VALTOURNENCHE, headed by the Matterhorn (4478m) at the north end and by the town of Chatillon at the southern-central valley end, should be one of the most spectacular of Italy’s mountain valleys, but unfortunately the main towns are overdeveloped and hydroelectric works ruin the views on the plains. If you want to climb the Matterhorn you should consider approaching from Zermatt in Switzerland; the Italian route is strictly for experts.
- Breuil-Cervinia is reached by bus from Chatillon (6 daily; 1hr–1hr 30min; see w savda.it for timetable)
BREUIL-CERVINIA was one of Italy’s first ski resorts, built as part of Mussolini’s drive for a healthy nation. In its heyday the ski lifts, soaring to 3500m, broke all records, and its grand hotels ensured the patronage of Europe’s wealthy. Today the wealthy are in modern buildings outside the resort, leaving the town for packaged hordes attracted by a large skiing area with lots of easy runs.