name comes from the Latin “livus” meaning “blond,” which is a nod to the light-haired, blue-eyed inhabitants. Livigno has a reputation as a well-heeled, celebrity-infested resort, but it’s also a perfect place for families and first-timers. The main season is from December through March, but some hotels also offer deals in the summer. Livigno is located in the Lombardy region of northern Italy, about two hours northwest of Milan. There are two major airports nearby: Milan-Malpensa (MXP) and Milan-Linate (LIN). The drive from the airports to Livigno takes about three hours, so factor that into your travel plans.

Where to Stay

The Village: If you’re in the mood for a standard, modern hotel with all the amenities, Livigno Village is a great place to stay. The Village sits above the lifts, so it’s easy to get back to the ski slopes after a long day. Albergo Ristorante la Torre: This charming hotel sits on the edge of the village, making it easy to get to the Village for dinner, but also easy to escape the crowds. Hotel Les Cimes: If you’re in the mood for a more luxury stay, Les Cimes is a great option. Situated above the highest gondola (and ski lift), Les Cimes is an easy walk to the Village for dinner but far enough away to be quiet and isolated.

When to Go

Livigno is a popular ski destination in the colder months, so plan your trip around Christmas and New Year’s Eve if you want to experience the town at its most festive. If you can avoid the crowds, any time in January and February is ideal. Mid-week is best, especially in February, and you can often find deals and package offers. The weather is crystal-clear, the trails are in prime condition, and many hotels still have discounted rates. The weather in northern Italy also means that summer months – July through September – are ideal for hiking and biking. July and August are warm enough for water sports near Lake Como and Lake Maggiore.

What You’ll Pay

The cost of a trip to Livigno is closely tied to your hotel choice. On average, you can expect to pay about €150 per person per night for a room during the main season. If you’re looking for a more affordable stay, the shoulder season – February and March – has some particularly sweet deals. Ski packages are also great if you want to save money and make your life easier and go skiing in Livigno.

Food and Drink

Traditional Italian fare: Livigno is known for its Italian food but focuses on traditional mountain dishes. If you’re craving spaghetti and meatballs, try somewhere else. That doesn’t mean it’s bad food – far from it – but it’s not what you’ll find in Livigno. Wine: You can’t visit Italy without drinking wine, right? The local red is a hearty and rich blend made from Grenache and Merlot grapes. Grappa: This strong, grape-based brandy is another popular alcoholic drink in Livigno. The region is known for a few varieties, including one made from Pinot Noir grapes, but the most popular is “Nail of the Holy Spirit” grappa.

Activities for Non-Skiing Guests

Hike: There are endless trails around Livigno, and many are easy for beginners. Several hotels also run guided hikes with local guides, so finding a group is easy. Go hot tubbing: Some hotels have traditional hot springs, but if not, there are several modern springs with saunas and steam rooms close to the town. Shop: There are a few souvenir shops in Livigno, but they are easily overwhelmed by the influx of tourists, especially during New Year’s. It’s better to shop in nearby Como or Varese.

Final Words

Livigno is the perfect ski destination for anyone looking to enjoy the winter sports without the pains of travel and high costs. It’s easy to get to, cheap to stay, and has plenty to do when the snow melts. If you’re not a skier, don’t worry; plenty of other activities keep you busy. If you want to take your trip to the next level, you can also stay at a place with a helipad.

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