Those shared on Instagram by Dario Corvi, mayor of Aprica - a town in the province of Sondrio, in the Orobie Alps - are very harsh words. Words of despair, anger, and bitterness, of a municipality that speaks on behalf of all the Italian ski resorts: << [...] I would like the next Prime Ministerial Decree not to state that "the ski lifts will remain closed", but that more correctly the Government assumed the responsibility of writing "ski resorts and their economy will remain closed" >>.
On the eve of the inauguration of the winter season - and despite the strict safety protocols adopted by all operators - the Italian government has decided to extend the closure of ski facilities announced with the Prime Ministerial Decree of last 24th October, and initially scheduled until November 24th.
There are over 400 cableway companies in Italy, with 1,500 lifts. Italy counts with approximately 3,200 km of slopes and 72% of them are equipped with programmed snowmaking which requires over 100 million euros. The mountain sector in the Alps offers work to over 120 thousand people (source: Anef - National Association of Cableway Operators). Skiing, as well as snowboarding, is one of the "safest" sports when examined from a COVID-19 point of view: individual, spaced out, outdoor, with nose and mouth often covered in scarves and ski masks.
Opinions of the governors of the various Italian regions are very conflicting in this regard, however, they all agree on one point: the decision to close the ski lifts for this season must be taken at a European level. Italy cannot afford to be the only country to close the slopes, because if France, Switzerland, Austria, and Germany keep them open, we already know where our tourists will converge.
In any case, the possibility of training remains for professional athletes.
Few alternatives remain for us snow lovers, in the hope of being able to at least organize excursions with a pair of good poles in hand and snowshoes on our feet, or go ski - touring, activities that do not involve the use of ski lifts.
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