Cervinia Ski Resort Guide
Sitting in the lee of the Matterhorn, Cervinia is a high altitude resort virtually guaranteed to have the best snow coverage in Italy year after year. With the village located at 2,050m and the top lift station at 3,480m you can find pistes in excellent condition throughout the long winter season. Having a glacier open for summer skiing ensures Cervinia is a year-round hotspot for snow sport enthusiasts.
The original hamlet of Breuil has long been a base for those looking to climb the intimidating Matterhorn mountain. In 1936 it was opened up as a ski resort also. Benito Mussolini himself changed the name to Cervinia to mirror the Italian name for the Matterhorn – Monte Cervino.
These days Cervinia has spread out from the original village to become a major Italian ski resort. The small resort centre is pretty enough with cobbled streets and boutique shops creating nestled in the car-free streets. Many of the more modern buildings are not particularly beautiful, but much like French resorts such as Tignes, recent efforts have been made to return to building in a more sympathetic style.
Much of the accommodation has spread out across the surrounding hillsides which are unfortunately some distance from the main ski lifts. There is a regular ski bus which tours the outlying accommodation regularly. Prices tend to be lower in Cervinia than over the border in Switzerland, making it a popular choice with families. The nearest airport is Turin which is approximately 90 minutes drive away keeping journey times down for international travellers.
Away from the slopes there are minimal activities available to distract you from the fantastic mountains. Cosy bars and restaurants tend to be the focus for apres-ski, although an influx of young Italians on weekends does make things a bit livelier. The food in Cervinia has an excellent reputation and there are plenty of sunny terraces on which to take in the dramatic beauty of the surrounding mountains.
Skiing in Cervinia
The sunny slopes immediately above Cervinia are perfect for beginners and intermediates to gain confidence. Long pistes with an easy gradient are ideal for improving techniques amongst a beautiful mountain backdrop. In fact you will be spoilt for choice with a seemingly endless selection of blue and red runs around the local area.
For more advanced skiers and snowboarders looking for a challenge, there are also links to neighbouring Zermatt. Buying the upgraded ski pass and crossing in to Switzerland via the Klein Matterhorn (Little Matterhorn) mountain sector gives access to a combines 322km of pistes. A fast, modern lift system here will whisk you around the more demanding ski area very easily.
Cervinia also has links with its neighbour on the Italian side of the border – Valtournenche. The ski area is comprised of two main sectors and can be accessed from one of several lifts and gondolas around resort. If your accommodation is out of the centre of the town it is best to take the regular ski bus service rather than a long walk with multiple steps.
The ski slopes in Cervinia are mostly west-facing and hold their snow well. Piste grooming standards are excellent, however the high altitude means everything is well above the treeline. In bad weather there is very little shelter and the open mountain invites high winds to move the snow around. The Matterhorn Glacier Paradise ski area (shared with Zermatt) provides year-round skiing on some of the highest slopes in the Alps.