29 #Piemontestories | Snow is easy and fun, even more with friends and family

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The dry caress of the cold, the scent of conifers, white dazzling snow. Spaces to be discovered slowly, with snowshoes, cross-country skis and playful bobsleighs and sledges or with a sled dog ride. Enjoyable breaks in the sun. Friends, family, children. The warm embrace of a mountain refuge, relaxation and fun.

The Alpine chain framing Piedmont along the north-west border hosts a soft and white world: from the valleys of the Cuneo area, with the unmistakable pyramidal shape of Monviso, to the Turin Alps, up to the Monte Rosa massif and the pristine landscapes of Ossola.

Right between the Ossola Valleys and the Val Grande National Park, you can choose between 12 “Snow Trek proposals, a guide to snowshoeing for the whole family among enchanted landscapes. The Lakes District features many cross-country rings, a practice that can be best enjoyed in the beautiful Vigezzo and Formazza Valley, with the ski resorts immersed in the wild nature of Riale and San Michele. The Sesia Valley, known for freeride and the most adrenaline-fueled winter sports, also boasts many attractions to live a quiet snow in the gentle slopes of Alpe di Mera, perfect for beginners, in a family-friendly environment and in front of the stunning Monte Rosa and the typical Walser houses. For snowshoes there are multiple options, including a ring in the woods towards the splendid Val d'Otro where, with a bit of luck, you can have some pleasant encounters with the mountain fauna.

Perfect for a pleasant family holiday, at the Zegna Oasis even small children can experience skiing on easy and sunny slopes, or have fun in the Winter Bielmonte Kids: it should be noted that this is one of the 20 locations chosen by Italian paediatricians as an ideal destination for children. And for those who love to admire the mountain scenery while relaxing, this is the perfect area for “mountain watching”.

The small winter resorts are oases immersed in authentic settings in the province of Turin, between the valleys of Lanzo, Susa, Sangone and Chisone-Germanasca. There are plentiful slopes for downhill skiing and areas for bobsleighs and sleds, but the highlight are the cross-country and snowshoe trails, immersed in fairy-tale landscapes. The Ecomuseum of the Alpine Guides in Balme is certainly worth visiting. It retraces the origin and development of the mountain village, the main destination of Turin mountaineering between the 19th and 20th centuries.

Also in the Cuneo area, in addition to the main districts, there are smaller ones, perfect for enjoying relaxing days on the snow in ancient villages where even short walks on simple and flat paths turn into meaningful experiences. Among the family-friendly resorts, Entracque, Lurisia, San Giacomo Cardini Ski, Viola St. Green, Sampeyre, Argentera and Ponte Chianale and Rucaski. cross-country skiing is king in all the valleys with dozens of rings and paths across the woods and hamlets. And the children should not miss Vernante, Pinocchio’s home town: an open-air museum with dozens of murals dedicated to the famous character.

Also noteworthy is the small and “historic” Caldirola in Alta Val Curone, the only ski resort in the province of Alessandria, between Piedmont, Liguria, Emilia Romagna, Lombardy - the theme park also includes bobsled rides on rails.