Livigno – Frequently Asked Questions
There is so much information on the web that we decided to add our bit in a logical and informative way – alphabetically:
Airport Transfers: If you are arriving at Milan Malpensa, please proceed to the Livigno Express just outside Terminal 1 – Exit 7 for the scheduled bus transfer. They will have your details on file and your seat will be reserved. Transfer times – please note that the transfer from Malpensa on a Saturday departs to Livigno at 12h00 & 16h00 sharp ! Your Travel Voucher has the necessary Ticket Number on it.
About Livigno: Livigno is part of the Italian Alps but is based on the boarder of Switzerland, so both countries have influenced local language and culture. Located 1816m above sea-level with the lifts reaching up to 3000m, the resort is referred to as Little Tibet as it is a snow-guaranteed area and interestingly enjoys a tax-free status which ensures it is extremely reasonably priced compared to other European resorts.
Après ski: This is the time after skiing when some of the pubs crank up their music and get very festive; skiers swap stories of the days trials and tribulations and have a cup of “Glühwein” or two or three or more …
Aqua Granda: Aquagranda is a fantastic indoor Wellness and Activity Centre and is divided into various zones where you can find fun for all the family and lots more, sliding in the Slide&Fun area, relaxation and wellness in Wellness&Relax, sports training in gym and pool in the Fitness&Pool area and all the experience of health professionals in Health&Beauty.
Banks: ATMs are available in the resort to withdraw money and credit cards are widely accepted. There are however some smaller shops that will only accept cash. NB – make sure you notify your bank that you are travelling internationally as they may block your credit card.
Buses: There are three different ski bus routes around the whole town (Red, Blue and Yellow). Although the actual buses are the same colour, the route colour is above the driver. Route maps can be found at each bus stop and on the back of piste maps. The local bus services in Livigno is free.
Bars: If you order a ‘coffee’ in Italy you will get a shot of ‘Espresso’. If you prefer a black coffee you need to ask for an Americano (you can also ask for milk to be added). If you prefer a very milky coffee you need to ask for Latte Macchiato (not latte as you will be served milk only). If you visit an après-ski bar please put your skis away in your locker first, as this is the time when skis can go missing. If your skis get taken on the slopes or outside a bar, they are not covered unless you take out ski insurance at the hire shop.
Clothing: Always dress in layers, which are easy to put on / take off and make sure you have a t-shirt underneath as indoor area are strongly overheated in winter, up to about 28 degrees in certain places. Also, skiing is a strenuous exercise, so removing a layer or two works well to cool down. You will need proper ski clothing to protect yourself when skiing which means ski jacket, ski pants made out of warm and weather proof material. You can purchase your ski outfit at various local stores, like Cape Union Mart, who stock an excellent range suitable to skiing.
For the ladies, moon boots are a recommended item – good waterproof cats or boots will do the trick as well. Get yourself a pair of moon boots while you are there – they are not expensive and perfect for tobogganing and walking and having fun in the snow! Accessories like proper ski gloves, thick socks, headband, scarf and a good pair of sun glasses are a must. If you find the prices too high here, be assured that you will find many great bargains and fantastic quality on location. A sun peak is also good if it’s snowing as it keeps the snow out of your eyes on the slopes.
Do not ski without glasses – the glare off the snow will make you “snow blind” and that’s not fun! So protect your eyes and wear a strong sun screen, even for those who frequent the beaches. The glare and intensity of the sun is different and you will burn! Also you need protection against the wind and cold, so use creams that help you to do that – that also counts for the guys – don’t use water based moisturizing creams as they will damage your skin in the freezing cold!! Don’t forget your swimsuits – there are heated indoor pools in almost every village should you not be staying in a hotel with a pool and it makes for a great break from the cold.
Children: Livigno is exceptionally safe and very child-friendly but common sense should prevail. If you are travelling with young children we suggest you put your name and your phone number in a pocket of their jacket. Please make sure they know it is there, in case they do get separated and need to contact you.
Carabinieri: These are the local police who are based in two stations in the town. Police are also on the slopes and do check on people skiing out of control or too fast.
Check-out: Normally before 09h30 in a chalet and 10h00 in a hotel – we recommend you settle any incidentals the night before you are due to check out. You should leave chalets and hotel rooms how you found them – tidy without any washing up to be done and all rubbish removed from the unit in plastic bags to the metal bins outside. All keys should be handed in at the reception or in the case of chalets, left in view on a table with the door shut but un-locked.
Deposit: If you are in a self-catering apartment, there will be a EUR 150 key and breakage deposit due when you get your keys. Please have that ready in cash. Ski Pass card deposit – this is EUR 5 per ski lift pass and is refundable on your departure at any of the cash points at the larger lifts.
Duty-free: Livigno is a duty-free/tax-free resort. You can purchase electronic goods/alcohol/shoes etc in the resort but remember that you are responsible for the travel limits and amounts you can import back into your home country.
Doctor: IF you have the need for a Doctor, it is advisable to ask for a “Government Doctor” as this is at a substantially cheaper than a private Doctor. Remember you will have to pay first and then, provided you have Medical Insurance, claim back on your return.
Helmets: It is recommended to hire or buy a ski helmet when you are in the resort, especially for kids! Skiing is an adventure sport and though rare, accidents do happen and helmets have become the norm. Some resorts insist on helmets for kids.
Layers: As a ski resort Livigno is obviously quite cold! Make sure you are well wrapped up and it’s better to be too warm than too cold. It is better to wear layers than one thick top as layers tend to keep you warmer and give you the option of removing items. Hats and gloves are a must both during the day and at night.
Medical: Livigno has an excellent medical service. There is the national hospital (Proto Soccorso) and there are two private medical facilities (International Medical Centre and Trauma Clinic). If you experience a problem on the slopes and have to be taken to a medical centre, it is normally one of the private medical centres in the village. A friend will have to fetch your passport and insurance details. The resort doctors are exceptionally experienced in dealing with ski related injuries. If you experience an accident on the slopes go to any lift office and they will send help. If you have a medical issue outside of the slopes the emergency number for an ambulance is 118, the emergency number for a doctor is +39 0342 996 300 and this is available 24 hours a day. See also the note on Doctor above.
Map : Have a look at the Google map created for SkiLivigno to orientate yourself before you leave and also while you are in the resort. Also, have a look at the map at the end of this document.
Passports: Accommodation owners in Livigno will either ask you to fill in a registration form or will take your passport for a day to sign you in with the local authorities or for the duration of your stay at some hotels/chalets. This is completely normal and your passport will be securely stored and at no risk. It will be returned to you prior to your departure. When you depart Livigno make sure you have your passport and flight tickets.
Pharmacy: There is a large pharmacy on Via Bondi next to the bar/restaurant 1816. They speak English and can direct you to a doctor if required or give you medicine for common ailments.
Restaurants: Livigno is packed full of restaurants from simple pizzerias to gourmet dining. Cafes are open for breakfast (coffee and brioche) from 08h00 onwards, for lunch between 12h00 and 14h00 and for supper from 19h00 (the kitchens generally close at 21h30 but you can continue to sit and eat after this time). Lunches will mostly be had on the slopes and these are slightly more expensive but well worthwhile.
Ski passes: When you receive your ski pass please take a clear photo of the front side with all the numbers. This will ensure it can be cancelled if lost and you can be issued another for only EUR 20.- rather than the full amount. Your ski pass is electronic and should be put into a pocket on the left-hand side of your jacket and not removed for the duration of your holiday. The ski lifts will automatically activate it.
Ski lifts: Open from 08h45 until 17h00 – times depend on season. If you are on a chair lift please remember to pull down the safety bar. Descend the mountain in plenty of time while the lifts are still in operation.
Ski hire: There are 2 ski hire shops; one is right next to our local rep office at Via dalla Chiesa, 610/a and the other is at Lift Nr20. On arrival, you will need to make your way to the hire shop where you will try on boots and skis. Once you have a pair that fit tight but snugly, you take these with you to store them at your accommodation. Your boots need to fit well so get into the habit of wearing a thick pair of socks with your boots ( or 2 pairs of socks ). The boots should not hurt your feet – please go back to the hire shop to change them if they do.
Please make sure all hired ski equipment is returned to the shop on the night prior to departure with plenty of time before your shop closes (unless you have a different arrangement). Any lost or stolen equipment will have to be replaced by you and the hire shop does offer insurance if you wish to take it out. In order to receive compensation from your insurance company you must report the theft/loss to the police and file a report.
Ski lessons: These are pre-booked and meet/start at the base of Lift 20 at the Ski School hut; typically the group ski lessons start on a Sunday for 5 days from 09h00 to 11h00 daily. After the morning’s lessons, the idea is to keep skiing and perfect what you have learnt for the rest of the day ( and when you are more confident, venture further into the mountains ). Please make sure you are there by 08h45 ready for your lessons.
Ski Lockers: So what do you do with the big bulky boots and skis at the end of a day – simple: 1. You can hire a locker at the ski hire shop at lift 20 OR 2. each establishment has a ski locker where you leave boots and skis etc. Do not walk through your establishment with ski boots, they tend to be very slippery on tiled or wooden floors and make a hellova noise. Also, the ski locker is normally heated so your boots can dry out overnight.
Ski Instructors Show: Every Tuesday evening at 20h30, the local ski school come together and provide the most magic ski show / demonstration which lasts about an hour. It is a DO NOT MISS event and is held at the base of lift 23 – come dressed warmly and watch some brilliant ski tricks.
Sun & sunglasses: The sun is harsh and even more so with the reflection off the white snow! Please use sunscreen and ski with either sun glasses or goggles. Please ensure your children understand to keep these on their eyes at all times otherwise the reflection of the sun on the snow into the eyes may cause snow-blindness and severe headaches.
Supermarkets: There are several large supermarkets in Livigno with an excellent array of stock as you would find at home. Alcohol is particularly cheap in Supermarkets due to the tax-free status of the resort.
Tips: It is normal in Italy to tip 10% in bars and restaurants if you are happy with the service. There will probably be a cover charge also included with your bill but this is normal in Italy and balances at a euro or more per person. It is not possible to order tap water in restaurants or bars – you have to order and pay for still or fizzy bottled water.
Taxis: This really is the easiest way to get around and also not expensive. There are many taxi operators and you can contact +39 0342 970 209 for a collection.
Transfers: See [Airport Transfers] above
Schengen Visa Applications
If relevant, you will need to apply for the Schengen Visa ( includes Italy ) at the Italian Consulate through Capago ( in Cape Town ) and VFSGlobal ( for other major centres in South Africa ). Make your appointment and check out requirements here : http://www.capago.eu/IT-ZA/index.php/en/apply/jurisdiction and also https://www.vfsglobal.com/Italy/Southafrica/ . Please remember that you must have Unabridged Birth Certificates for kids.
Water: You can drink water from the taps. Tap water is not available in restaurants though.
Wi-fi: Almost every single restaurant anywhere in Livigno has free WiFi – all you have to do is ask for the WiFi password. There is also a FREE_Livigno WiFi network but this doesn’t work everywhere in Livigno.