Italian expressions used in skiing

In this lesson you’ll learn the most common and interesting Italian expressions used in skiing.

Let’s start!

Italian expressions for ski turns

Pennellare le curve

It means to corner perfectly. It comes from pennello, which means brush.

This expression is not limited to skiing alone as it’s used in any kind of racing sports where you have to turn.

Pennellare le curve
To corner perfectly
Literally: to brush the curves

Ho appena iniziato a sciare e devo ancora imparare a pennellare le curve.
I’ve just started skiing and still have to learn how to corner perfectly.


It translates to to edge. The verb is derived from spigolo, meaning corner.

To edge

Si spigola meglio se le lamine sono affilate.
You can edge better if the ski edges are sharp.

Italian expressions used in skiing - spigolare


It means to drift, such as when you’re sliding while your skis are facing the opposite direction.

It’s often used in any racing sports.

To drift

Adoro derapare durante le curve.
I love to drift during curves.

Slalom skiing

This is the type of skiing that involves skiing between gates. Speciale means special.

Slalom speciale
Slalom skiing

Inforcare un palo

In slalom skiing, this is when you cross a gate with one of your skis inside the gate. Inforcare translates to to fork.

Inforcare un palo
To cross a gate with one of your skis inside the gate

Nello slalom speciale rischi di essere squalificato se inforchi un palo.
In slalom skiing you can be disqualified if you go across a gate with one of your skis.

Italian expressions for ski slopes

Other Italian expressions used in skiing are…

Slope colors

Pista da sci
Ski slope

Depending on their difficulty, every slope in Italy is assigned a specific color.

Pista verde
Nursery or bunny slope
Literally: Green slope

Pista blu
Beginner slope
Literally: Blue slope

Pista rossa
Medium slope
Literally: Red slope

Pista nera
Advanced slope
Literally: Black slope

Solo gli sciatori esperti dovrebbero sciare sulle piste nere.
Only experienced skiers should ski on “black slopes”.

Le piste verdi sono adatte ai bambini perché non sono ripide.
Bunny slopes are suitable for kids because they are not steep.

Battere una pista

It means to prepare a slope for skiing. Battere means to beat.

Battere una pista
To prepare a slope for skiing

Riusciremo a battere la pista entro stamattina?
Will we manage to prepare the slope for skiing by this morning?

Uscire di pista

It means to go off-piste. Uscire translates to to get out.

Uscire di pista
To go off-piste

Fa’ molta attenzione a non uscire di pista. Segui il percorso.
Be very careful not to go off-piste. Follow the track.

Italian expressions for getting back to the top of the slope


It’s derived from scala, stair. It’s when you move up the slope with parallel skis, lifting one ski at a time.

Moving up with parallel skis

Sai come usare gli sci a scaletta per risalire un pendio?
Do you know how to move up a slope with parallel skis?

Spina di pesce

It literally translates to fishbone. It’s the technique you use when you move up a slope with diverging skis.

Spina di pesce
Moving up with diverging skis

Sai come usare gli sci a spina di pesce per risalire un pendio?
Do you know how to move up a slope with diverging skis?

Other Italian expressions used in skiing

There’s even more Italian expressions used in skiing!

Stazione sciistica 
Ski resort

Stagione sciistica 
Ski season

La stagione sciistica finisce di solito a inizio maggio.
Ski season usually lasts until the first days of May.

Discesa libera 

Cannoni sparaneve 
Snow cannons
Literally: Shooting-snow cannons

Istruttore di sci 
Ski instructor

Noleggio di sci
Skis rental

Quanto costa il noleggio degli sci per una settimana?
How much does skis rental cost for a week?

Campionato di sci 
Ski championship

Gatto delle nevi 
(Literally snow cat…!)


Le lamine degli sci 
The sci edges

Sci di fondo 
Cross-country skiing

Sci acrobatico 

Sci alpino
Downhill skiing

Bollettino neve
Snow report

Cosa prevede il bollettino neve per domani mattina?
What does the snow report predict for tomorrow morning?

Sciolina, sciolinare gli sci
Ski wax, ski waxing

Come si applica la sciolina sugli sci?
How do you wax skis?

Cancelletto di partenza
Starting gate

Il cancelletto di partenza è situato appena sotto alla cima del monte.
The starting gate is located just below the summit.

Impianto di risalita, funivia 
Ski lift


Sai andare sullo snowboard?
Can you do snowboarding?

Scarponi da sci
Ski boots

Italian expressions used in skiing - scarponi da sci

Sci paralleli
Parallel skis

Non è semplice imparare a curvare a sci paralleli.
It’s not simple to learn how to take parallel turns.

Powder skirt

Neve artificiale
Artificial snow

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