Skiing in Tuscany
Abetone has been a popular ski resort since the first ski lift was introduced in 1936
Tuscany is a region which can offer its visitors just about everything – it boasts culture, art, history, rolling hills with beautiful countryside, seaside and mountains. It has a surprise for every season and tourists come not only to visit historical towns, taste vintage Italian wine and eat world renowned food but also to enjoy the skiing options in the region. Abetone, Amiata and the mountains of the Garfagnana offer the possibility of great skiing in Tuscany during the winter months. In particular, Abetone is the ski resort closest to Florence. It is situated in the Apennine Mountains and is the most significant ski resort in central Italy. Indeed, Abetone has been a popular ski resort since the first ski lift was introduced in 1936 and the Abetone Pass has an altitude of 1388 metres. One of Italy’s most famous skiers, Zeno Colo, who won a gold medal for alpine skiing in the 1952 Oslo Winter Olympics, was born in Abetone in 1920.
The skiing area benefits from 80-kilometers of ski slopes situated between four well-linked valleys – Valdi Luce, Valle dello Scoltenna, Valle del Sestalone and Valle di Lima. The ski slopes are carved through woodland owned by the Italian state, which is thick with pine and fir trees. This adds to the powerful atmosphere of skiing in Abetone, and in addition the resort arranges night descents which allow visitors to ski on the slopes under the charming glow of moonlight. The resort is comprised of two main ski runs and on top of its downhill routes it amasses approximately 50 kilometers of cross country runs, making it ideal for those who enjoy alpine skiing on broad slopes.
There is a good variety of slopes to choose from for novices and experienced skiers alike, and the resort includes some amazing snow parks. Not only is the resort a good option for those who take their skiing seriously, the vast surrounding valleys also form some of the most gorgeous scenery in Tuscany, bringing ski-season tourists to Italy not just for the snow quality. The ability to enjoy the expansive Tuscan countryside is also strong selling point of the Abetone resort. When using the Monte Gomito ski lift, a view of Emilia will open up across the ridge crest, which provides further views of Tuscany spread out in all directions. This is a key element to the experience of skiing in Abetone, in that the scenery which unfolds across Italy makes it an exciting place to appreciate your surroundings.
The attraction of Abetone does not end at the impressive views of the nearby region however; there are many other activities to be enjoyed at the Abetone resort. This includes indoor swimming pools, wellness centers and spas, many shops and bars, classic Tuscan restaurants and pizzerias. My Guide recommends trying local specialities such as gnudi (a type of gnocci made with ricotta cheese) and spinach, fresh pasta and stewed game.
Abetone is easily reachable from Florence with Copit, a coach service that directly connects Abetone with Florence during the weekends throughout the winter season.For those wishing to make their own way, Abetone is approximately a 90-minute drive from Florence. Its proximity to the city of Florence makes skiing a viable option for those with other plans visiting Tuscany.
The Apennine skiiing season starts at the beginning of December and runs through until the last week of March. The high season during this period begins at Christmas and ends on the 31st of February. This time is far busier and more expensive for visitors. For a daily adult lift pass it is 34-36 euros and for a weekly pass, 180 euros. For a cheaper alternative, visit Abetone at another time, which will not only allow for financial savings but a less crowded experience. Thus allowing skiiers to fully appreciate the natural beauty of the Abetone resort and Tuscany during the winter months.