Perhaps it’s the Mediterranean air south of the Alps, but the Italians are generally more relaxed – and better dressed – than their European neighbours. This is especially true when comparing Italian ski villages to those in rival Austria, France and Switzerland. What they may sometimes lack in resort efficiency is more than made up for in the laid back authentic atmosphere, great food and lower prices. Much lower prices in the case of Livigno!
This all makes for less frenetic (and cheaper) ski holidays where snow fun with friends and family takes priority over skiing earlier, later, faster and higher than anyone else.
Italy is also blessed with several giant ski domains, all offering beautiful scenery and a variety of terrain.
Language: Italian (French and English are widely understood.)
Visas: Travellers using South African passports will require Schengen visas to visit Italy. (Visit Schengen Visa for more information.)
Gateway Cities: The nearest, cheapest and easiest ‘gateways’ for the three Italian resorts featured are as follows:
Cervinia – By coach from Turin Airport (aka Turin-Caselle Airport)
Livigno – By coach from Milan Malpensa Airport or Milan Linate Airport. Or by rail from Zurich Airport.
Pragelato – By coach from Turin Airport (aka Turin-Caselle Airport)
Flights: Alitalia, the Italian flag carrier, has recommenced direct flights from Joburg to Rome with convenient same-day connections to Milan Malpensa and Linate airports.
Besides Alitalia, all the major European (e.g. Air France/KLM, Lufthansa, BA, Swiss, etc.) and UAE airlines (Emirates, Etihad & Qatar) are worth considering.
Note: There are no direct flights between SA and Milan or Turin so one change will be required.
Note: Swiss Air fly directly between Joburg to Zurich, which connects very easily by train (and bus) to Livigno.
Flight Time: Flights from Joburg to Milan or Turin with one change in Europe, the UAE or UK can take >15 hours depending on the connection times.