What started out as an old Italian climbing village is now a superb ski resort with a first class reputation for sunny, high and snow sure slopes. As well as top-notch skiing, the resort boasts a spectacular setting with the Matterhorn (or ‘Monte Cervino’ to the Italians) towering over the village.
One of the highest resorts in the Alpes, Cervinia has an unusually long season with good snow from the end of November right through to May. So whilst the resort may not be the prettiest, with many pre-World War Two imperial buildings scattered between hotels and apartment blocks, the scenery more than makes up for it on the sunny side of the Matterhorn.
As one of the smaller resorts, Cervinia is ideal for a short break or ski weekend and the fact it’s linked to Zermatt opens up a world of choice in terms of skiing. Plus you get to enjoy this famous Swiss resort without the Swiss price tag.
Skiing in the resort
Cervinia has some of Italy’s highest and longest runs where intermediate skiers will relish cruising the gentle slopes. There are a few good blue runs and plenty of reds, which tend to be easier than in most other resorts so they’re perfect if you’re looking to move to the next level.
If you’re just starting out on skis, the village nursery slopes are the place to be, and the gentle blues around the Cretaz area make it easy to progress.
It’s an intermediates dream, the biggest asset is the high altitude and when the sun’s out there’s no better place to ski. Try the Ventina run down to Valtournenche – an 11km leg burner with a 2km vertical decent, you may want to stop for a Kit-Kat on the way down.
The resort as a whole is a fantastic place to get your ski legs back. For the more advanced skier there’s potential for some off-piste skiing when the snow’s good or there’s a terrain park called Indian, said to be one of Italy’s best. For something more challenging we’d recommend heading over to Zermatt for the day, but watch the clock and the weather – you won’t want to get stuck there if the winds roll in, it can take six hours in a taxi to get back.
Cervinia has a laidback vibe but can get quite lively, especially at the weekend when some of the locals from nearby towns come to stay. There are some decent bars scattered around resort and in many of the hotels as well. If you’re looking for something more energetic, try the Dragon Bar or the slope side Hotel Principe delle Nevi for a cocktail on the terrace beside the pool.
The resort isn’t huge but there are plenty of restaurants. Obviously it would be sacrilege to go to Italy without having some homemade pasta or a pizza but you’ll find restaurants serve a huge range of cuisine to suit all budgets as well.