Mountain heartbreak: Italy has deep snow, closed ski resorts

CORTINA, Italy (AP) — Nature is playing a cruel joke on Italy’s ski areas with one of the most prolific snowfalls in years even as the COVID-19 pandemic silences the country’s winter resorts. The northern Italian town of Cortina d’Ampezzo will flash across TV sports channels for two weeks this month as the past and future Olympic host city holds the 2021 World Ski Championships. The spasm of activity will provide good optics ahead of the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Olympics. But with no spectators allowed and the Italian government delaying the opening of lifts to leisure skiers, local businesses and workers who live off the winter sports economy don’t expect much relief.