New in Livigno this year!
Livigno summer season kicks off properly at the beginning of June, and 2012 has seen the revamping of Livigno Bike Park, a vast network of mountain trails that have been dug out of the snow and beautiful scenery for adventurous mountain bikers. Open until October when the ski season starts, the Bike Park is good for both beginners and highly experienced riders, and the frenzied maintenance that has been going on through May has made sure everything’s in great shape .
As of December 2010, skiing off-piste alone in Livigno is completely banned die to avalanche risk, and if caught you may be fined. So, stick to the pisted terrain, get a legal off-piste guide, or don’t get caught.
Livigno Ski Resort, Italy
Livigno has grown from a tiny, remote settlement into a full-blown ski resort – and it’s still on the way up. However, it is still one of the remotest resorts in Europe – and also one of the cheapest, with duty-free status making eating out and drinking far more appealing than at Italy’s more well known choices. With skiing that goes up to 3000m, Livigno is very snow sure, and the runs are great for beginners and intermediates in particular, though experienced skiers will still be able to find a few challenging blacks and some off-piste trails.
Skiing in Livigno
With 115km of pistes and 34 lifts, Livigno has a good variety of slopes and views. Livigno’s two ski slopes are divided by the town which runs down the middle. As you look at the ski map, Mottolino is the area on the left, which is the more challenging side; and Carosello is on the right, which is easier but goes all the way up to 3000m. The village-side slopes are nursery runs which are generally snow sure every year, and therefore great for beginners and those finding their feet. Above this you’ll find fast, open runs, accessible by lifts that tend to take you to a variety of blue, red and blacks, so you can explore the mountain without finding yourself at the top of a black mogul run with no alternative way down. If you’re a super-experienced skier looking for a serious challenge then Livigno is not for you, but good skiers can take the chairlift along Monte Sponda to Monte della Neve and take advantage of the steep and bumpy terrain. Alternatively, hire a guide in Livigno village and take advantage of some of Europe’s most beautiful ski touring country.
Livigno in summer
Livigno is just as stunning in the summer. Situated as it is next to a lake in a valley between two mountains, the views are serene and beautiful, and there is much to see and do. The hiking is particularly good – the wide, soaring ski slopes become open, panoramic mountain paths. Likewise, cycling and mountain biking are popular here, and bikes can be hired in the village. There is also good rock climbing and mountain lake fishing, and a couple of options for horse-riding, so Livigno is a truly active place.
Things to see nearby
Nearby you’ll find Stelvio National Park and the Swiss National Park, both have which have astonishing wildlife and natural beauty. If you just can’t visit a ski resort without skiing, even when there’s no snow, then take a trip out to the Stelvio Glacier, the biggest in Europe, with a top altitude of 3450m (www.passostelvio.com). It tends to open around the end of May each year. For something a bit more relaxed, try the thermal baths of the area, such as Terme di Bormio (www.bormioterme.it). There is also much culture to be explored in the form of the local Engadine villages just over the Swiss border, if you’re ready for a bit of civilisation. And speaking of civilisation, Livigno’s neighbour Alta Valtellina (http://www.alta-valtellina.it/_eng/default.cfm) is a wine-growing region with an amazing amount of vineyards which make a nice trip in the summer months.
Thank god for duty free: it’s made Livigno a surprisingly cheap night out – and this fact has been exploited by those selling the booze. There are over 150 bars in Livigno, which generally thought to be the most in one resort in the world. Nevertheless, Livigno is a civilised place to go out for a drink or six: it’s generally not your typical party resort with pub after pub lining the streets. The most lively you’ll find are Il Cielo for live music and dance floors and Kokodi for dancing on tables (there’s even a pole, should you choose to crank it up a bit). Otherwise there’s Ypioca for delicious cocktails, or the Echo Pub for unique, microbrewery beers. Fortunately there are also over 100 places to find some dinner in the town, and the vast majority are local, family-run places serving delicious food. Livigno is one place where crass commercialism hasn’t yet taken over, so take advantage.