With 15 ski resorts and 300 km of pistes, the mountains of Emilia-Romagna offer plenty of opportunities for visitors to don their ski suits, gloves and ski boots during the winter. As soon as the first snowflakes start to fall, the ski resorts become a popular destination for winter sports lovers and offer all kinds of services and amenities to those who want to spend a fun day on the slopes.
There are three ski resorts that are considered the “queens” of the region: the Mount Cimone district (MO), the Corno alle Scale area (BO) and the Cerreto Laghi area (RE). In addition, there are many other ski resorts that are smaller but no less well-equipped for those who want to go skiing or do other winter sports.
In the Modenese Apennines, the Mount Cimone ski district is arguably the most impressive with over 50 km of slopes, all connected to each other. It is the largest and most modern ski resort in Emilia-Romagna, but also one of the best equipped in the entire Apennine region.
Every year thousands of athletes from all over Italy gather here to propel themselves at full speed down its slopes or enjoy themselves doing jumps and acrobatic tricks in the modern terrain park. Some people go kite skiing or paragliding, others go skating on the ice rink and other still simply like to relax while taking in the stunning views of the snow-blanketed, picturesque landscape of the highest peak of the Emilian Apennines.
Further south, just one hour’s drive from Bologna, we find the Corno alle Scale ski resort, famous for being the place where Alberto Tomba began his career, so much so that there are two slopes named after him, Tomba 1 and Tomba 2. In total, it offers 36 km of pistes of varying difficulty, two loop trails dedicated to cross-country skiing and an area equipped with parabolic curves, jumps and much more besides for snowboarding fans. There is also a baby park where the little ones can have fun in the snow.
Going back up the Apennines, a few kilometres from the Cerreto Pass, is Cerreto Laghi, the third most important ski resort in the region. Surrounded by dense beech forest and overlooking a glacial lake at the foot of Mount La Nuda, the resort offers over 28 km of slopes, 7 km dedicated to cross-country skiing, a terrain park, a baby park and an ice rink, which is considered one of the most important and best equipped in the whole of central Italy.
Yet, wintertime in the mountains of Emilia-Romagna is not only about skiing. There are countless other things to do, especially for those who do not like plummeting at high speed down the slopes but prefer to be lulled by the slower activities that can be enjoyed in the snow.
Visitors can enjoy an adventurous trek along the Alta Via dei Parchi, the ridgeway running through the Apennines (during the winter months, recommended only for experienced and properly equipped walkers) or even a magical night-time walk with snowshoes through the woods to discover the flora and fauna of the area or spend the night in one of the mountain shelters within the many natural parks in the region.
There are stunning landscapes to admire, to photograph but above all to get to know, perhaps by visiting one of the many villages in the Emilia-Romagna Apennines that are steeped in history and traditions, where people look you in the eye, greet you warmly and invite you to taste one of the many local delicacies of their area.