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The Monterosa Ski area

The 3 valleys of the Monterosa Ski Area is made up of the ski resorts of Gressoney, Alagna and Champoluc. Set beneath the second highest mountain in Europe, the Monte Rosa, and falling within the highest European National Park, the vista is quite spectacular. The perfectly groomed ski runs all feel a little 'off-piste' as the lack of queues, people and the freedom of the open mountain inspire the greatest skiing.

  • Alagna is best known for its off-piste and whether for the first time or for a life time, you are sure to find untouched powder. All the way back down to Alagna you'll be able to lay new tracks in fresh snow and as you reach the bottom section of the mountain you can take your exploration through the trees down to the Alagna village. The choices are endless for all levels of skiing ability, from wonderful wide bowls through to steep couloirs, there is something for everyone.
  • Gressoney is the middle connecting valley and whilst more developed that its neighbour Alagna, it still offers a very traditional and unspoilt mountain environment.  With a large public swimming pool in Gressoney St Jean and a wide variety of self catered and hotel accommodation, the valley is a wonderful place for families both young and old to be able to enjoy the mountains.  It also offers a very comprehensive ski school which caters from beginners right up to experienced skiers looking to explore further afield.

The Monterosa ski area offers a complete variety of ski and snowboarding conditions.  A true Freeride Paradise.

The Alta Valsesia National Park

The Alta Valsesia became a national park in 1979 and is the highest park in Europe.

The territory it covers starts at 1000 metres in the Rimella and Fobello valley, reaching 4559 metres at the Regina Margherita Observatory hut, which is perched on the Gnifetti peak on the mountain Monte Rosa.

Part of the territory is covered by glacier and barren rocks, so it is only lower down that there are natural pastures and woodland of larch and various other tree varieties. Most of the animals in this parkland have their natural habitat here.

This is one of the first areas in Italy that has attempted to encourage mountain tourism while keeping the rich landscape, art and culture intact and over the years it has acquired and restored old buildings there which have today become the park huts. These present a perfect opportunity for excursions of all kinds and are an ideal base for the observation of park life and for walks in the mountains.

The Walser People and History

The Walsers’ ancestors were the Alemmans, a Germanic population who, in Roman times, inhabited the area of the present-day Swarbia in southern Germany.  With the fall of the Roman Empire, they began to move south through the valleys that now belong to Switzerland and, between the eighth and ninth centuries, permanently colonised the high Vallais.  In the twelfth century, they began to colonise other Alpine areas, where, due to their origin, they were called Walsers, from the German “Walliser”, or valley dweller.  In the course of 300 years, they founded numerous colonies in the area which stretches from Savoy to Austria.

The Walsers brought with them their culture and their language, a member of the Germanic group.  Today many colonies have vanished, either because they were abandoned or because the Walser population has mixed with the local one.  The largest colonies, however, have tenaciously survived.  The Walser settlements of the Val d’Aosta, the southern most in Europe, are in Gressoney and Issime in the Val de Lys, Ayas in Val d’Ayas and Gettaz des Allemands near Champdepraz in the main valley.

Throughout the Alagna and Gressoney region one can find remains of Walser architecture and some amazing renovations of original Walser buildings.  

If you wish to experience a piece of this history first hand, spending your holiday staying in original and renovated old Walser buildings please contact us for further information.

For a further understanding of this interesting Walser history one can visit the Walser museum, located in the small hamlet of Pedemonte just up the valley from the main village of Alagna or indeed the Walser museum located in the middle village of Gressoney-La-Trinite.

Accommodation in Alagna

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