Based on the Italian side of the Matterhorn, Cervinia is lift-linked to Zermatt, with 200km of its own runs. Because of its high altitude, it has a long season, great snow and is an absolute haven for intermediates. The slopes are superb for cruising and mileage skiing, while beginners will find masses of coverage. Advanced skiers will need to head over into Switzerland for extended challenges, although you'll have to pay extra to cross to Zermatt. Because of its position, the scenery is outstanding, but this can be marred by poor weather and high winds, which can often cause the higher lifts to be closed. If the weather holds, you can usually be guaranteed loads of sun as well as long tree-lined runs. The ski school is getting better but, as with many Italian resorts, childcare is rather limited.
On the downside, Cervinia is not the most attractive resort and is entirely purpose-built. It was founded in the 1930s by Mussolini and still doesn't cater very well for non-skiers. There are good restaurants on and off the mountain, but their prices are nearly as steep as the Matterhorn itself. Weekend crowds can put pressure on the old lift system, but also improve the quality of après-ski. Access from the accommodation to the lifts is inconvenient, requiring an uphill walk.
Overall, Cervinia is great for lower ability skiers and boarders and much cheaper than its Swiss neighbour. Experts, kids and party animals may not find Cervinia ideal, although the first group do have Zermatt nearby to keep them busy.