Trish Cooper from United Kingdom writes:
The main downhill ski area at Camigliatello Silano is great for a day or a weekend - particularly for intermediate skiers and snowboarders and mixed groups/families.
We drove up from the coast near Lamezia Terme airport in an hour and half (and it'll be a lot quicker if the Autostrada's 40km stretch of roadworks ever gets finished), parked easily and hired boots, skis, and snowboard - 55 euros all in for two adults and a teenager per day. The ski pass was 20 euros for the day or 14 for a half day (Feb 09 during the UK half term holiday).
We skied two good days - a Tuesday in a whiteout, when we virtually had the place and the fresh powder to ourselves but could barely see a thing and a sunny, warm Friday that was much busier but we still didn't have to queue for the lift.
There's just one lift - a small cable car (8 seats per bubble) that takes you to the top of the two longish pistes, a mountain bar/restaurant that's fine and surprisingly cheap and offers beautiful far-reaching views across the Sila national park.
At the bottom of the runs at Camigliatello Silano there's a wide main bowl where everyone and the two pistes/lift meet. There are a few shops there including the ski hire place, a huge bar that does snacks and two ski schools. We didn't bother with the main town 5-10 mins drive away, but it has hotels and more places to eat and, I think, a cross-country skiing piste.
The red and blue runs cross a couple of times so you can mix and match your routes. Either would keep an intermediate skier going for 20 mins or so without stops; if there are a few of you and you stop en route to catch up and chat, you could easily spend a pleasant 45 mins doing the round trip up the lift and down the slope. The blue is wide enough to keep everyone happy, winding down through the trees with varying gradients but never deteriorating into one of those icy paths where beginners can't turn and good skiers get stuck in traffic.
The red, also wide, has one steep bit near the top, then a few nice ridges and a longish steep finish that's used for races and slalom. There are sledging areas at the bottom and top (behind the lift's top station, with terrific views).
I wouldn't go to Camigliatello Silano for a week's skiing trip but if you're local or working/holidaying in Calabria, it's well worth the drive up the mountain. Cosenza's old town looks an interesting place, and the drive from the city through the Sila, that you can do by bus, is lovely, and on a good road all the way.
To sum up, Camigliatello Silano is great value for low key traditional skiing for a couple of days. We loved it.
Caveats: a solo expert would get bored pretty quickly, there are no special attractions for snowboarders, and a complete beginner would find the top of both runs a bit scary and might find the alternative - walking up the slope of the bowl at the bottom to ski down - too tiring. There's no drag or magic carpet lift for novices. Non skiers can get the lift to the top but will need walking or snow boots to reach the restaurant that's at least 10 mins steepish walk below the lift station. Lastly, if you need to hire skis and boots, remember to take your passport or driving licence as ID.