Europe, Extreme Sports, Italy, Travel

Pila in Aosta Valley

Heading on a jam packed school coach at the age of 14 to Pila in Northern Italy, was not my way of usual travel. In fact, I had never (before this point) travelled for a long distance by bus anywhere. I had before flown everywhere, accustomed to the expat lifestyle in Bahrain and the glamorous family holidays I was taken on. Boy was I in for a real treat when years later would I realise, that my obsession with travel had chewed me up and spat me out, not caring how I got to a certain place, but as long I got there (my future backpacker self). Passing spectacular scenes of trickling brooks, vast green pastures and many, many sheep, we finally made it to the dramatic Alps that stood brooding and loomed over us from afar, their snow dusted tops glinting in the shimmering sun: we had made it.

Aosta Valley is not your typical destination for a skiing holiday, however my previous skiing holidays were in the more popular country of Switzerland, (known for its world class ski resorts) and so this trip definitely enticed me. France is the most popular skiing destination for many Brits because of its easy access to the country (especially how you can dump all you gear in the back of the car and drive yourself), however I am told because of the influx of tourists, the resorts themselves are quite pricey. Always being the one to try something new, I was interested to see the Alps from the Italian perspective, and the Italians way of life in a ski side town.

Aosta town is the closest town to the ski resort of Pila and it has every essence of being an authentic Italian mountain side village, with no opulent apres ski bars or wild clubs, it means that you can explore the ancient monuments, good shopping and traditional tasting Italian cuisine, without being swamped by a hefty price tag. It is a small quaint town, which only really gets busy at the weekends when fellow Italians from nearby cities such as Milan, come visit to ski because of its easy access to the ski slopes.

Pila’s snow records in the Alps is one of the best and with its superb snow making slopes that lead up to 2700m, it is one of the treasured snow destinations of Europe, that not many British people know about. The lofty thick alpine trees line numerous runs which make slopes challenging and entertaining. Pila is fantastic for intermediate skiers with 29 red runs, although caters to both advanced and beginners. With such a stunning horizon of marvellous mountains that shape your view; easy access to the French side of the Alps for variation and to catch a closer glimpse at Mount Blanc, as well as a fun snow park, Pila is an ideal spot for skiers who want to ski, with no other ulterior motives and with the delicious taste of creamy Italian pasta on their lips.