Italy is somewhat different from the rest of Europe; a little more temperamental it might be said. Rather sad mountain dress sense is quite obvious, with a love for the all in one day-glow colour ski suits. That said, Italy is a great place to snowboard and one of the cheapest European countries to visit.
Italian resorts (which vary more off the slopes than on) are stretched across the northern part of the country, with many linking with neighbouring countries. If you're intending to drive in Italy, remember: Italians can't drive; the term 'giving way' refers more to bowel movements than it does to other road users! But due to the fact that Italy has loads of small, remote resorts tucked away off normal public transport routes, driving is often the only option. Italian resorts are not always well located for airports as most places require an average of three hours transfer.
Train services are not too convenient, but you can get fairly close to many places. Rail fares are cheap and so it’s a good option. Bus fares are also cheap, but services are not very reliable and understanding the time tables is an art form in itself.
Riders looking to work should have no real problems, lots of winter tour operators include Italy in their programmes and are always hiring catering staff and the normal array of tour reps etc. Italy is a member of the EU so normal visa rules apply.
Accommodation is on the whole basic and cheap. Around resorts, facilities are not as intense as in France, but the over indulgence in aprés ski behaviour and stupid face painting is still the same. That aside, however, Italy is well worth a visit.
Italian Snowboard Association Piazza Regina Elena, 12 – 38027 MALE Tel 045 8303277 Fax 045 8389129 Web: www.fsi.it Email: [email protected]