How and where to buy a ski home in Italy

Italy is one of the top five countries in the world for number of ski resorts and some of the most famous ski destinations worldwide, including the Sella Ronda loop. Not only that, but affordable prices mean it’s a fantastic place to purchase your own ski property at potentially lower prices than in France or Switzerland. But where are the best areas to buy a ski home in Italy, and how does the buying process work?

Best areas to buy a ski home in Italy

Although Italy is largely mountainous all over the country, the majority of ski resorts are concentrated in the north, in the Alpine regions, including the famous Dolomites. There’s a huge choice of resorts, but, for the ski property buyer, these offer good value along with excellent skiing:

Alta Badia

Alta Badia is one of Italy’s most well known resorts, with 130km of slopes. It’s particularly good for families, as there are 70km of beginners’ slopes. For the experts, the 8km of the Vallon-Boè are not to be missed.

If you’re looking for a property with investment potential, this is another good choice for attracting holiday renters looking for ‘the full package.’ There are plenty of restaurants, bars and more, such as Ristorante Gourmet La Gana, serving up authentic Italian cuisine.


Arabba provides access to the famous Sella Ronda, that spectacular network of pistes around one of the most beautiful areas of the Dolomites. There’s also the possibility to try heliskiing or go off-piste on the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Marmolada glacier. And, if you just can’t stop skiing, some slopes are floodlit at night-time!

Two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment in Arabba. Click on the image to view the property.

Limone Piemonte

Limone Piemonte is a great place to look for a ski home in Italy if you’re more of an expert skier and would rather a smaller resort. It has 80km of pistes, of which around 44km are advanced and around 27km are expert. As an added plus, from the Cima Pepino runs, you can enjoy beautiful views over the plain of Piemonte, right out to the Ligurian Sea on clear days.

One-bedroom apartment in Limone. Click on the image to view the property.

Like many in Italy, it’s a dual-season resort, and the mountains are especially popular for biking and horse-riding. As an authentic Italian town, rather than a purpose-built resort, you can also experience the local festivals, such as the summer processions for the Festa di San Chiaffredo and Festa di San Seconde in August.


Valtournenche is a resort of superlatives, with absolutely breath-taking scenery. The Matterhorn provides a stunning backdrop, while 322km of slopes means you’ve plenty to keep you coming back year after year. With an elevation of up to 3,899m and 75% of slopes equipped with snow cannons, it’s well placed to guard against warmer winters.

Five-bedroom villa in Valtournenche. Click on the image to view the property.

As if this weren’t enough, the resort has undergone a lot of careful development, and you can now enjoy amenities including Europe’s highest shopping mall, at 3,100m. You can also try new experiences including a ski safari and heliskiing, and head over to the snowpark in Zermatt.

How does the buying process in Italy work?

If you’re looking at purchasing a ski home in Italy, generally your purchase will follow this process:

  1. Get a codice fiscale, or fiscal number, issued by the Agenzia delle Entrate (Revenue Agent) – you’ll need this to open an Italian bank account.
  2. You guessed it: the next step is to open an Italian bank account. You may be able to skip this stage, depending on whether the notary requires a draft from a bank based in the country or not.
  3. Make a proposta d acquisto, or purchase proposal. This is a declaration that you intend to buy the home, and makes a commitment to purchase.
  4. When the seller accepts this, it will be converted into a contratto preliminare, or preliminary contract. Then, you are both committed to the sale and at the specified price. You’ll normally pay a reservation deposit at this point.
  5. The notary will draw up the contract and perform checks on the legality of the property and purchase.
  6. Finally, once this is done, you will sign the atto pubblico di compravendita, or the public deed of sale. With that, the transfer of title is complete and you receive the keys to your new ski home in Italy!

To find out more about the buying process in detail, including legalities, don’t miss your free Italy Buying Guide.

Transferring your funds over to Italy

Finally, you’ll need to transfer your money over to Italy. If you’re purchasing outside the eurozone, you’ll need to transfer from a different currency into euros. This means that you run the inherent risk of suddenly dropping exchange rates, which can cause the price of your house in your currency to change by thousands by the minute.

That said, with a little bit of planning, you can completely remove this risk by keeping the same exchange rate for up to a year. Find out how in the Property Buyer’s Guide to Currency.