Sightseeing in Turin
There’s plenty of scope for sightseeing when you visit Italian ski resorts from Turin. That’s particularly the case for enjoying the grand scenery, featuring some of the most dramatic mountain peaks in all of the Alps. Plus, this being Italy, there’s the chance to spot some amazing Roman ruins at local ski villages too! Here are the best ski resorts for sightseeing in the Alps.
Cervinia – Close to the border that northern Italy shares with Switzerland, Cervinia makes the most of its truly awe-inspiration location close to the Matterhorn. So set yourself on the slopes and admire its majestic triangular rocky peak. Standing 4,478m tall, it is one of the highest and most spectacular of all the mountains in the Alps, and was the last to be ascended.
Courmayeur – This classic ski resort lies just below the Italian side of Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in the Alps and indeed all of Europe, at 4,810m tall. It makes for a marvellous backdrop to your days spent enjoying the off-piste skiing.
Pila – Stay at the small, yet charming, ski resort of Pila and you’ll be close to the ancient Italian town of Aosta. In fact, you can get there in just 20 minutes by gondola. It’s well worth the journey, as Aosta has a rich history revealed at the ancient town walls of the Augusta Praetoria Salassorum. There are also several Roman towers, a colossal monumental arch and the remains of an old amphitheatre.
Activities in Turin
Turin serves as a top gateway to the very best ski resorts of the Italian Alps. Ranging all the way from Italy’s western and northern borders, you’ll find a fantastic selection of slopes here. Some resorts have a very international flavour too, thanks to the influence of Switzerland and France just over the border. Here’s a handy summary of just a few of the most popular ski resorts nearby:
Sauze d’Oulx – This great value ski resort connects you with 400km of piste that make up the Milky Way. Once famous for offering the most action-packed après-ski in the Alps, Sauze d’Oulx has since transformed into a family friendly resort. It boasts bargain food prices with an excellent lift system and easy transfers just one hour from Turin, thanks to renovations for the 2006 Winter Olympics.
Sestriere – In the Milky Way area just 20km from Sauze d’Oulx lies one of the Alps’ oldest purpose-built resorts. Despite dating back to 1934, Sestriere has been continually updated over the decades and now boasts modern chalets, lifts and one of the world’s largest snow making systems. All of these features placed it in good stead for hosting the Alpine skiing event at the 2006 Winter Olympics. You’ll also be easily connected to Claviere for more skiing options.
Champoluc – Part of the Monterosa ski district, Champoluc brings you to 180km of piste and a classic mountain village of wooden chalets and neat rows of firs. Off-piste terrain and spacious open, ski runs will make advanced skiers feel as if the entire resort is dedicated to them, while there’s a British ski school perfect for beginners too.
Family fun in Turin
Whether you’re looking for great beginners’ ski schools for little ones or a fun family day out, you’ll be able to find everything at the ski resorts close to Turin:
Cervinia – This ski resort near the northern border of Italy offers the best balance of beginner and intermediate runs ideal for families. The beginners’ slopes are well sheltered from the harshest weather conditions and there is a great ski school for all ages and abilities.
Sauze d’Oulx – This northwestern resort once had a reputation as a place for partying. However, its atmosphere has since changed greatly, adapting to appeal to families. For instance, there’s a Kindergarten for young children, while there’s a ski & snowboarding school that accepts welcomes students as young as four. The excellent value food and drink in the resort is another bonus for families.
Turin – As an additional option, Turin is so well connected with the surrounding ski resorts, you could choose to travel back into the city during your skiing break. Return and enjoy a great family day out at the Juventus Stadium. Built in 2011, it is the home of the Serie A Juventus Football Club, one of the world’s most successful clubs. Plan your trip and you may even be able to catch a game, while the J Museum is also open throughout the year.
The Olympic Stadium is another huge sporting centre that’s worth a visit. It was the host of the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2006 Winter Olympics, and is still the home of Torino, Turin’s second largest football club. Interestingly, it is also used as a venue for huge concerts from the world of pop and rock, including Coldplay, One Direction and U2.
Romantic breaks in Turin
Alongside the skiing and snowboarding, there’s still plenty of time for romance at the ski resorts that surround Turin:
Courmayeur – As well as offering stunningly romantic views of Mont Blanc nearby, Courmayeur can also claim to be the home of Europe’s highest botanical garden. The Giardino Botanico Alpino Saussurea features a range of hardy Alpine plants that survive throughout cold winters. Set on a ridge to the south of Mont Blanc, be sure to visit the garden on a clear day, as there’s often the chance it could be blanketed with snow over winter!
Sauze d’Oulx – The Sauze d’Oulx Old Town is the perfect place for a romantic stroll after a great day’s skiing. It is a beautiful combination of low-rise, cobbled stone houses and tiny piazzas. Plus there’s a range of charming bars and restaurants in the area too.
Madesimo – What could be more romantic than nighttime skiing with your partner? Madesimo is perfectly set up for such a charming activity, as main of its main runs are floodlit during the week. It makes for easier night skiing then by torchlight!
Additionally, the small, peaceful resort of Madesimo is also the ideal place to enjoy the relaxed après-ski atmosphere with your loved one. The village even boasts a Michelin Star restaurant that offers innovative dishes created with delicious locally sourced ingredients.
Top tips for Turin
Ski passes generally grant you access to the entire skiing area and not just for the resort you are staying in. As such, it’s well worth looking into how suitable the entire area is for you. The Milky Way is Italy’s famous network of 400km of piste and encompasses Sauze d’Oulx, Sestriere, Claviere, Montegenèvre and Sansicario. Meanwhile, the Monterosa area offers 180km of piste in a stunning setting close to the Monte Rosa mountain, enclosing the resorts of Champoluc, Gressoney and Alagna.
Turin’s connections with key skiing resorts were vastly improved thanks to the renovations of the 2006 Winter Olympics. It means that you can now look forward to shorter transfer times and generally a less bumpy ride due to the modern, smooth roads. Here’s a rough guide to approximate transfer times from Turin:
- Sauze d’Oulx – 1 hour
- Sansicario – 1 hour 10 minutes
- Claviere – 1 hour 20 minutes
- Montegenèvre – 1 hour 20 minutes
- Sestriere – 1 hour 20 minutes
- Gressoney – 1 hour 25 minutes
- Champoluc – 1 hour 30 minutes
- Cervinia – 1 hour 40 minutes
- Courmayeur – 1 hour 40 minutes
- Pila – 1 hour 50 minutes
- La Thuile – 2 hours
- Madesimo – 3 hours 30 minutes
- Yes - Si
- No - No
- Excuse me – Mi scusi
- Hello – Buon giorno
- Goodbye – Arrivederci
- Thank you – Grazie
- Please – Per favore
- Where is the nearest…? – Dov'e il…piu vicino?
- Do you speak English? – Parla inglese?
- How much is this? – Quant'e per favore?
- What time do you open/close? - A che ora apre/chiude?
- I would like… – Vorrei…
- Do you have…? – Avete…?
- Do you have a vacant room/double room? – Avete camere libere/una camera doppia?
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- Do you have a table for two? – Avete una tavola per due?
- I am a vegetarian – Sono vegetariano/a
- The bill please – Il conto, per favore