If you’re planning a trip to Italy in the winter months, you might tour the southern regions of the country as many do, or you might plan a truly adventuresome trip to northern Italy instead. Val d’Aosta is considered by many to be off the beaten track, but for thousands of years it was a main thoroughfare from Northern Europe to the South. In fact, Hannibal marched his elephants through Val d’Aosta and Napoleon brought his troops through as well.
With two modern tunnels allowing access, however, the steep heights of the mountain pass are no longer heavily traveled, but that makes the location ideal for those seeking some of the best skiing in all of Europe. The region is also home to over one hundred castles, secluded hiking trails and astonishing views should you prefer to visit during warmer months.
Skiing in Valle d’Aosta
Sheltered by the taller peaks of Mont Blanc, Monte Rosa and the Matterhorn, among many others, Valle d’Aosta enjoys a milder climate than ski resorts on the other side of the Alps. February is commonly considered the best month for skiing in the Italian Alps, but snow is on the ground throughout the late fall, winter and early spring, so a trip in ideal ski conditions is arranged easily enough.
Resorts in Valle d’Aosta
When you visit the region, most tourists intent on a ski holiday stay in one of three more popular resorts:
Courmayeur gives you the option to ski year-round as it is located by the Gigante glacier. The most desirable aspect of Courmayeur is not the glacier, however, it is the southern face of Mont Blanc. This is just one of the twelve peaks more than 13,000 feet high. Top European society comes to the resort to ski and those who are especially adventurous might hire a guide to cross the Alps on skis and visit Chamonix in France.
Cervinia is universally well liked with abundant snow and abundant night life. While skiing in Cervinia, you’re as likely to ride the lift with a retired millionaire as you are an young impoverished backpacker enjoying the winter sports.
Champoluc is not glamorous and does not boast wild nightlife. Instead, it stakes it fame on over 120 miles of trails including an eighteen mile cross country run. Most visitors to Champoluc ski all day, eat a delicious dinner and then enjoy the quiet and solitude of the charming town in the evenings.