Ski Aosta Valley in North West Italy and you're close to both France and Switzerland for cross-border skiing, plus you can choose from a range of ski resorts and have access to three of the highest peaks in Europe. The information in this article is taken from The Rough Guide to Italy your essential guide for visiting Italy.
But dig a little deeper and you'll discover Italy's smallest region is also big on food, offers excellent hotels, comes good on many fine traditions and even has remarkable mountain vineyards.
In its more recent history, Aosta only became part of Italy in 1821. Before that it belonged to Savoy, so Savoyard traditions play a large role in life here and most locals speak both French and Italian.
Although it's a modern resort in terms of facilities, you'll find several vintage hotels mixed in with newer apartment blocks and you can expect an authentic winter holiday atmosphere, as it's a favourite resort with Italians.
Despite the ski-village vibe, Breuil-Cervinia offers over 350km of terrain as well as cross-border skiing in Switzerland and Italy. Plus, its lift network accesses Plan Maison, Plateau Rosa and Zermatt - weather permitting.
A good all-rounder Monterosa has eight resorts in total, all pride themselves on a family-friendly atmosphere, as well as a range of on and off-mountain activities and a wide choice of restaurants.
Try Champoluc at 1,579m for its peaceful ambience, stunning views and varied skiing. Gressoney-La-Trinité is Champoluc's nearest neighbour and sits at 1,637m. Or there's pretty Alagna, just south of Monta Rosa at an altitude of 1,191m.
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Popular with skiers from Milan, the resort offers over 100km of runs and a range of 14 peaks at altitudes of 4000m plus.
It's also linked to Chamonix by Mont Blanc Tunnel and accesses Vallée Blanche, the world's longest lift-served run. Both Skyway Monte Bianco and the Punta Helbronner 3,462m high viewpoint are easily reached from Courmayeur too.
Families and novice skiers like La Thuile for its gentle, north-facing slopes. However, a network of 35 lifts, over 150km of pistes rising to more than 2,600m, also appeals to more experienced skiers.
This is one of the best areas in the Aosta Valley for ski-touring and heli-skiing so it attracts a fair share of extreme winter sport enthusiasts. But if you want a different mood entirely, go visit the graceful Roman ruins in La Thuile town.
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