Catching The First Snow In Italy

Get your Christmassy vibes just right in these five locations across the peninsula.

Snow on the Dolimites, Italy
Dolomites Mountains, Trentino Alto-Adige. Photo: Nicole Geri on Unsplash.

As we reach December and the winter season, you’ll want to get your Christmassy vibes just right. We’ve explored some markets to visit to help inspire your festive spirit, and now here’s some locations to catch the first snow of the season, for the final touch!

Turin, Piedmont

The region is typically known for the skiing since it hosted the Winter Olympics in 2006 (it’s at the foot of the Alps, after all), but the snow does also reach the lowlands, turning the picturesque city into a winter wonderland. Against the warm glow of the lights on the renaissance buildings, stroll through the streets and maybe pop into the Teatro Regio to take in a performance during the opera season.

The Dolomites

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Snaking through Belluno, Alto Adige, and Trentino in the northeast, the Dolomites are a sight to behold at any time of the year. But in the winter time, the blanket of snow on the peaks makes the mountain range look almost mythical. Skiing (there’s 668 ski slopes to choose from) and other winter sports are of course plentiful, but don’t forget to immerse yourself in the whimsical village of Cortina d’Ampezzo—the world-famous resort is home to quaint little stone houses, churches, and castles, and is the perfect place to enjoy apres-ski (even without skiing).

Mount Etna, Sicily

A surprising addition to the list, but even all the way down in Sicily, the volcano receives a dusting of snow in the otherwise balmy winter season. While it’s not ideal for skiing, it’s a great place for a snowshoe hike, or even a more slow-paced visit to the Monte Rossi Adventure Park and the Linguaglossa refuge.

La Sila, Calabria

The unfortunately overlooked Sila National Park should not be slept on much longer. Skiing conditions in Lorica, Camigliatello Silano, or in resorts like Palumbo Sila are perfect for beginners, but you can also go sledding, snowboarding, or take simple excursions with snowshoes—all of this in the cleanest air in the whole of Europe.

Valle d’Aosta

Home to the highest peaks of the Alps—the Matterhorn, Mount Rosa, Gran Paradiso, and Mont Blanc—the Aosta Valley is also the place to find the most unusual sight: Roman ruins covered in snow. Conquered by the Romans in 25 BC, you can find the impressive Arch of Augustus, the Pont d’Aël aqueduct, and Porta Praetoria in great condition around the region; as well as Medieval castles that look like they’ve been lifted straight out of a fairytale.