Winter Activities in Piemonte
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Piemonte has some of the best territories and breathtaking landscapes for enjoying snowy winter days to their fullest. Read on for suggestions by Wine Pass for winter fun in Piemonte.
The vineyards in Piemonte are brown and leafless, resting dormant in the hills and awaiting the call of spring to come alive in a few months. But that doesn't mean we have to go into hibernation, too. Sitting cozily on a couch with a mug of hot chocolate mulled wine and looking out at the snow (or, in our case, morning fog) is satisfying in its own, warm way; but winter doesn't have to be void of outdoor fun, too.
In Piemonte, the food and wine fairs, events, and festivals are at rest, preparing for the year ahead. What is there to do?
Not far from the wine zones of Langhe, Alto Piemonte, and Torinese are winter wonderlands waiting to be explored. Did you think the Alps were there just for show? Below we've listed guided snowshoeing excursions, structures for renting everything from Alpine mountaineering equipment to your classic skis, and even links to do-it-yourself trails and routes to follow.
Save your vin brulé for after the ride!
And don't forget to leave us a comment if you have more wintertime recommendations.
Where to rent: Alpine skiing to snowboarding, snowtubing to mountain climbing
Where: Via Lattea, to the west of the Torinese wine zone
The Via Lattea is an international ski area formed by five Italian ski stations: Sestriere, Sauze d'Oulx, San Sicario, Cesana Torinese, and Claviere, as well as one French: Montgénévre. This incredible wintertime network of snowy slopes and trails offers over 200 tracks of varying difficulty for a total of 400 km, served by 66 ski lifts that cover altitude from 1350 to 2830 meters. The refuges, restaurants, hotels, and bars in these towns give plenty of choice for warm respite after a long day of winter activity.
Although the site focuses on skiing and snowboarding, most all structures also rent out other snow equipment.
Not far away is another winter activity mecca, Bardonecchia. Find information on rentals, routes, events, and more (in English, too!).
Where: In the province Verbano-Cusio-Ossola, above Alto Piemonte
The Ossola Valley is at the extreme northern point of Piemonte before the Swiss border. It is a land of breathtaking beauty, with varied landscapes of sloping valleys, high plains, lakes, mountain peaks, and ice caps. It is perfect for both extreme winter sports and easy rides through the snow.
The Toce river runs through all seven valleys in the skiing zone in Verbano-Cusio-Ossola, flowing until Lake Maggiore: valleys Anzasca, Antrona, Bognanco, Divedro, Antigorio-Formazza, Isorno, Vigezzo, and Val Grande.
These valleys are full of uncontaminated nature, thanks in part to the Natural Vegliae-Devero Alpine Park and the National Park of Val Grande, Italy's most vast and wild national park.
Do it yourself: unguided exploration
Where: In the Alps, to the west of the Torinese wine zone
If you're more of the DIY type and have all the necessary winter equipment, don't hesitate to follow one of these routes. www.planetmountain.com
Guided excursions for snowshoeing and more
If you’re into a good “ciaspolata” (showshoes are also called rachette di neve) or other guided wintertime activities, then there are several companies that put together excursions. For many of them, snowshoes or relative gear is available for a small fee, and lunch is included. Just be sure to reserve ahead of time.
Some organizations that have annual events calendars and activities of varying levels of difficulty are: