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Bardonecchia: the Olimpic winter resort in Piedmont

by Paola Bertoni
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Bardonecchia is a mountain resort located in Piedmont, more precisely in Alta Valsusa, on the border with France. Best known for its ski slopes at the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics, the city is also famous for hiking and snowshoeing. Winter is the best season to enjoy Bardonecchia, as it is a true skier’s paradise.

Bardonecchia in winter: a skier’s paradise

When it snows, Bardonecchia becomes a skier’s paradise because it is possible to practice various sports. Alpine skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and ice skating are just some of the winter activities that attract tourists to this corner of Piedmont annually.

A weekend or skiing holiday in Bardonecchia is perfect for those who want to learn the basics of skiing. At Campo Smith, where the pistes start closer to the centre of Bardonecchia, it is possible to book ski or snowboard lessons for all levels, while sports shops offer all kinds of equipment for hire.

The town of Bardonecchia in winter
The town of Bardonecchia in winter

Alpine ski slopes

Bardonecchia’s ski slopes are suitable for everyone. Its three interconnected ski resorts offer over 100 kilometres of slopes, from baby slopes for learning to ski to red and black runs for expert skiers. Bardonecchia’s ski lifts also reflect this variety of slopes. Some slopes use ski lifts to ascend. Others use chair lifts.

Those who enjoy skiing at high altitudes can go to the Jafferau ski resort, which is reachable by a free shuttle bus from Campo Smith. The altitude goes up to 2,800 metres, but those who prefer gentler slopes can also go to Jaffreau for a walk in the snow and a hot chocolate.

Beyond alpine skiing: snowboarding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing

A part of alpine skiing, you can do other winter sports. Snowboarders especially appreciate the opportunity to go freestyle in the Bardonecchia Snowpark, at an altitude of 2,200 metres in the Melezet ski resort. The same area also has snowboard slopes suitable for beginners and children.

To appreciate Bardonecchia, you don’t need to know how to ski downhill or snowboard. The mountains are also home to several trails of varying difficulty for cross-country skiing or snowshoeing, including a loop trail of around eight kilometres at Pian del Colle.

One of the ski slopes of Bardonecchia
One of the ski slopes of Bardonecchia

Mountain gastronomy

Another reason to choose Bardonecchia for a skiing holiday or weekend is its mountain gastronomy. Both refuges and restaurants in the centre offer traditional dishes such as soups or polenta with alpine cheeses. On Saturday mornings, you can also stock up on honey, tome and other local cheeses at the open market on the other side of the railway.

How to get to Bardonecchia

Served by regular trains from Turin, Bardonecchia is particularly suitable for tourists. By car, on the other hand, it is possible to reach France through the Frejus tunnel to try the ski slopes of Modane or enjoy French gastronomy.

Where to sleep in Bardonecchia

Bardonecchia offers several hotel options if you are planning a winter trip. Hotel Des Geneys is just 800 metres from the Campo Smith ski slopes and provides free parking, simple rooms and a fitness centre. If you prefer an apartment, Residence Les Lacs is an attractive choice, with functional and comfortable apartments in the city centre. For those travelling on a budget, Hotel Europa is a 2-star hotel with mountain-style decor, free private parking and ski storage space.

Bardonecchia is truly a resort for all mountain lovers. Experienced skiers, families with children, snowboarders and gourmets can all find suitable activities and slopes.

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