20th February 2022 | James Cove, Aosta, Italy.
It’s an historic Roman city with a ski lift direct to the resort of Pila. Then there’s the variety of fabulous resorts in the Aosta Valley on its doorstep. Verbier, Zermatt and Chamonix are within easy reach. No surprise that PlanetSKI has been based there this winter as Covid-19 restrictions ease. NEW
PlanetSKI was in Aosta for a 3-month stay back in 2020, but that came to an abrupt halt after 6-weeks in early March as the pandemic took hold.
We packed in a hurry and left as the borders closed, the ski resorts shut and the virus spread through northern Italy and then beyond.
Now we have been back to finish off what we started.
Our current 6-week stay is sadly almost up.
This week on PlanetSKI, as we prepare to leave, we are looking at each of its 5 main categories of attractions – we’ll be updating daily, so do keep an eye on our posts this week if you are interested to see why we rate it so highly.
- Skiing in the Aosta Valley
- Skiing Further Afield
- The City of Aosta
- Value for Money
- The Aosta Valley Itself
Skiing in the Aosta Valley
From the city of Aosta there is gondola that goes straight to the ski resort of Pila – perfect for a day or just to head up for a couple of hours.
The ride takes 18- minutes.
Pila’s slopes are north facing and varied, with views to Monte Bianco (Mont Blanc) and Mont Cervino (The Matterhorn).
There are a total of 28 ski areas in the Aosta Valley with 800km of runs.
There are 300km of cross-country trails, and countless ski touring routes.
Some areas have special snow-shoeing trails, and at the other end of the spectrum is heli-skiing.
Our go-to resort has been La Thuile which is about 40-minutes away from Aosta with its links to the French resort of La Rosiere.
The skiing is mainly north-facing with some steep black runs just above the resort and a plateau of reds and blues at the top, plus some decent tree skiing.
Slightly further up the valley toward the Mont Blanc tunnel is Courmayeur.
The skiing is not as extensive as La Thuile, but there are some superb slopes and fabulous mountain restaurants.
It is the perfect place to, er, work too.
That is what PlanetSKI is in the mountains to do after all.
There are some other fascinating small resorts to explore in the Aosta Valley including Crevacol, Torgnon and Cogne.
At the start of the valley are the linked resorts of the Monterosa area – Champoluc, Gressoney and Alagna.
Further into the valley are the resorts of Valtournenche and Cervinia that are also linked.
Cervinia needs no introduction, but Vatournenche is a real find.
We even had a PlanetSKI team meeting in the resort as I assembled the crew.
All the resorts mentioned are between 40-minutes and an hour or so from Aosta.
Cervinia has direct links to Zermatt over the border into Switzerland.
That brings us on to Aosta’s proximity to some of the greatest resorts and ski areas in this part of the Alps.
Another reason why the Aosta Valley is perhaps the perfect alpine base.
We will cover that in our update on Tuesday – Skiing Further Afield.