ALPINE ACTION IN THE AOSTA VALLEY
23rd January 2020
Last modified on February 9th, 2020
It is home to some of the most famous resorts in Italy. Cervinia, Courmayeur & Champolouc to name a few. PlanetSKI is based there from next month & here we look at some of this winter’s attractions.
It is the smallest region of Italy and is located in the Northwest of the country; Aosta Valley has some spectacular scenery with world-class skiing and snowboarding.
It is in the heart of the alps and bordered by France and Switzerland.
The Aosta Valley is surrounded by some of the highest peaks in Europe: Cervino, Monte Rosa, Gran Paradiso and the king of them all, Mont Blanc.
Or should we say Monte Bianco.
With Turin, Milan and Geneva airports all within easy reach, the Aosta Valley resorts are among the easiest to get to from the UK so is a good spot weekends and short breaks.
There’s food of the highest quality and a history stretching back to Roman times.
So, what’s new for this winter on its ski resorts?
The Cervinia Area:
Substantial investments continue to be made in the construction of a new snowmaking system which has seen important additions made in the areas of Valtournenche and Torgnon.
Monterosa Ski Area:
Offering parabolic curves, up & down, dips and a spiral tunnel, the new Bettaforca Fun Slope is now open.
The slope is suitable for adults and children and due to its central location in the Gressoney Valley; it is easily accessible to skiers from all nearby towns.
Courmayeur Area – Skiing in the face of Monte Bianco:
Enhancements have been carried out to the layout of two Piste dell’Arp ski runs, opened last winter, at 2,750m.
The two ski runs, made up of a stretch of piste of approximately 700m, provide access to a north-facing slope, overlooking the marvellous southern slope of Monte Bianco offering exceptional panoramic views.
Due to the altitude and exposure of the slope, a high quality snow coverage and snowfall is guaranteed both at the beginning and end of the season.
La Thuile Area:
It is set to welcome the Women Ski World Cup, which returns to the Aosta Valley, 29 February and 1 March 2020.
With the race taking place at ski run 3 – Franco Berthod, the slope offers dizzying walls, alternating with flat stretches and huge curves, a tough and challenging slope for the queens of speed.
The Pila Area:
A new exciting fun slope has been created during the summer months boosting the offerings from this ski area.
The new ski run, made alongside the connecting run between no. 12 and no. 13, is characterised by bends, parabolic curves and jumps, easy to navigate and for the enjoyment of young and old.
There is much more to this part of the Alps than just the skiing and snowboarding.
January is not only peak snow sports season in the Aosta Valley it’s a time when locals and visitors alike gather to celebrate and enjoy the region’s strong traditions and party at the various fair days and carnivals.
Fair days offer a great chance for visitors to appreciate the various crafts which still thrive in the Aosta Valley such as wood carving and weaving.
On January 30−31 artists and artisans will descend on the town of Aosta as it hosts its own Fair of Sant’Orso celebrations and the streets throng with music and revelry.
If visitors are lucky they may gain access to the secret private cellars, or ‘crotte’, which open their doors to offer revellers a glass of wine and some typical local dishes.
Some of the more popular local carnivals include the Carnival of Verrés; the Pont-Saint-Martin Carnival; and the so-called Coumba Freida Carnival.
The latter owes its name to its taking place in the chilly confines of the Gran San Bernardo Valley.
It is closely linked to the historic passage of Napoleon through the valley’s pass in 1800, during his army’s Italian campaign.
A point reflected in the costumes of the revellers who are welcomed by families who give them food and wine as they parade along the streets.
Upcoming gastronomic events include the Mountain Gourmet Ski Experience being held in Courmayeur, from March 12 to 15.
This year’s proceedings will bring together a number of big name British chefs, along with other international guests, to discover − and experiment with − the local produce.
The fruits of their labours will form the backbone of a programme of tasty events including dinners and cooking demonstrations.
Last but not least, who could forget the various sporting events showcasing the region’s scenic landscapes and enviable slopes.
Highpoints include the MarciaGranParadiso, taking place from January 31 to February 2, featuring events such as the 45km Classic and the 25km Skating, with a special event, the Minimarcia, reserved for children.
Cross-country skiing fans won’t want to miss the Masters World Championship 2020 taking place in Sant’Orso in Cogne from March 5 – 14, featuring almost a thousand athletes.
See here for more information on the Aosta Valley .