Italy has been announced as the host for the 2026 Olympic Games, and the spotlight is back again on some of the country’s top resorts. Italy is an old hand at hosting, with the 2006 Winter Olympics being held in Turin and the 1956 ones held in Cortina d’Ampezzo, one of the spots where it will return to in seven years’ time.
Which Italian resorts will host the Games?
As the International Olympic Committee’s President, Thomas Bach, said, ‘The Olympic Winter Games Milan-Cortina 2026 will feature iconic venues and beautiful settings, combining the attractions of a modern European metropolis with a classic Alpine environment.’ Many of the ceremonies and some of the events, such as figure-skating and ice hockey, will take place in Milan itself. The skiing and snowboarding will be based around the same area and towards the east, in Lombardy, Trentino-Alto-Adife and Veneto. The main resorts are the following:
Bormio will host men’s alpine skiing, in the heart of the Stelvio National Park. It’s well known for its excellent facilities and extensive slopes, having previously hosted several World Ski Championships.
It has eleven operational ski lifts, including a circling gondola, five chair lifts and four T-bar lifts. Its 2km-long Betulle run is perfect for a challenge, while intermediate skiers can enjoy 34km of slopes and beginners can try out the 14km of easy runs. The 400 snow cannons help to guarantee strong snow cover.
Cortina d’Ampezzo will once again welcome the Olympics Games – after a more-than-sixty-year hiatus – with much of the women’s alpine skiing taking place here. It might have been a while since the Olympics were last here, but Cortina is no stranger to top-class events, having hosted the Ski World Cup in January 2019.
The renowned Olympia delle Tofane slope, running from 2,320m to 1,560m, will host the downhill events, while the resort of the resort will also see bobsleigh, skeleton, curling and luge. In total, the resort has 20km of black runs to test advanced skiers, 55km of intermediate red runs and 45km of blue runs.
Livigno, a high-altitude resort that is perhaps less well known than the other two key locations, will host freestyle events and snowboarding. It’ll also be host to the Olympic Village – a testimony to its excellent facilities. Luca Morretti, CEO of APT Livigno, said after the announcement that ‘…Livigno is undoubtedly the queen of high-altitude sports in the Italian Alps. Many Italian champions were born here, the national freestyle movement developed here and every year we welcome hundreds of internationally famous athletes. In a sense, we can say that for many athletes the road to Milan-Cortina 2026 starts and ends in Livigno, where they’ve already been training regularly and where they’ll also complete preparation for Beijing 2022.’
The Mottolino slope will host events from ski halfpipe to big air snowboarding, Carosello 3000 will host moguls and aerials and the Tagliede slope will see the ski and snowboard cross events. In total, Livigno has 115km of slopes, of which 20km are difficult, 65km intermediate and 30km easy. The Alta Valtellina pass covers both Livigno and Bormio.
What does this mean for ski property buyers?
Worldwide attention among winter sport enthusiasts will be back on Italy, and anyone with an investment property that they let out will likely see a strong surge in demand. Whether it will impact property prices in the long run, like the Summer Olympics often do, remains to be seen. The previous Winter Olympic games have not seen much of a change. However, this could well be a good thing: buyers could have the chance to purchase in resorts whose infrastructure has undergone a significant upgrade, without paying a premium. Cortina d’Ampezzo, for instance, is already working on a technical resort, with the aim of being ready for both the 2021 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships and the 2026 Winter Olympics.
If you are considering purchasing a ski home in one of these resorts, then don’t miss your free Italy buying guide. It gives you a detailed overview of how to buy in Italy, including the purchase process, the financial aspects to consider, what the legal rules are and what you can do about inheritance.