With 50km of mostly intermediate slopes Bormio will hit the sweet spot for many skiers. Situated at the foot of the famed Stelvio Pass linking Italy and Switzerland - one of the highest road passes in Europe - this historic Lombardy spa town has lots of character and two separate ski areas to boot.
Bormio offers winter-sports visitors a compelling blend of traditional town buzz, authentic Italian Alpine ambiance, beautiful scenery, and snow-sure slopes; it's a good choice for discerning intermediates who enjoy exploring a variety of regional resorts.
Bormio is steeped in history and has a long-established skiing pedigree. It's one of the classic venues on the Alpine Skiing World Cup circuit and boasts the longest uninterrupted vertical drop in Italy. The Cima Bianca is the local ski peak, its slopes rising from the southern edge of town and housing Bormio's principal compact Vallecetta ski area. A further separate ski area, San Colombano, lies out to the west of the town. Both ski areas are covered on the standard BormioSki lift pass.
Bormio is also covered by the regional Alta Valtellina SkiPass, which includes the slopes at Oga and Cima Piazzi (linked with those of San Colombano) and the nearby resorts of Santa Caterina, Valfurva and Livigno.
Bormio - Ski Map & Pistes:
Bormio's principal Vallecetta sector is directly accessible via a fast gondola from the southern edge of a residential suburb of chalets and chalet-style hotels, just across the river from the historic central old-town quarter.
The top terminal sits at the mid-altitude Bormio 2000 services area. This bustling plateau houses a couple of small, slope-side hotels, with welcoming café-bar/restaurant terraces and sun-loungers next to the pistes. It has a beginners' area, and a number of drag lifts serving the surrounding tree-lined slopes. You'll also find the well-maintained snowpark, designed and shaped by the Austrian experts, Q-Parks and stacked with small, beginner level rails and jumps.
Access to the upper slopes and the peak of Cima Bianca, all of which is well above the tree line, is provided both by a cable car and a series of chairlifts. The majority of the slopes are red, including the famous Stelvio piste, which hosts the World Cup races. All are entertaining enough for mid-level intermediates. The most noteworthy run is the full summit to base route that delivers the biggest vertical drop in Italy - the annual 'Peak to Creek' event for this non-stop descent is a huge occasion.
More advanced skiers and snowboarders will notice the lack of big mountain challenges, especially as the off-piste in Bormio is fairly limited.
The separate small San Colombano ski area to the west of Bormio offers an additional few tree-lined red and blue runs that share the same mountain with the tiny Oga and Cima Piazzi ski domains. The physical links between these are fairly seamless, but not included on the local BormioSki lift pass. A full area Alta Valtellina SkiPass is required to access all their slopes/lifts.
Bormio - Off-Piste, Backcountry & Ski Touring:
Off-piste is restricted in Bormio, but there are two designated freeride zones that are accessible to advanced skiers and riders with the proper equipment (transceiver + shovel + probe): the higher of the two offers steep open powder slopes with cliff drops and boulder hucks. The other is a short glade area, which offers entertaining tree skiing if the snow is good.
Bormio - Restaurants, Bars & The Town:
The charming old quarter of Bormio is filled with historic palatial buildings and peppered with piazzas, fountains, churches and chapels. It's a splendid place for a stroll, particularly around the partly pedestrianised cobbled streets of the Via Roma, and contains an excellent selection of interesting shops, cosy café-bars and great restaurants.
There are three fabulous spa complexes in and around Bormio, all fed by naturally hot mineral-rich springs. All offer various indoor and outdoor bathing pools, saunas and steam rooms, plus a vast range of wellness and beauty treatments. The town also has an Olympic-standard ice rink and a modern multi-sports and fitness centre.
Après ski hours are often lively and fun at the slope-side bars up at Bormio 2000, and at its gondola base terminal. Specifically, check out the BeWhite bar, especially at the weekends. Nightlife in Bormio town itself is very much a local scene, and revolves around a few informal bars, a handful of trendy wine-bars, plus a couple of small nightclubs.
Bormio - Ski Hire:
Bormio - Ski School:
Milan Linate (3hrs)