The jagged peaks of the Alps soar white and mighty towards a crystalline sky. A crown of snow-capped trees rings a village of pretty wooden chalets. And daring black runs link the mountainsides to the houses nestled in their midst.
All this is La Thuile, a thriving resort at the foot of the Little St. Bernard Pass, in the Aosta Valley.
Some historians think it was here that Hannibal crossed the Alps and descended upon Rome with some 38,000 foot soldiers, 8,000 horsemen and 37 elephants. And some 2,000 years later, it was here that the Italian and French resistance movement fought against the Fascist and Nazi regimes in the Second World War. More recently, La Thuile’s claim to international fame comes from a number of high-level physics conferences that take place in the village every year.
Among Italians, La Thuile also has a solid reputation for quality skiing, but, for some mysterious reasons, it remains relatively little known outside the country. Which is a shame, because the resort has about 100 km of pistes, which go up to some 150 thanks to the link with La Rosiere, on the French side of the Alps. The runs range from nursery to black, with the bulk catering for beginners and intermediate skiers (though there also are heli-skiing and off-pistes for the more experienced). This, together with substantial discounts for children, make La Thuile a great choice for families as well.