Italian skiing was born in Sauze d’Oulx. Here in 1897 Adolf Kind, a Swiss engineer, made his first appearance on skis and then taught locals how to organise the first competitions. Sauze d’Oulx – which once hosted the Olympic Winter Games - is a village with a delightful little centre of traditional stone and wood built buildings. The area of Sauze d’Oulx is also famous because of its eco-system: close to it, in the Gran Bosco (Great Forest), live 21 species of mammals, including deer, roe-bucks, chamois and wolves, more than 70 species of nesting birds and 600 types of flora. Via Lattea consists of five Piedmontese resorts: Sestriere, Sauze d’Oulx, Sansicario, Cesana, Claviere, and Montgenevre in France. It offers 203 skiing-connected runs (52 blue, 111 red and 40 black), for a total linear extent of 400 km. There are 78 lifts that range from an altitude of 1,350m in Cesana to 2,800m at Mount Motta, a peak that gives a magnificent view of the surrounding mountains, allowing skiers to appreciate the vastness and beauty of the area. There are also two snowparks, one in Sauze d’Oulx and one in Séstriere. You have the possibility to purchase a one day ticket, a multi-day pass (e.g. a 2-day card) or a weekly card, according to your needs. Don´t worry about the equipment because in Sauze d’Oulx there are many ski rental shops where you can get anything you need! Downhill skiing, snowboarding and cross-country are the main disciplines taught in all the ski schools of Via Lattea, but there are also instructors who specialise in telemark skiing. Moreover, some instructors are experts in teaching children and the disabled. Here are two schools in Sauze d’Oulx: Sauze Sportinia www.scuolascisauzesportinia.com +39 0122 850218 Sauze Project www.sauzedoulxproject.it +39 0122 850654
Set in the Aosta Valley with spectacular views of Monte Bianco, the traditional alpine village of Courmayeur is one of the most picturesque Italian ski resorts. The range of skiing options makes it suitable for all abilities, be it the gentle beginner’s slopes of the Checrouit-Val Veny or the more demanding upper reaches of Monte Bianco which are more suited to experienced skiers. Other activities to be found around the town include snowshoe walking excursions, indoor climbing, ice skating and a cinema, whilst for those who like their entertainment to be a little more cerebral, there is the nearby ancient town of Aosta and a myriad of medieval castles to explore. After a hard day on the piste head to the atmospheric cobbled alleyways in and around Via Roma and sample the delights of Courmayeur’s restaurants, renowned as the best of any Italian resort. Slope Life: Standing in the shadow of the Monte Bianco-Mount Blanc massif, the beautiful alpine resort of Courmayeur offers 100km of pistes and caters for all levels and abilities. The main hub of the mountain is the Plan Checrouit, but most skiers will use this as a starting point to access more challenging runs on the mountain as can be found at Mount Chetif, Col Cherout and Cresta Youla. At the top of the range there is Cresta d Arp, strictly for high level skiers, offering the chance to experience some good off piste guided skiing. Ski passes are available from 1 to 14 days. All passes valid for 6 to 10 consecutive days may be used for 2 days in one of the other ski resorts of the Aosta Valley, which include the resorts of La Thuile, La Rosière, and Champoluc-Gressoney-Alagna and also include access to Chamonix (lifts on the French side not included, though). Scuola Sci Monte Bianco +39 0165 842477 www.scuolascimontebianco.com Interski +39 0165 304711 www.interski.co.uk If you want to kit yourself out with some go faster skis or if you´re looking to keep up with the Courmayeur fashionistas, then there are a number of outlets which can provide what you’re looking for! 4810 Sport 106 Via Roma +39 0165 844345 www.grivel-courmayeur.it Alpineve Loc Plan Checrouit +39 0165 846357 www.alpineve.it
Tucked amongst the mountains, the high altitude resort of Sestriere is a safe bet for guaranteed snow cover. Purpose built in the 1930’s, Sestriere is the capital of the Via Lattea or as it is known to ski aficionados – The Milky Way – a series of lifts that link a number of villages and offers a combined ski area of 400 km covering 140 slopes. The skiing caters for all levels of ability from beginner’s slopes to the technically challenging trails that were used for the alpine events during the 2005/2006 Winter Olympics. Asides from the skiing there are other winter activities designed to challenge and thrill, such as heli-skiing, ski-doo trails, winter hikes and ice skating. The resort has a wide selection of restaurants and entertainment venues that will cater for all your Après-ski requirements, whilst in the surrounding area there are many fine medieval castles and churches if you’re looking to sample a taste of the local history and culture. Slope Life: Host of the 2005/2006 Winter Olympic Alpine events and capital of the Milky Way, Sestriere is the star around which all the other resorts in the region gravitate. The Milky Way or the Via Lattea comprises the villages/resorts of Sestriere, Sauze d’Oulx, Sansicario, Cesana-Claviere and Mont Genevre (in France), which offer up to 400 km of pistes and are interlinked by a series of lifts. Throughout the area there are runs to suit all levels. However, Sestriere which stands at 2,035 m has the best access and offers the highest (2,823 m) and most challenging pistes in the area with Monte Sises providing more expert black runs. Advanced skiers can also find plenty of challenging off piste action in and around the region. The Monte Motta/Banchetta Mountains are more suitable for the intermediate skier, whilst beginners will be able to frolic on the slopes just above the resort. The resort is serviced by 20 lifts and in order to access the rest of the Milky Way, take the Col Basset gondola to Sauze d’Olux. Ski passes range from 1 to 15 days. The Via Lattea 1 day pass includes access to the resorts of Sestriere, Sauze d’oulx, Sansicario, Cesana, Claviere. International passes are also available. Sestriere also has a selection of high quality ski schools for those taking their first tentative steps on the snow: Scuola Sci Sestriere +39 0122 77060 www.scuolascisestriere.com Scuola Sci Borgata +39 0122 77497 www.scuolasciborgata.com Scuola Sci Vialattea Sestriere +39 0122 76528 www.scuolascivialattea.it And for all your equipment needs, the following supplier will be happy to oblige: Centro Sci Sestriere 2 Via Pinerolo +43 720 990 293 www.rentasport.it
Even if you’re not interested in throwing yourself down a mountain at high speed, be sure to get up close and personal with one of Europe’s highest mountains. Enjoy the exhilarating journey by cable car, admire the views, see the earth disappear amongst the clouds and breathe in that crisp mountain air.
Fenestrelle is a small village with mammoth fortifications that were built to repel French attacks. From the village a series of 4,000 steps leads up to the 18th century fort of San Carlo. This amazing feat of engineering and human ingenuity is rumoured to be the largest stone fortification other than the Great Wall of China.
This is definitely not a ride in the park... The owner has competed in some of the toughest mountain bike races and has cycled some of the most inaccessible trails on earth, so be prepared to live an unforgettable experience! Here, in fact, you can try off-piste cycling at its best.
This is a beautiful military fortress in the Susa Valley which has witnessed sieges, defeats and victories over almost 900 years. Its structure is an excellent example of the Savoy and French fortification culture with its ramp, its Royal portal, cavalry courtyards and galleries. A legend says that the mysterious “Iron Mask” was incarcerated here.
For passionate skiers there is a vast choice of excursions in the upper and lower Susa Valley, Pellice and Chisone Valleys, upper Sangone Valley, on piste and off the beaten track. People here say that the exhaustion after a hard climb is almost a mystical experience and descending is highly satisfying. Guides can be booked.
With its spectacular nature and small cosy villages, this valley catch its visitors hearts. The water running through Valle Argentera, splits it into two almost perfect pieces and the surroundings are just made for trekking. While you are here, take the opportunity to buy some tasty cheese or meat from a farm gate!
Parco Avventura Chaberton is an adventure park for both children and adults. Right in the pine forest, all visitors can try their climbing talents or raise the adrenaline on the swing or the slides. For the guests who want to stay on the ground instead, there is a mini golf course or sun beds, if the weather allows!
This piste restaurant comes highly recommended among those you´ll find on the slopes. The menu here offers delicious pizza, sandwiches with rich fillings, various kinds of salads and pastas such as the carbonara with fried eggs. Not to be missed is the polenta with sausages or wild boar meat!
On the descent down into the Val Veny, be sure to stop at this lovely restaurant for some home cooked specialities such as their fondue or one of their hearty pasta dishes. Let the stunning view of the glacier Brenva on the Mont Blanc massif compete with the mouth-watering dishes in catching all your attention and satisfaction!
Cadran Solaire is set in an atmospheric 16th century building with vaulted ceilings and stone fireplace. The food lives up to the surroundings with delicacies such as warm goat cheese blended with a salad, noodles with seasonal vegetables, baked cheese-and-spinach casserole and duck breast with plums. Be sure to leave room for a slice of their chocolate and pear cake!
This is a wonderful restaurant serving a number of local specialities together with delicious pizzas. Some of the dishes you find on the menu are locally produced such as cold cuts, Polenta with venison, snails, mountain mushrooms and the delectable Aosta Valley pancakes with ham and Fontina cheese!
Located at 2 600 m above sea level, it´s the only hotel and restaurant at this height in the Western Italian Alps. It serves a range of warm and welcoming meals that will immediately refuel the batteries for the descent! Get here via the New Cloud or the Banchetta chairlift.
This is an elegant and cosy restaurant in Sestriere where the design is modern and the food reflects the interior with imaginative influences... At this popular venue you won´t be disappointed regardless what your desires are, because you can enjoy everything from a delicious breakfast with mouth-watering croissants to a luxurious five course dinner!
Close to the church in Sauze d'Oulx, L'Ortiche serves exquisite regional dishes, cooked to perfection. The chef uses locally produced ingredients and the menu changes on regularly basis, so you´ll never get bored of it. The Black Angus steak, in particular, is to die for, according to previous guests!
This venue was once a stable, but in the 80's it was renovated in to a lovely and rustic restaurant where regional specialities are served with a wide selection of wines, in a cosy ambience. This place is particularly popular, so it is recommended to make a reservation in advance!
To experience a genuine Italian homemade meal you should head to this restaurant, located in Champlas Janvier, just 20 minutes by car from Sestriere. In a building that looks like a family residence, guests can tease their taste buds with extraordinary meat dishes and locally produced cold cuts or cheese.
Chateau Branlant is a very popular mountain restaurant located above Plan Checroit in Courmayeur. Come here to warm yourself in front of the open fire and eat a savoury portion of home made pasta or something else from the well recommended Italian menu. Due to its delicious food and efficient staff it is often crowded so to be sure to have a seat book in advance.
Take a seat at the terrace of Ristorante Ciao Pais on a sunny day and enjoy their tasty homemade Italian food or just an afternoon hot chocolate with a slice of freshly made cake! Founded in 1930, the restaurant is located just next to the slope, but is pretty easy to reach also from the town.
This is a traditional place where you´ll be served a tea or a cappuccino and typical regional patisserie such as cakes, little pastries and various kinds of chocolate. It’s a classic meeting point for regular visitors and residents, not only because of the deliciously baked sweet delicacies, but also because of the excellent service.
This is a self-service cafe whose most remarkable quality is its location that makes it the perfect place to stop by for a coffee and a snack while getting on the top of the mountain. SkyWay Cafe is intelligently surrounded by glass walls so that you will have the chance to enjoy your hot drink admiring the awe-inspiring view!
Are you looking for an authentic, strong and black Italian coffee? Then, you need to pay a visit to Peperino Dolce, one of the most popular café among both visitors and locals, in the lovely town of Sauze d'Oulx. If you're not a coffee-lover, you'll still notice numerous other options, such as mouth-watering hot chocolates and herbal teas!
Pasticceria Valsesia is cosy bakery that will charm you with the warm atmosphere and the deliciousness of the sweet creations you'll find yourself admiring. At this bakery you will definitely feel like home, especially because of the owner who's always ready to have a good chat!
Miravallino was the first bar in the village and is still one of the most important meeting points in the centre of the town. It’s well known because of its exquisite appetizers, its crêpes and the incredibly lively and friendly atmosphere! Moreover, this historical venue has been enriched by the introduction of its own disco where you´ll shake your body to dance music until you can!
Right in the heart of Courmayeur you will come across a peculiar bar with wooden interiors where you will be welcomed by a talkative staff that will show you the menu, giving advices about the countless wines and beers they have. Don't miss their rich aperitif with slices of pizza, onion "focaccia", vegetable pies and much more!
Spacious venue characterised by stone walls and red decorations such as comfortable cushions and elegant curtains. The atmosphere here is a bit ethnic and definitely intimate, consequently Tabata is the perfect spot to grab a glass of wine and relax; but this is also a proper disco, so get ready to dance your feet off on the weekends.
If you still feel full of energies and don't to spend the whole night at a nearby bar, grabbing a beer, then head to La Thuile, approximately 25 minutes by car from Courmayeur, and check Il Mulino. This club has a particularly vibrant atmosphere and music to dance to all night long!
Authentic Irish pub in Sauze d´Oulx: this means that here you will find cheap and refreshing beers, tasty food at affordable prices compared to other spots in town and an extremely lively atmosphere. Paddy McGinty´s is visited by both residents and tourists, so you will definitely have the chance to meet lots of interesting people!
To get to the major ski resorts from The Caselle-Turin Airport the easiest way is to book a private transfer or to hire a car. There is a wide selection of rental car companies at the airport. If you rather go by public transportation you have to be prepared to go via Turin. Sauze d'Oulx The Caselle-Turin Airport is around 1 hour by car from Sauze d’Oulx. From the airport there are different ways to go to the village but the easiest, when carrying a lot of luggage, is the private transfer. A one way transfer from Turin airport for 4 people will cost around €35 per person. If you´d rather go by public transfer there is a bus from the airport to the main train station of Turin (Porta Nuova). Tickets for the bus are bought from a machine in the arrivals hall and cost around €5.00. The train from Turin goes to Oulx (ticket price €15.00) and from there a bus leaves to Sauze d’Oulx (ticket price €5.00). www.trenitalia.it Courmayeur Turin Airport lies 117km from Courmayeur and the journey takes about 1 hour and 40 minutes by car. To get here with public transportation you need to go firstly to Turin Central Station and from there get on the train to Aosta, which takes 2hr 30 minutes. From Aosta a bus will take you to Courmayeur in 1 hour. www.trenitalia.it Sestriere Turin airport lies 104km from Sestriere and train and bus routes to the village are operated by Trenitalia. Transport from Turin airport to Turin Central station runs every half hour and takes 20 minutes. From Turin take the train to Oulx, which takes a maximum of 1hr 21 minutes, and from there a bus to Sestriere, which takes 45 minutes. www.trenitalia.it
If you stay close to the centre of the three different villages, you can get to the chair lifts on foot. If you stay just outside of the town centre, there is a Skibus. Furthermore, Courmayeur and Sestriere has free or very cheap public transport, especially in the winter for skiers needing to go to or get back from the slopes from more distant areas of the town.
You can buy stamps at every "tabacchi" (tobacco shop) you´ll run across and you´ll recognise the mailboxes by their bright red colour! The main post office in Courmayeur: Address: Viale Monte Bianco, 5 Phone:+39 0165 840811 The main post office in Sestriere: Address: Via Monterotta, 7 Phone:+39 0122 77093 The main post office in Sauze d'Oulx: Address: Via Assietta, 35 Phone:+39 0122 858059