Winter sports in Liguria
Hidden within the southern expanse of the Alps is Liguria’s winter wonderland
where scenic railways and winding roads take you through snow covered mountains to medieval Alpine villages; warm, welcoming hotels; and some of the best skiing and snowboarding in Europe.
Skiing was first introduced to Italy in Limone Piemonte
When skiing was first introduced to Italy in 1897, it came to the town of Limone Piemonte. Now, more than a century later, the allure that the Alpine regions of Liguria and Piemonte held for skiers persists—with all the modern developments and improvements you might expect. There are hundreds of kilometres (hundreds of miles) of nordic and alpine trails; gondolas, chair lifts, and ski lifts; and a variety of trails and pistes perfect for beginners and professionals alike.
Skiing tracks difficulty levels
The pistes are colour-coded by level of difficulty: blue pistes are the simplest, with lengthwise and crosswise descents no greater than 25% (gradients of up to 11 degrees); red pistes are moderately more difficult, with lengthwise and crosswise descents of up to 40% (gradients of up to 18 degrees); and black pistes, intended for experienced skiers, with lengthwise and crosswise descents greater than 40% (gradients of more than 18 degrees).
In addition to the historic Limone Piemonte ski resort is Monesi di Triora: a ski town 1,376 metres (4,514 feet) above sea level on the slopes of Mount Saccarello. Known in the sixties and seventies as “Liguria’s Little Switzerland”, Monesi di Triora features a skiable area of more than 3 square kilometres (330 hectares). If you want some wintertime sport, you’ll want to visit the Alpine regions of Liguria and Piemonte. More information about Monesi di Triora and Limone Piemonte is provided on this page. Don’t forget to pack your skis!
Monesi di Triora
Monesi di Triora is a ski town 1,376 metres (4,514 feet) above sea level on the slopes of Mount Saccarello—the highest mountain in Liguria. Although part of the Triora municipality, it is most easily accessed by road from the town of Mendatica. During the winter months there is a shuttle bus that runs every Sunday, bringing skiers and tourists to Monesi di Triora from the city of Imperia; the bus departs from Dante Square (Italian: “Piazza Dante”) in the centre of the city of Imperia.
Monesi di Triora was known during the sixties and seventies as “Liguria’s Little Switzerland” because of its popularity as a ski resort. The total skiable area is 3 square kilometres (330 hectares) and offers ample opportunity for off-piste and cross-country skiing. There are 9 kilometres of pistes in total, with the longest run being about a kilometre (0.62 miles) in length. The hotel La Vecchia Partenza is the nearest to the lifts, and ski rental services are nearby.
Information for skiers:
2,200 metres (7,218 feet)
800 metres (2,625 feet)
Base: 1,400 metres (4,593 feet)
Terrain 9 kilometres of ski runs in total, including:
3 Blue pistes (intermediate) - descents of up to 25% (11 degree gradients)
5 Red pistes (advanced) - descents of up to 40% (18 degree gradients)
2 surface lifts (ski tows)
1 double chair lift
Having celebrated “a century of skiing” in 2007, Limone Piemonte is Italy’s oldest ski resort—and one of the most popular. The resort has hosted several editions of the International Ski Federation (FIS) World Cup championships for alpine skiing and snowboarding, as well as training sessions for the Italian and French national Olympic teams. The width of the runs makes them ideal for snowboarders, who are also likely to be interested in the 3,500 square metre snowpark at Limonetto (just south of Limone Piemonte), equipped with half pipe, kickers, box, and rails.
Numerous restaurant chalets scattered across the slopes offer an excellent opportunity to relax. Hotels include the Caterina Viale Albergo Tripoli, the Grand Hotel Principe, the Grand Palais Excelsior, Hotel La Primula, Hotel Marguareis, and the Petit Meublé, among others. Ski rental services are available.
Information for skiers:
Summit: 2,085 metres (6,841 feet)
Vertical drop: 1,042 metres (3,419 feet)
Base: 1,043 metres (3,422 feet)
80 kilometres of ski runs in total, including:
6 Blue pistes (intermediate) - descents of up to 25% (gradients of up to 11 degrees)
31 Red pistes (advanced) - descents of up to 40% (gradients of up to 18 degrees)
5 Black pistes (experts) - descents greater than 40% (gradients of more than 18 degrees)
1 gondola, 6 high speed quad lifts
2 quad chair lifts
5 double chair lifts
1 surface lifts (ski tow)