Sometimes you only need to travel for a few hours to escape the madding crowd of the city. From Autumn onwards, the mountains are perfect for a weekend getaway that combines relaxation with slow, enjoyable excursions into the woods, so that you can dedicate yourself to physical activity, which you may have sacrifice during the week, and reach valleys that offer breathtaking views.
From Lombardy to Piedmont, here are the places to jot down for your next trip out of town.
Val Camonica is a great source of pride for its natural beauty and stories to be told. Among the villages you can explore, there are Ponte Di Legno and Montecampione. They are the starting points for fun on the ski slopes, exploring parks where you can view the rock carvings of the Camuni people, left from ancient times and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but also seeking villages to visit, such as Bienno and Pisogne. In these areas you can also try sledding, an activity with sleds pulled by Siberian husky dogs.
A few hours from Milan, Valtellina offers varied landscapes and the ski resort of Chiesa in Valmalenco, a small village wedged between the peaks and two valleys, overlooked by Monte Disgrazia and the area towards Pizzo Bernina. Here you can find paths for excursion lovers and slopes for winter sports enthusiasts, whether they like snowboarding or snowshoeing. The Alpe Palù area, in addition to having slopes of all levels, is dotted with mountain lodges where you can eat well and restore your energy.
In the middle of the old iron extraction and processing route, there is Gardone Val Trompia, a place full of mines and smelting furnaces, but also a wealth of woods, plateaus and streams, perfect for trekking. For those who love to ski, the place of reference is the mountain pass of Maniva.
As with Lombardy, Piedmont is also a point of reference for mountain lovers.
Famous for having been built by Giovanni Agnelli, the Kandahar slope in Sestriere is known for its glamorous soul, its wine bars and shops and because it houses many national and international competitions, such as the 2006 Winter Olympics. Its ski slopes, from black runs to easier ones, are connected by the Via Lattea, or Milky Way, a name that conveys the charm of the place in itself. Near Sestriere is Pragelato, a real gem in the upper Val Chisone, from where you can explore the Val Troncea nature park or the Fenestrelle Fort.
A snowy paradise for snowboarders, Bardonecchia is located a couple of hours from Turin. The area boasts more than 20 ski slopes for all levels, but it is also a much-loved destination for those who prefer walking. Nearby there is the village of Gleise, the starting point for trekking trails that have Rochemolles dam or lodges as their destinations. Among the nearby tourist attractions, we recommend Bramafam Fort, a castle built back in 1874 to defend the area.
Sauze d’Oulx is also known as the Balcony of the Alps because of its view over the picturesque peaks of Bourget, Genevris and Triplex. There are many ski slopes to navigate, most of which are exposed to the sun, but the fun doesn’t end with the snow. Sauze d’Oulx is also known for its vibrant nightlife and all the places you can travel to by shuttle until late.