When you tell someone you are skiing in Italy the immediate response is “have fun in the Alps!” Few people know of the skiing opportunities in Tuscany that are just around the corner from Florence.
A short two hour bus ride makes a day trip to Abetone much easier than a trip up North where you would have to find and pay for a place to sleep after a long day of travel.
2. The snow is great
If you are not from Colorado the skiing and snowboarding options back in the states are limiting. On the East Coast the mountains are small and the slopes are either iced over or made of fake snow. At Abetone I was impressed at the smooth cruise down the mountain as I was able to carve left and right without hearing the awful screech of ice beneath my skis.
3. Long exhilarating runs
If you are a skiing fanatic the runs at Abetone are very satisfying. Nothing is worse than taking a blue (intermediate) slope back in the states to “warm up” and finding yourself pushing your way down the mountain because it really should be a labeled a green. In Italy slopes are labeled red, blue, black (from easiest to hardest) as opposed to green, blue, black and are more accurately labeled in terms of difficulty and steepness. Do not worry, there is a slope for everyone, whether a beginner or an expert. Make sure to bring a map with you to the top of the mountain as trail markings are not very clear.
4. An authentic Italian experience
Since Abetone is not as well known as many of the ski resorts in the Alps it was one of the least touristy places I have been. Seldom am I mistaken for a local but Abetone was one of the few places where I was spoken to in Italian numerous times and met with surprise when I revealed I was American.
5. It is more than a ski trip
Whether you ski or snowboard (or neither) Abetone has something for everyone. You do not need to be skilled in one of these snow activities to enjoy the breathtaking view after a scenic gondola ride. At Abetone there are picnic tables and even a cafe to be found at the top of the mountain. There were skiers and non-skiers alike hanging out in the sun with a beer or a coffee. People even brought their dogs and infants up to enjoy the view!