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Overview

Before the 2006 Olympics, only avid skiers and insiders knew about the Val di Susa, Val del Chisone and neighboring valleys west of Turin. Of the six locations chosen for the Olympic events, only Sestriere was a well-known name, thanks to FIAT’s Giovanni Agnelli, who built four cable cars, ski facilities and two hotels here in 1930, making it one of the first ski resorts. It still draws a well-heeled clientele, and offers bobsledding, heli-sking and dogsledding along with world-class skiing. Bardonecchia snuggles up to the French border under massive mountains, the last train stop in Italy before the Frejus Tunnel to France. The mountains ...

Before the 2006 Olympics, only avid skiers and insiders knew about the Val di Susa, Val del Chisone and neighboring valleys west of Turin. Of the six locations chosen for the Olympic events, only Sestriere was a well-known name, thanks to FIAT’s Giovanni Agnelli, who built four cable cars, ski facilities and two hotels here in 1930, making it one of the first ski resorts. It still draws a well-heeled clientele, and offers bobsledding, heli-sking and dogsledding along with world-class skiing. Bardonecchia snuggles up to the French border under massive mountains, the last train stop in Italy before the Frejus Tunnel to France. The mountains of Colomion, La Selletta and Jefferau hosted Olympic snowboard, giant slalom and half-pipe competitions, but the slopes are known for their 10 beginner-friendly trails and 18 for intermediates, as well as Nordic trails, ice skating, ice climbing, snow-shoeing and snowmobiling.

Sauze d’Oulx’s three mountain peaks, Val del Chisone, Pregelato and the small mountain villages of Cesana Torinese complete the list of areas that skiers now flock to. The Via Lattea is a system of ski trails covering the upper Susa and Chisone valleys, zig-zagging the border between Italy and France with more than 250 miles of alpine and Nordic trails attached by cable cars, chair lifts and T-bars.

Barbara Rogers
About the Expert

Barbara Radcliffe Rogers has written or coauthored more than 30 guidebooks, including The Portugal Traveler, Drive Around Portugal, City Spots Munich, City Spots Helsinki, City Spots Stockholm, Eating New England, and the Maine section of Thomas Cook's Independent Traveller USA.

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Barbara Rogers for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Northwest Italy, surrounded on three sides by the Italian Alps and bordering France and Switzerland.
  • Language: Italian, Piedmontese
  • Currency: Euro
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    December through April is the ski season, later in the higher slopes.