For those looking for Italy’s most beautiful ski slopes, Piedmont is undoubtedly a must-see. The Vialattea international ski area, the second largest in Italy, is certainly one of the reference points for winter sports enthusiasts, with its 400 kilometres of ski terrain and its 247 ski slopes of different levels and difficulty, distributed across 7 resorts: a network connected “on skis”.
Let us take a look at some of the most beautiful ski slopes in Piedmont, with Vialattea as one of the best places for having fun while enjoying the mountains.
Where to go skiing in Piedmont: the best ski slopes in Vialattea
Over the years, the Vialattea ski area has become one of Italy’s top ski destinations. The ski resort, now serviced by modern ski lifts, is one of the oldest in the nation, having its centre in Sestriere. A gem for tourism worldwide, and a sought-after destination for winter holidays.
Founded by Gianni Agnelli in 1932, over the years it has been the scene of major international sporting events: from the Ski World Cups to the Alpine Ski World Championships and the XX 2006 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Turin. The Vialattea ski slopes, wide-open spaces and sunlit expanses, stretch from the 2,800 metres of the Motta peak, down to the 1,350 metres of Cesana, offering spectacular views and tracks for every skill level. With a vast majority of red slopes, making it a paradise for intermediate skiers, the ski area is equally suitable for beginners and experts, with its wide variety of blue, red and black slopes. Additionally, you can purchase a single ski pass, which gives access to all the ski lifts.
Here are Vialattea’s most beautiful and evocative slopes, where fun and complexity merge with a stunning view of the Alps.
1. Kandahar Banchetta: a black slope in Sestriere
The Kandahar Banchetta is the most famous ski slope in Vialattea. Located in Sestriere, the track descends from the highest point of the entire ski area, namely the 2,800 metres of Mount Motta, to the town centre. Its sinuous course is ideal for experts who want to try their hand at very steep walls and breathtaking curves. The route widens and flattens, finally reaching the woods, to then start once more with descents and fast curves. In addition, the Kandahar Banchetta slope was the first slope to host the 1967 World Cup, the World Ski Championships and some of the 2006 Olympic competitions.
2. Slope 32, Sestriere
Among the most famous and appreciated slopes of the Vialattea ski area is certainly the slope 32, better known as the Mitica 32, an historical red slope in the Banchetta area of Sestriere. In the 2010/2011 season, the slope had been closed and later in the 2019/2020 season reopened, following restoration work. The renewed descent is accessible from the new intermediate release of Motta Skilift, which offers the famous wall on the left and the novelty on the right. It is a scenic, highly dynamic slope, full of bumps and sudden changes in gradient¸ perfect for powder lovers looking for pure adrenaline. Going down this slope it’s a bit like going back in time, you enter a completely wild area with no other slopes or lifts around and, stopping for a moment to contemplate the view, you realize that it was enough to get away a bit from the very busy Banchetta slopes to discover an unspoiled area.
3. Gran Pista: a red slope in Sauze d’Oulx
A ski slope of historical relevance and a set of many prestigious sporting events, the Gran Pista in Sauze d’Oulx is one of the longest descents of Vialattea. The slope can rely on a programmed artificial snow schedule, allowing to ski even in low-altitude areas.
The track starts from the Sportinia plateau at 2,137 metres; a lovely descent through the woods, straight down to Jouvenceaux. It is a red slope, with very wide stretches and some initial changes in gradient and direction, finally entering a long and relaxing falsopiano – an apparently flat sloping ground, reaching the Prariond chairlift. Once there, you can go up or continue the descent. In its last stretch, the Gran Pista narrows into a very thin S-shaped series of turns, widening in the final plain, at an altitude of 1,383 metres.
4. Pista Olimpica: a red slope in Sansicario
The Pista Olimpica, accessible from Sestriere, is located in Sansicario and runs down the sides of Mount Fraiteve. It is a red slope with a few blue sections, and it hosted the Women’s Downhill of the 2006 Olympics in Turin. Starting at the top of the mountain, the slope begins with a wide, steep descent of about 3 kilometres, with great exposure to the sun. It features adrenaline jumps, although its most difficult portion is certainly the Colombiere wall, originally the starting point of races. After entering the woods, the track difficulty level increases, ending in the Sansicario shopping centre.
5. Slope 100, Claviere
In the analysis of the most interesting slopes in the Alps, the slope nr. 100 in Claviere is certainly included. Slope 100, better known as the Colletto Verde, is an initially black, then red and finally blue slope that starts from the hill of the same name on the border with the Montgenèvre ski resort, from the top of which at 2650 meters above sea level the slope descends toward Claviere, allowing the return to the Monti della Luna and offering a splendid panorama of the area. The most challenging section is the initial one, which is very steep and at high altitude, but can be circumvented with a less technical variant. From the Colletto Verde there is an excellent view of both the Vialattea area (on clear days it is possible to sweep with your gaze as far as Sestriere) and the French Montgenèvre area.