Resort Profile: Bardonecchia

By adamrowden, 20 Jul '12 at 09:27

Bardonecchia is a traditional border town in the sunny Susa Valley of Italy's Piedmont region. Near to the French border, on the Italian side of the Frejus Tunnel, Bardonecchia has grown from a typical mountain town into a cosmopolitan holiday resort where visitors can still wander along ancient cobbled streets and enjoy the weekly market that's been going on since medieval times.

The Piedmont Valley is steeped in history and tradition, in the Middle Ages the main travellers in this area were pilgrims, soldiers, wine merchants, cattle dealers and artists en route to western Europe. Frescoes painted by travelling artists from the 15th and 16th century are well preserved in the chapels around the area - some of which can only be reached on skis in the winter.

The nearby Mont Cenis Alpine Pass 2082m/6831ft was one of the great invasion routes and it was Napoleon's troops who built the first road through the Pass in 1810. When the Frejus Tunnel was built in 1871 it was the first rock tunnel of its kind, pioneering many techniques and representing a landmark in engineering. At 13km/8 miles it is still one of the world's longest railroad tunnels.

Italy's skiing originated in Piedmont which translates as foot of the mountain, and Bardonecchia was one of the country's first ski resorts. Established in 1934, it was two Norwegian brothers, the Smiths who came here and built there first ski jump at Campo Smith (Smith's Field) which explains how the area got its name.

This resort has over 100km of slopes and is made up of two ski areas. One side of the resort is made up of Colomion, Les Arnauds and Melezet. These areas have vast wide slopes that run between the forest and are great for intermediates and beginners. In the centre of town is Campo Smith at 1330m and it is linked to the vast plateaus of Vallon Cross, which is above the treeline.

The Jafferau resort is also located just a five minute free skibus ride from downtown. Jafferau is mainly above the treeline which offers you an unrivalled view of the surrounding mountains and it also offers you plenty of great off-piste. It also hosted all of the snowboarding events at the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics at the Melezet snowpark.

The Highlights

- Family friendly resort
- Easily accessible
- Nice and quiet
- Big lift queues are rare

For more resort profiles click here. Or, to find a good transfer company to take you to Bardonecchia click here.

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