A few weekends ago, I spent three days in Bardonecchia. This beautiful town which held the Winter Olympics in 2006, is located less than an hour and half west of Torino. I traveled by train for the first time out of Torino, the ride was so nice. The town is small but the mountains are huge. We passed many different mountains, some that had snow and others that did not. Starting at zero in Torino, after going through each tunnel, we noticed there was more and more snow on the ground. Once we arrived, we ran into the information center to get lift passes and continue to the hill using the conveniently free bus system.
One of my goals for my study abroad is to try as many new things as possible. Usually, I go to a hill to snow board, because I already own all of the equipment and it is expensive to rent gear in the US. This particular weekend, I decided to try skiing for the first time. For a half day rentals were only 12€! Luckily, I was with someone that knew how to ski and instructed me how to stop and how to turn. From there I hopped on the lift.
The lift kept going, and going… I am not even joking, it was at least a 20 minute ride. Once we got off, I realized there wasn’t a bunny hill and just had to ‘go for it’. Fortunately, I quickly caught on, making my s-curves down the very steep mountain. I fell a few times but nothing catosrophic occured, thank gosh. I took it slow and just relaxed and felt like I was on the hill for a year! The run took me an hour and half to complete. I couldn’t believe the height we started or how big the hill was. To make the entire experience more thrilling, the view was exceptional because it was a clear day.
After a few more runs, we took the lift up and stopped at the restraunt in the middle of the hill. You ski up to the building and take your skis off to go inside. We both had espresso and I had a lemon vodka. One thing I have noticed in Italy is that nothing is ever too sweet. The lemon vodka drink had the perfect ratio, only a few ice cubes and used freshly squeezed lemons (va bene!). We sat outside relaxing, taking in the view.
From the middle of the hill we took another lift that took us up even further, and then another one. At this point I realized how massive the mountain was and that I would probably only see 25℅ of it. We were exhausted after the last run so we dropped all of our equipment off at the Airbnb and headed to dinner. Dinner was cooked perfectly. The restraunt even had gluten free bread! We got a half liter of house wine for 4€. I had a traditional Piemontesse dish of polenta and a stew with veal and sausage. Of course dinner would not be complete without dessert so I had some very lemony sorbet. The next few days I spent exploring the town, skiing and relaxing in the mountains.
I think it is so nice that taking a weekend trip skiing in the Italian alps was not expensive at all!. It probably cost as much as one day of skiing with rentals in the US. I know I hope to revisit every place that I have been so far, but I hope to get better at skiing so I can spend more time on the mountain in the future.
I hope you are enjoying my adventure stories as much as I am enjoying telling them! If you ever have any travel suggestions, I’d love to hear them.