Located right on the Swiss border, Livigno is one of the most popular ski resorts in Italy. The area has 115 kilometers of conventional slopes as well as freeriding and fun parks. Apart from that, Livigno is famous for its duty-free shopping and typical alpine architecture. On this basis, here is a comprehensive guide to skiing in Livigno, Italy.
Welcome to Livigno: one of the Best Ski Resorts in Italy
Italy isn’t the most famous skiing destination in the Alps, but the Italian part of the mountain chain is home to numerous top-notch ski resorts. Sitting at an altitude of 1,816m (5,985 ft), Livigno is one of those.
Before the 1970s, Livigno was nothing more than a farming village on the Swiss border, but that changed thanks to two factors: tourism and the creation of a tax-free zone.
In terms of skiing in Livigno, the slopes cannot rival the ones in larger ski resorts like Sestriere, but the offer is more than enough for beginner to advanced skiers. And for diehard thrill-seekers, Livigno has lots of freeriding opportunities.
Aside from skiing, Livigno is a shopping paradise thanks to its tax-free status.
In this context, gasoline, alcohol, perfumes, tobacco, and several other products are much cheaper than in the rest of Italy – let alone Switzerland – here. As such, you’ll find airport-style duty-free stores and designer outlets all over Livigno.
The town also has a vast food and nightlife offer, fusing traditional alpine cuisine with Italian classics. We are in Italy, after all.
How to Get to Livigno
Livigno is surrounded on three sides by Switzerland, making the journey a bit complicated.
Getting to Livigno From Switzerland by Car
From Switzerland, the quickest route to Livigno goes through the Munt la Schera tunnel (between the cities of Davos and St. Moritz) and then over the Passo del Gallo border crossing point. The border is located only 4 km from the town of Livigno, so you’ll be there in no time.
The problem with this route is that the tunnel and the pass are sometimes closed for meteorological reasons.
The tunnel is also quite expensive (between 20 and 40 EUR, depending on the time).
To avoid any unpleasant surprises and long detours, check on the day of your trip whether the tunnel and the pass are open.
Getting to Livigno From Italy by Car
As Livigno is surrounded on three sides by Switzerland, there is only one road going south toward the Italian town of Sondrio. The road passes through the stunning Stelvio National Park.
Taking this road, it will take around 4 hours to get to Milan and 2.5 hours to Bozen, the capital of South Tyrol.
Getting to Livigno by Plane
There are two ways to travel to Livigno by plane.
First, you can fly to Milan (both airports) and then take a bus. Several shuttle companies offer a transfer from Malpensa Airport to Livigno. The journey takes around 4.5 hours. From Milan Bergamo Airport, the journey is about 5 hours.
The second option is to fly to Innsbruck in Austria. A shuttle to Innsbruck Airport will take only 3 hours, but there are fewer flights to Innsbruck, and you’ll have to pass two borders before getting to Livigno.
Getting to Livigno by Public Transport
From Milan, you can take a train to Tirano and a connecting bus to Livigno. The total journey will take around 6 hours.
From the North, you can take a train to Zernez in Switzerland and a bus to Livigno from there.
For more info, check out Livigno’s official tourism site on transportation.
Where to Stay in Livigno
Most of the accommodation choices in Livigno consist of local hotels and chalet-style apartments. You won’t find large chains here, and many establishments are family-run.
When deciding where to stay in Livigno, be sure to choose a place within walking distance to one of the main ski lifts (Cassana, Carosello, or Mottolino). Free buses go around the village, but they go in circles and take quite a while. Also, remember that you’ll be carrying skiing gear when walking to and from the lifts.
The town center (around Cassana gondola station) is my favorite area to stay in Livigno. You’ll be close to the slopes, and you’ll have lots of food and shopping options at your disposal.
Skiing in Livigno: the Main Places
Livigno has two main ski areas: the western side of the valley around Carosello and the eastern side around Mottolino.
Carosello is the largest skiing area with two main gondola lifts going up: Carosello gondola from the southern part of Livigno and Cassana from the north side of the town. All the slopes are connected in this area, so you can always ski down to Carosello or Cassana.
There are slopes for every level in this area, but lots of them are beginner-friendly. Advanced skiers will have to look for the rare black slopes to find a challenging run.
The second area for skiing in Livigno is Mottolino. There is one gondola line going up here on the eastern side of Livigno.
Mottolino has something for everyone, but there are more options for advanced skiers. The area has a part with only black slopes, so be aware that not everything is beginner-friendly here.
As in any ski resort, the best course of action is to try out the various parts and see what you like best.
Having skied all of my life, I found that most of the slopes around Carosello were a bit too easy.
Mottolino has a section with lots of challenging runs (around the Valfin Monte Neve chair lift), which was my favorite place for skiing in Livigno.
The Livigno ski pass covers both areas. You can buy it at any of the gondola stations or online.
Skiing in Livigno – Après Ski Locales
Livigno has several places to party after a long day on the slopes.
At Cassana Station, you’ll be in the town center. In this part of Livigno, Bivio is among the top places for après ski in Livigno.
At Carosello Station, the Stalet is the most popular après ski locale.
Other Things to do in Livigno
If you are visiting the Livigno ski resort but don’t want to hit the slopes, there are plenty of other things to do.
Around the frozen Lake Livigno, you can find snowmobile rentals and hiking paths.
Since we are in Italy, there are also lots of culinary delights and Italian food to try out.
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Skiing in Livigno – Conclusion
I traveled to Livigno in January 2022 and thoroughly enjoyed my time on the slopes. The town offers a great mix between typical alpine culture and Italian flair.
When it comes to skiing in Livigno, I would say that it’s among the best ski resorts in Italy for beginner to intermediate skiers. If you are a highly-advanced skier, you’ll probably enjoy freeriding more, as the slopes won’t be challenging enough.
The prices in Livigno aren’t low, but the region is more affordable than comparable ski resorts in Austria or Switzerland.
In conclusion, Livigno isn’t as famous or versatile as the larger ski resorts in the Alps, but it’s undoubtedly worth a trip.