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Tuscany’s best spots for winter sports

From tubing to trekking, southern Tuscany offers a rich variety of winter adventures to rival those of the country’s flashy north

Tuscany’s best spots for winter sports
Snowshoeing in Tuscany. Image: Roberto Nencini

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Downhill skiing, Abetone

Tuscany’s ski resorts may be smaller than those in the glitzy north of Italy, but lift passes are considerably cheaper and most lie within easy access of cities. The main resort of Abetone is less than a 90-minute drive from Florence and, at an altitude of around 4,000f ,t to 6,400ft, it’s surprisingly snow sure. Offering pretty panoramas and tree-lined pistes, with open bowls as well as moguls, the 34 miles of groomed slopes are best
suited for beginners and intermediates. On a clear day, certain pistes provide tantalising glimpses of the sea, while others are lit up in the evening, making it a magical place to ski under the stars.

Snowboarding, Zum Zeri

This attractive little resort in Lunigiana is ideal for beginners, with a ski school and snow park offering plenty of opportunities to brush up your technique. More experienced snowboarders can try the black run Cinghiale (‘Wild Boar’).

Snow shoeing and trekking, Garfagnana

The best way to explore this wild alpine valley is on foot. Seasoned hikers can head to Careggine to snow shoe through the Apuan Alps Park and stay in a mountain hut. First-timers can hire a guide in Corfino. turismo.

Snow tubing and kiting, Doganaccia di Cutigliano

Near Abetone, this medieval town offers nine miles of pristine pistes. It’s set to get a lot bigger by 2020, when it completes a link with Corno alle Scale. Go now while it’s still a serene and peaceful resort, best suited for families, with bobsleighing and a snow tube slope served by a moving treadmill — now lit in the evenings. Older teens, meanwhile, can try snow kiting in Croce Arcana Pass.

Nordic skiing,Monte Amiata

Monte Amiata, southern Tuscany’s highest peak, is 50 miles from Siena. Its six-mile cross-country trail snakes can also be tackled in snowshoes. Aching muscles can be soothed at one of the area’s natural thermal springs, such as Bagni San Filippo.

Published in the Tuscany guide, distributed with the October issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)