When winter comes, the desire of skiing in Tuscany grows for all lovers of snow and mountain. Tuscany is not only a summer destination. It’s a great holiday location all year round. I always though that it has a great geographical position and attractions for every one: beautiful cities, tiny hamlets, poetic rolling hills, a deep blue sea and also splendid mountain landscapes.
Abetone Val di Luce down-hill slopes – Photo Credits: Ufficio Informazioni Turistiche Abetone
During wintertime skiing in Tuscany is possible. You could think that it’s unbelievable but it’s not. Short distance from the famous cities as Florence, Lucca, Siena, Pisa and from the coastal resorts, locals and tourists can wear their ski suit and enjoy ski slopes, cross-country skiing, snow parks, snowshoe hiking across the forests.
The Apennines is plenty of modern ski resorts for skiing in Tuscany: from the bigger area of Abetone ValdiLuce to the Monte Amiata, from the little resorts of Garfagnana to Zumzeri in Lunigiana. Moreover from Abetone you can easily reach the close Monte Cimone area and from Lunigiana the ski resort of Cerreto Laghi. Both of them are not in Tuscany but on the same Tosco-Emiliano Apennines that is the natural border between Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna region.
The Complete list of resorts for skiing in Tuscany
Abetone and Val di Luce
Abetone cableway – Photo Credits: Ufficio Informazioni Turistiche Abetone
Set on the Pistoiese mountains, The Abetone is the biggest ski area of Tuscany with more than 50 km (31 mi) of slopes and 22 modern and safe chairlifts. The highest peak reaches 2000m (6562 ft) surrounded by beautiful forest of red and white fir trees. The trails satisfy every skier, from the beginner to the expert and there are also ski schools for adults and children that wish to learn skiing under the guide of a professional instructor.
Abetone ski area includes a valley called “Val di Luce”. The valley is rich of many little lakes that during the winter freeze becoming like many mirrors that reflect rays. That’s the reason of its name.
People usually recommend skiing in the morning in the Val di Luce where the sun shines on the trails, and then move in the afternoon to the Abetone slopes to enjoy the rest of the daylight.
Abetone is not only downhill skiing. It is a perfect location for cross-country skiing, snowshoe hiking and snow cat tours too. It also offers several hotels, a good choice of bars, pubs and restaurants for the after-ski.
The Abetone is the birth land of one of the greatest Italian skier Zeno Colò, who was born in 1920. In 1950 he won two gold medals at the World Championships in Aspen and the gold medal in the downhill at the Olympics in Oslo in 1952. In honor of Zeno Colò, three slopes take his name.
For more information visit www.pistoia.turismo.toscana.it
Doganaccia di Cutigliano
Skiing in Tuscany, Doganaccia – Photo Credits: La Grande Selva
Another ski area on the Pistoiese moutains is Doganaccia di Cutigliano. It is an ideal place for families with children for skiing in Tuscany. From the village of Cutigliano, with a chairlift, you reach the 10 km (6 miles) of ski slopes and the 2 ski schools for beginners. At Doganaccia, a modern artificial snow maker gives the opportunity to ski during the entire winter season. It offers also an illuminated trail to have fun with the snow tubing.
For more information visit www.doganaccia2000.it
Monte Amiata Slope with view – Photo Credits: Jacopo Reggiani
The “Monte Amiata” is an ancient volcano, 1738m high (5702 ft), covered by the biggest beech forest of Europe. It’s a great location for skiing in Tuscany thanks to its position between the Maremma and Val d’Orcia (UNESCO world heritage site) and it is easily reachable from all the Central Italy.
The small ski area is suitable for families but also for good skiers and offers 10 km (6,20 mi) of ski slopes with 8 chairlifts. Reaching the peak the view is breathtaking and you will be able to see the Sienese rolling hills, the wild Maremma till the Tyrrhenian Sea.
For Nordic skiers there are 10 km (6,20 mi) of tracks that cross the splendid beech forest.
If you don’t like to ski at all, you can reach the top of the mountain with a nice walk on the fresh snow and then rest at the hut. Tourists can also try bobsledding and snow tubing while snowboarders can practice the half pipe at the new snow park.
The area of Monte Amiata includes nice villages that deserve a visit, especially during wintertime when the atmosphere is magic and traditional celebrations of Christmas and Carnival take place. These are: Abbadia San Salvatore (also called “Città delle Fiaccole” for the Christmas bonfires that every Christmas eve burns in the centre of the village), Arcidosso, Castel del Piano, Piancastagnaio, Santa Fiora and Seggiano.
Is there anything better than soaking in a warm water pool after a day of ski? I bet no. If you like thermal baths, only 17 km (10mi) away from the slopes of Monte Amiata, you find the free hot springs of Bagni San Filippo with its unique white limestone (have a look at our post about the natural hot springs of Tuscany).
For more info visit www.terresiena.it and www.amiataneve.it
Zumzeri – Passo dei due Santi
Zum Zeri Slope – Photo Credits: Asd Ginnastica Sport Servizi
Zum Zeri (1400m/ 4593ft above the sea level) is the ski resort of Lunigiana in northern Tuscany. Its special location allow you to see, from the top of the Monte Fabei (1588m/ 5210ft), the Ligurian sea with Corsica Island, the gulf of Poet and the coast with the beautiful Portovenere and the famous Cinque Terre.
Zum Zeri offers to its visitors 12 km (7,45mi) of excellent slopes. Mostly of them are beginners or intermediate level but there is also a thrilling black diamond called “Cinghiale” (wild boar in English). You also find a snow park of 600m (0,37 mi) of length and a ski school with qualified instructor if you need lessons. The refuge “Faggio Crociato” is the place to have lunch and dinner or simply to rest for a coffee or a hot chocolate during your day of ski. People that wish to spend a couple of days in Zum Zeri can find the hostel “Gran Baita” only few steps away from the chairlifts.
The valley of Zeri is an excellent choice for skiing in Tuscany also because you can make lovely snowshoe hiking and taste the delicious traditional food as the Lamb of Zeri and the Tagliatelle with mushrooms.
For more information visit www.zumzeri.eu
The ski area of Garfagnana includes 3 small resorts deep in the landscape of the wild Apuan Alps. Here you can ski on 15 km (9,30 mi) of slopes with nine ski lifts, reaching the peak of the mountains and admire the pure nature all around you. They are a perfect idea if you wish to spend a day out of the crowd of the town breathing the fresh air of the mountain, skiing and hiking. The city of Lucca is about one hour driving from here.
In Careggine, 1300m (4265 ft) above the sea level, you find 3 large trails and 2 ski schools for a total of 6 km (3,70 mi), perfect for children, beginners and intermediate skiers. Two huts and the hotel “La Genzianella” are available directly on the slopes. An artificial snow maker allows skiing even in case of scarce snow.
In Casone di Profecchia the management of the ski lifts is the same of the hotel/restaurant Il Casone, just few steps away from the slopes. The building was built in 1845 thanks to the Duke of Modena and Reggio and in the past it was a roadhouse to rest and change horse while traveling. The area is especially recommended for families and beginners because the trails are wide and not overcrowded. There are also a ski school, a bobsledding and little sled slope, paths to make nice walks and 3 rings for Nordic ski in the middle of the forest (with the opportunity to reach the Passo delle Radici, 30 km /18,65 mi away from Casone). For more information www.hotelilcasone.it
The Passo delle Radici in San Pellegrino in Alpe is the last spot of Garfagnana for skiing in Tuscany. It is situated on the border between Tuscany and Emilia Romagna at an altitude of 1529m (5016 ft) above the sea level. Here you can ski on 4 km (2,50 mi) of trails, but the place is great for cross-country skiing, with several rings of different length, for climbing and snowshoe hiking. Moreover you have the chance to trespass the border of Tuscany and reach the ski area of Piandelagotti Frassinoro in Emilia Romagna with its 40 km (25 mi) of Nordic ski tracks.
Visiting Garfagnana, do not miss to stop in the nice medieval hamlet of Castelnuovo Garfagnana, famous for its beauty and to be the birthplace of the Italian poet Ludovico Ariosto.
The Garfagnana is also known for its traditional food as the spelt (have a look at the spelt soup recipe here), chestnuts, pecorino cheese, cold cuts, honey, mushrooms and bread with potatoes.
View of a snowy Abetone – Photo Credits: Simolimo
The Apennines Tosco-Emiliano, included few months ago in the list of Mab Reserve of UNESCO is the natural border between Tuscany and Emilia Romagna.
Along this Apennines, in Emilia Romagna territory, ski lovers can easily reach other two modern and well equipped ski area, the Monte Cimone and Cerreto Laghi.
View of Monte Cimone ski area – Photo Credits: Consorzio Stazione Invernale del Cimone
The Monte Cimone is the biggest ski area of the Apennines Tosco-Emiliano with more that 50 km (31 mi) of slopes, 35 km (21,75 mi) of artificial snow, 21 ski lifts, two baby parks and a snow park.
The Cimone ski area is located in Emilia Romagna, but it is very easy to reach from Tuscany passing through Pistoia, Abetone and Passo delle Radici.
Monte Cimone satisfies needs of every skier from the beginner to the expert (14 red runs, 1 blue run, 5 ski schools and 6 black diamond runs), from snowboarders to freestylers. The wide touristic offer includes also snowshoe hiking, snowmobiling and sledding. Close to the slopes you will find hotels, huts and restaurants where you can relax and taste the local food.
For more information visit www.cimonesci.it
Cerreto Laghi is reachable by car from Tuscany passing through the village of Fivizzano (in Lunigiana) and then following the street to the Passo del Cerreto. 15 km (9,30 mi) of ski slopes, 2 cross-country tracks, a snow park and a big ice rink, is the offer of Cerreto Laghi to its visitors.
For more information visit www.cerretolaghi-ski.it
Cover Photo Credits: Consorzio Stazione Invernale del Cimone
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