How have winter sports developed in Italy in recent years?

In recent years, Italy has paid great attention to its tourist vocation: the summary of a choral action that saw sport as an opportunity to redevelop mountain areas.

How have winter sports developed in Italy in recent years? Investments in structures, networks and services, we try to understand how things have changed.

Winter sports in Italy have grown in popularity, so much so that the best online bookmakers, as they already do for football sporting events, offer their users the possibility of betting on the competitions and athletes of these disciplines. This should give us the measure of their importance not only in Italy, but in the world.


Ahead of the 2021 Alpine Skiing World Championships, the Ministry of the Environment, CONI and local administrators signed the “Charter of Cortina” to push on the accelerator of renewal, whose programmatic foundations will not only have an effect on the territory of the Dolomites, but they will spread to all the mountainous regions of the country.

It was a question of guaranteeing the sustainability, safety and quality of winter sports; above all, finally we are starting to talk about the environment, and we relate it to sport. A programmatic document that reflects a broader political orientation, expressly citing a 2013 UN resolution, 68/217, which speaks of sustainable mountain development, and the UNESCO program “World Heritage and Sustainable Tourism”, for to have a mountain cut not only for sportsmen, but also for families looking for a relaxing experience different and more authentic.


The gradual decentralization of work causes people to flow back to the most neighboring regions of the country, and in this movement there are very interesting prospects for the redevelopment of the mountain territory and the recovery of areas that had been abandoned to move towards the city .

Today, the descendants of families who had abandoned their places of origin are gradually returning to their valleys, recovering the existing real estate heritage, and giving way to new “soft” accommodation based on recovery of the traditions of the territorywith small bed and breakfasts and hotels widespread, and a less aggressive sport, which does not need the large infrastructures typical of mega ski areas, but only back in nature.

The statistical data cited in the premises of the Cortina Charter are very clear: the pre-mountain and mountain environment, once considered hostile and unproductive, offers great potential for development, and in any case constitutes a slice of the country that deserves certainly more than those received so far. Faced with a sixth of the Italian population that lives there permanently, it receives around 120 million visitors each year: a tourist flow that can be developed by providing modern accompanying infrastructure, which still exists today.


Much of the development of mountain sports has been the change in attitude on the part of the athletes themselves. If alpine skiing and related disciplines such as snowboarding are still in fashion, today other types of sporting activities are spreading that require lighter and less invasive structures for the territory.

This is also partly due to the increase in the average age of people, who are giving up more physical disciplines like alpine skiing to stay in shape. alternative sports activities more “quiet”, such as cross-country skiing, ski mountaineering, snowshoeing, trekking, climbing, practiced independently in these small towns, perhaps far from the large ski areas.

A phenomenon characterizes this real green revolution which is spreading horizontally in all age groups, and which suggests a bright future for our valleys.

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