La Thuile is a lesser known Italian resort - but that doesn't mean it doesn't have its charms. Sitting in the south west of the Aosta Valley, it borders France, and you can jump on a lift over the border to the French resort La Rosière. The resort boasts great views of the giant Matterhorn, Monte Rosa and Mont Blanc peaks, and offers 150 km of slopes. Because it is not that well known outside Italy, during the week the slopes can be blissfully uncrowded. This is a great spot for beginners to take their first shaky turns. Learners have their own area at the bottom of the mountain with its own lifts, so they can practice away from the bustle of the more advanced skiers and boarders.
You can also get the lift up to some good beginner and intermediate runs up the top. Intermediates, like nearly everywhere, have the run of the mountain, with some great runs like the 11km piste number seven which departs from the top of Chaz Dura and descends through woods and past mountain huts to La Thuile. Experts have a descent amount of terrain over both La Thuile and La Rosière, but it is not super challenging, and many of the steeper runs are lower on the mountain.
As well as the cross-border link to La Rosière, you can also drive to nearby Courmayeur, or buy an Aosta Valley pass which covers many small to medium resorts and 1,200 km of skiable piste. The resort is a mix of modern and traditional - the quaint old hamlets still exist, and a modern slopeside complex was built in the 1980s. It caters mainly to the family market, so après-ski can be a little limited, but there are great restaurants with fantastic views and some good bars. Italy is a great ski destination if you want to ski and get a feel for a different country. La Thuile is perfect in this respect, as it remains very Italian in character. Many of the surrounding villages very much subscribe to the old way of Italian life. Another plus is that La Thuile can be pretty good value compared to other Italian resorts, so will suit families starting out and those wanting to come to Italy on a budget well.