Roccaraso / Alto Sangro Ski Area
Altitude – 1,325m – 2,142m
Roccaraso ski area is also known as Alto Sangro and is the largest ski area in Central Italy – in fact one of the biggest in the whole of Italy! There are over 110kms of fantastic groomed pistes and state-of-the-art snowmaking facilities to rival many in the Alps. Aremogna, Pizzalto and Monte Pratello are ski areas, each providing an entry point, that have been joined up with modern, fast lifts.
Roccaraso is in fact the resort at its base with the entry points of Aremogna and Pizzalto easily accessible just 10 minutes drive up the mountain. Linked to these areas is Monte Pratello near Rivisondoli making one large linked-up area. On the same ski pass you also have 8kms of runs and a snowpark at nearby Pescocostanzo.
In the last couple of years there have been new additions to the lifts with two new gondolas and a new chairlift meaning it’s even easier to reach the slopes, although Roccaraso is rarely busy outside Italian holiday season. The ski area continues to invest in their lifts, ski runs and snowmaking facilities.
The mountain is great for all levels of skier with nursery slopes, easy blues, cruising reds and also some blacks for the experts. The slopes are wide, sunny and very well groomed. One of the joys of skiing in this part of Europe is that the tree line is higher, meaning it’s easier to ski in the trees when weather conditions are bad. Also, the trees are beech forest and not pine which give the mountains a very different aspect to the Alps.
Beginners and learners will love the 45kms of green and blue runs in Roccaraso which vary in length from 100m to 5 kms. The ski school is excellent with several English speaking instructors and there are ski school meeting places and learner areas at the base of five chair lifts.
There are 25 red runs for intermediate skiers criss-crossing the mountain, totalling over 40kms of piste and ranging in length from 1km to 3kms.
Approximately 20kms of piste on 11 designated runs await advanced skiers including steep, thigh-burning runs down to Pizzalto and Lago d’Avoli. On a clear day, the run from the top station of Toppe del Tesoro brings into view the magnificent spectacle of the distant Gran Sasso, the highest peak in the Apennines.
For cross country skiers there are roughly 15kms of groomed track at the base of the lifts near Pizzalto and Aremogna. You can also ski anywhere on unbeaten tracks on the plateau at Monte Pratello.