Milan Cortina 2026 President and IOC member Giovanni Malagò is leading one of the working groups visiting seven cities and regions across northern Italy ©Getty Images

Milan Cortina 2026 President Giovanni Malagò and chief executive Vincenzo Novari are leading two working groups which have begun a tour of proposed Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games host cities and regions in northern Italy.

The visits are billed as offering an opportunity for the Organising Committee to hold discussions with authorities in the various territories.

Cortina d'Ampezzo, which is due to host Alpine skiing, sliding events and curling matches in its cluster of venues, is among the sites set to be visited by the Milan Cortina 2026 delegations.

Proposed Closing Ceremony host city Verona is also on the schedule, as are Anterselva, Bormio, Livigno, Sondrio and Trento.

Visits are set to be held over four days up until Thursday (May 12).

Malagò is also President of the Italian National Olympic Committee and a member of the International Olympic Committee.

The tour comes amid a warning from Luca Zaia, the President of the Veneto region which includes the municipality of Cortina d'Ampezzo, that work on improved links to Venice Marco Polo Airport for the Games could be under threat due to a projected rise in costs.

"The revision of public works prices is fundamental for the effective success of the Milan-Cortina 2026 works," Zaia said, as reported by Teknomers.

Cortina d'Ampezzo is among the villages due to be visited by the Milan Cortina 2026 delegation  ©Getty Images
Cortina d'Ampezzo is among the villages due to be visited by the Milan Cortina 2026 delegation ©Getty Images

"Even now, in many small municipalities, tenders for the construction of infrastructure and public works are abandoned.

"Without a reasonable and rapid price revision, the risk is that even the Olympic works will see a stop."

A two-track underground station has been planned at the airport to connect with regional and long-distance train lines.

Teknomers reported that an initial estimate of €475 million (£405 million/$500 million) had been set for the project, but Zaia claimed that costs had risen by "at least" €100 million (£85 million/$105 million).

The bid incorporating Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo staved off a challenge from Sweden's Stockholm and Åre in 2019 to be awarded hosting rights for the Games.

Concerns have been raised by some athletes over the distance between venues, with the 22,000 square kilometres covered set to make it the most geographically widespread Olympics in history.

The Milan Cortina 2026 Winter Olympics are scheduled to take place from February 6 to 22, with the Paralympic Games set to follow from March 6 to 15.

Cortina d'Ampezzo has held the Winter Olympics once before, in 1956, while Turin was the last Italian host in 2006.