“A high-altitude resort with excellent snowmaking.” Crystal Ski
Located in Piedmont, North West Italy Sestrière is part of the Via Lattea (Milky Way), a popular high-altitude winter sports destination that straddles the Italian and French Alps skiing areas.
Not the prettiest of villages, you may even say it’s a bit of an eyesore, Sestrière was the first purpose-built ski resort in the Italian Alps constructed in the 1930s by the founder of Fiat, Giovanni Agnelli. Look past the ugly circular towers and purpose built Olympic Village, constructed for the 2006 Winter Olympic games and you have over 140 skiable pistes and even a floodlit run for night skiing. The Milky Way terrain is vast, comprising of the five Italian resorts of Claviere, Sansicario, Sauze d’Oulx, Pragelato and the highest, Sestrière at 2035m along with the French resort of Montgenèvre (your lift pass permits you to head over the French-Italian border for one day during your holiday).
Various alpine style hotels are tucked away around the village with plenty of cute cafes and bars some with live music and activities (Sestrière’s Got Talent and Quiz Nights to name a couple) for those apres junkies. It’s also home to Tabata nightclub that pumps out music until the wee small hours. There’s a good range of high-end shops with ski gear, souvenirs and a couple of small supermarkets.
The best thing about skiing in Italy, apart from the amazing amount of snow this year, is the on and off piste reasonable food and drink prices. No overpriced options even in the most remote mountain establishments, unlike we have encountered in most French resorts.
Overall Sestrière is a great ski location for all the family that suits all levels of skiers and boarders. Whether you like to saunter down a blue run and relax in a deckchair with a hot chocolate in the sun, bomb down a tree-lined black run or venture off piste, you will certainly be entertained. The lifts are fast and reliable, watch out for the piste markings though as they are not always clear and the map needs some extra studying so you end up on your preferred slope.
A busy ski school is located on the nursery slopes and there are plenty of instructors from various companies available to teach even the youngest of children the art of skiing and snowboarding. There’s a terrain park for those who like to practice their jumps and tricks.
Sestrière is the ideal location to explore all the terrain of the Milky Way and has excellent snowmaking capabilities should there not be any snowfall. Here’s a first look at our trip in pictures 🙂
Unless otherwise stated, all views and photos on this page © Jo Brett 2018. All rights reserved. Additional photos are used courtesy of Dave Brett, Steve and Sue Rowell and Andy and Ali Knott. Thank you all for contributing.
We travelled to Italy from Gatwick with Crystal Ski