There is no better place to unwind and have fun than in the mountains of Piedmont. In the snow season the Western curve of the Alps is transformed into what has been dubbed the “White Galaxy”, an immense system of ski stations, offering skiers and snowboarders more than a thousand kilometres of runs, plus state of the art hospitality facilities.
Cross country skiers can plan excursions from valley to valley, thanks to the many trails creating links between them: one long interconnected system that will take you from the slopes of the Marittime Alps all the way to the slopes of the Lepontine Alps in the province of Verbano Cusio Ossola. In summer the uniform white mantle gives way to a coat of many colours, formed by a myriad of mountain plants filling the air with the scents and smells of their flowers and fruit, and attracting insects, birds and animals of all species.
Each valley is threaded with walking and climbing trails, at every level of difficulty. It is also possible to trek the entire length of the Alps in Piedmont: approximately 1,000 kilometres of paths and mule tracks, with fully equipped mountain refuges at the end of each stage, starting at Monviso and ending in the Val Formazza. The Alps provide a precious record of the culture of their inhabitants and relics of historical events and eras: like the massive Fort of Fenestrelle, extending along a ridge between Chisone and Susa valleys. Tourists can walk along the 3 kilometres of fortifications, which have earned the fortress the nickname of “Great Wall of China”.
A heritage including, in the most important European mountain system (the Alps), two National Parks: Gran Paradiso, created in 1922, and Val Grande, created in 1992. A remarkable network of regional Parks: from the Apennine to Lepontine Alps, from Capanne di Marcarolo to Alpe Devero. Points of excellence in the regional territory: not closed oases, but ideal places where experimenting and “exporting” a mountain sustainable development. The variety of environment, nature and landscape is really extraordinary. From Parco delle Alpi Marittime (Park of Maritime Alps), reign of granite, to Parco Alte Valli Pesio e Tanaro (Alte Valli Pesio e Tanaro Park), with a widespread calcareous system. From Parco Orsiera Rocciavré (Orsiera Rocciavré Park), oasis of wild nature not far from Torino, to the Sacred Mounts where nature blends with art, architecture and devotion.
MAIN MOUNTAIN PARKS
Sweep down the mountain off piste in fresh powder, while a fiery sunset colours the slopes red; then ski on after dark under the floodlights of the night skiing session. Every year thousands of tourists flock to Piedmont’s 53 ski resorts, to unwind and relax, or burn energy skiing or snowboarding. And the White Galaxy offers them so much more than sport: the opportunity to get to know the valleys of the western alps, with their unique traditions, wonderful food and wine, and genuine products and handicrafts. Apart from skiing, you can take a ride on a dog-sled, drawn by a team of huskies, or go climbing on a frozen waterfall in Valsesia, or “surf” down the slopes as you try your hand at snowboarding.
If you want to escape the crowded ski runs of the Valsesia and Susa Valley resorts a heliskiing excursion will lift you up to the silence of the highest slopes and glaciers. While if you’d like to follow the tracks of the wild ibex goats, or catch a glimpse of a white hare flashing across the snow, just pull on a pair of boots and snow shoes and take to the mountain trails.
MAIN SKI RESORTS
Its Alpine peaks reach over 4000 metres. It has splendid river beds, paths hidden in nature, and a system of parks and nature preserves that covers an area of 160,000 hectares. This is one of the reasons that a great number of Italian and foreign tourists have chosen this region for their outdoor sports. There is a wide range of activities offered. There are horseback rides, climbing on sheer rock walls, day trips, and trekking expeditions. In Piedmont there are about sixty legs of the Great Crossing of the Alps that winds through eight countries in Europe and offers an adventurous journey. All this combines the discovery of splendid countryside with contact with local cultures. Piedmont is also the land of bicycling. In 1876 there was the first bicycle race in the world from Milan to Turin. Even today, the most demanding climbs of the national race, the Giro d´Italia, are still those of the Fauniera and the Agnello Pass. Opportunities for innovative bicycling include paths for free ride, downhill and trial biking. Finally, golf lovers are offered an excellent new network for golfing that Piedmont is proud of. There are 40 courses, at least 5 of which are among the 10 best courses in Italy.
Both hackers and experienced golfers can find the course most suited to their needs, from 9 to 36 holes. Piedmont even has the Sestriere golf course, the highest the 18-holes in Europe.
- HORSE RIDING
- ADVENTURE PARKS
- THEME PARKS
Last Updated on 21/01/2013