Livigno family ski holidays are a winner for the whole family – winning on value, variety, atmosphere, skiing, activities, facilities and (of course!) food. With the Winter Olympics heading back to Italy in 2026 – Livigno will host snowboarding and freestyle – beat the rush and discover it for yourselves next winter. Travel Editor Dave Windsor and family gave it the full workout.
We fell in love with Italian skiing as a couple many years ago, and then with first one, and now two kids in tow, we keep coming back for more.
Airfare options are really good these days, with plenty of one stop flights to Milan, and once you get to Italy the on-snow value stacks up pretty well versus anywhere.
SkiItaly.com.au can sort your trip.
First impressions count and checking into Livigno’s newest and surely most modern hotel, the Montivas Lodge was a super introduction to this uber cool resort. As was the wonderfully warm welcome from managers Daniel and Cristiano.
The majority of properties in town are steeped in tradition and charm with fairy tale timber architecture. Whereas, the class A energy rated Montivas is the new kid on the block – full of colour, alpine imagery, sharp interior design and a ripper breakfast buffet with a ski-in ski-out location in the San Rocco area of Livigno.
Next stop, ski rentals from the professional Crew at Zinerman Sporting. Proprietor Signor Ermanno sorted us out with the latest quivers and a wicked set of Völkl all mountains for myself.
Lupigno Kinder Club
Finally, what to do with 5-year-old Jack? The answer was simple, the Lupigno Kinder Club, which is part of the 46-year-old Centrale Scuola Sci & Snowboard with surface and chair lifts out the back door, along with a stonking après joint. The daily routine was pretty simple – up early for a fabulous buffet breakfast – eggs, salumi, pastries, freshly squeezed juice, Illy coffee; then onto the free shuttle opposite the San Rocco chapel to drop off Jack anywhere between 8:30 to 9:00 with an afternoon pick up between 3:30-4:00.
The multilingual teachers and carers at the Kinder Club were absolutely fabulous. Jack’s initial trepidation was soon overcome when he saw the array of colourful activities and fun to be had inside the huge warm play room along with the enormous outdoor fun park featuring inflatables, snow bikes, tubing, trampolines, swings and slides.
Included in the 6 day program was 2 hours of ski lessons with Maestro Diego, lunch (€10 per day), day care, a ski race through 12 gates, a certificate, medal and group photo. Which at €255 represents incredible value considering that 8 years and under can ski free if an accompanying adult buys an equivalent 3+ day ski pass.
“I love meeting new kids every week and experiencing different cultures,” explains Alice in her 6th season, “though we only have 2 or 3 Aussies in a season. It’s great to learn & practise new languages, like German and Russian, plus I have a day off each week to go telemarking. There’s no chance of getting bored what with all the kids and fun to be had here in Livigno.”
Livigno family ski holidays paradise
With Jack sorted, big sister Porshia, Mariola and I could spend our days skiing “Little Tibet’s” 115km of brilliant blues, reds and blacks on either side of the valley serviced by 32 lifts capable of moving 50,000 people per hour! Porshia (and I) both got a kick out of the fun slopes carved into the mountain – from the 1.7km ‘Beach’ to the gentle Niuski Track with tunnels, obstacles and skier-cross’esque curves and turns to navigate.
High speed groomers are a hallmark of Italian resorts and Livigno is no exception with thigh burners out the back of the Carosello side on the Federia chair and black screamers from Monte Della Neve (2,785m) down to the valley at 1,800m over on the Mottolino side of the valley. And if you’re lucky you might get to ski with Mottolino’s mascot – Yepi – he’s big white and hairy, and he sure can ski.
Plenty of other Aussies have discovered Livigno family ski holidays too, including two-time Olympian Jono Brauer.
Jono, together with local instructor & race coach Gianluca “Pippo” Valeri designed the multi-disciplined development program for children aged 7-16 years – The Arc Livigno. “The Arc’s highly experienced and accomplished coaching team work to develop children’s skiing capabilities across Alpine, Skier X and Moguls” explains Arc instructor and Thredbo Development Squad Coach Milly Lazzeri, “Our coaches are super passionate about skiing and the mountains, and thrive on seeing kids ‘froth out’ and take their skiing to the next level.”
With 6 hours training per day over 12 days it’s not surprising that feedback received from families was that their children’s skiing improved exponentially. “We offer extra activities for all the family to enjoy,” explains Milly, “These activities include a welcome meet and greet, 2 day trips for the adults (one to Bormio and one to St Moritz), sunrise skiing with the coaches, a family fun race and an ‘Arrivederci’ dinner and presentation at Camanel di Planon.”
Fun and adventure awaits
Livigno family ski holidays fun is not limited to the slopes. The huge open air skating rink was popular with kids practicing their ice hockey skills after school and the speedy outdoor go-cart track was a hoot and a great reward for the kids after dragging them from shop to shop looking for bargains. By some quirk of fiscal luck Livigno has ‘tax free’ status – which has tourists and Italians alike flocking for fashion, fuel, furs and cigarettes.
Lunch at the extremely stylish La Tresenda agriturismo mountain farm (a 10 minute free bus trip up the valley) was also a hit with the kids, where they saw and pat the sheep, cows, pigs, goats, horses, chooks, llamas and rabbits in the stables before sitting down to a superb lunch of cured meats, cheeses, lamb, beef, veal, pork …. literally a 0km paddock to plate culinary delight.
Mariola and I also enjoyed a 2014 bottle of Pietro Nera Sorèl Nebbiola/Cab Sav finished off with a shot of Schenatti Liquore Erbaiva d’Alpe – distilled from the infusion of flowers of achillea moscata, a strongly aromatic plant known for its digestive properties – for me it’s ‘Daddy’s little helper’ for the bus trip home.
The upside of having blue skies each day is that the whole family can enjoy great visibility and lovely skiing on the groomers. The downside of course is that I didn’t have freshie fun in Livigno’s abundant side country. We did have one powder day which had me doing lap upon lap off the Carosello gondola from 2,797m with fresh underfoot and sketchy visibility at best – my kind of day.
And just in case you don’t get enough skiing, there’s always night skiing. Or you could rise early for the Sunrise Emotion Tour with a 7am ride up the bright yellow Tagliede gondola in the Sitas Ski Area to experience the break of dawn followed by a fully loaded, diet crushing breakie at the Costaccia Restaurant at 2,300m.
Livigno family ski holidays overall impressions
Overall, it’s impossible to fault Livigno, the slopes, food, shopping, hotels and fun score an A+. “Livigno is such a beautiful Italian town with a tremendous variety of skiing on both sides of the valley,” says my buddy Pete Chenoweth from Noosa, enjoying his first trip to these parts.
“The on-mountain bars and restaurants were brilliant: serving up great food and atmosphere, but all different. Baita Berghutte and La Tea di Cip & Ciop were two that caught my attention on the Carosello side of the valley, as did the open-air dance floor and DJ at Camanel on the Mottolino side, just pumping. There’s lots of choices at night too, the Hotel Concordia for drinks was modern and a great design, but it’s impossible to go past Ristorante La Piöda for dinner, go there to see why,” recommends Pete. “Plus, with all the tax-free shops, I even picked up a few Armani polo shirts (as you do) and Hugh Jackman even visited while we were there. I hadn’t heard of Livigno before we visited, but I’m so glad we did.”