Chiesa is a typical northern Italian mountain village with a long, long history and a mixture of old and new architecture. It's a relatively compact resort that has grown up on a gentle hillside around the old church. The surrounding mountain scenery is attractive with pasture land giving way to forested upper slopes and the grey stone of the Alps, partially white with snow, towering above. Chiesa offers its visitors two ski areas locally, both of which are reached by a ski bus service. The ski areas are collectively known as the Valmalenco, shared with the smaller neighbouring villages of Caspoggoio and San Giuseppe. Skiing in the Valmalenco area, at least with lifts, began in the early 1960s, when Italian skiing legend Zeno Colò designed the slopes. The tradition was continued more recently when local champion Gustavo Thoeni returned to the slopes where he had trained in his youth, and designed the new black that plunges 500 metres beneath the Scerscen - Cima Motta high speed quad. In recent years the resort has invested heavily in new lifts and in snow making, replacing an aged gondola and several of the drags with four new chairs, including two high speed quads. The Valmalenco area is in turn part of Italy's Valtellina region wedged in between Lombardy (where the famous resort of Bormio is located) and central Europe. It represents a link between Northern Italy and central Europe, in the heart of the Alps, less than 100 km (62.5 miles) from Milan and on the border with Switzerland. This mountainous area covers 3.212 km/q from the 188 metres of the Trivio di Fuentes (Colico) to the 4.000 metres of the Bernina on the Swiss border. The valley runs from east to west, which distinguishes it from many other great alpine valleys as they run from north to south and the long history of the Valtellina communities has invariably been shaped by its key geographical position. Although tourism has become the dominant industry, the land still shows the centuries old signs of man's presence, especially in the vineyards and high mountain pastures. The natural scenery of the valley is epitomised in the Stelvio National Park, the largest in Europe
Picturesque old village with modern swimming pool complex and excellent Italian cuisine. The main ski area is a high altitute plateau from Alpe Palu offering a snowsure base for beginners.