The Vialattea is an international skiing area consisting of five Piedmontese resorts, Sestriere, Sauze d'Oulx, Sansicario, Cesana, Claviere and Montgenevre in France. It is one of the world's largest ski-lift linked areas with more than 200 connected runs, for a total of 400km. The 90 lifts range from an altitude of 1350m in Cesana to 2800m at Mount Motta, a peak that gives a magnificent view of the surrounding mountains allowing skiers to appreciate the vastness and beauty of the area. The resort has staged the Alpine Ski World Championships in 1997, many World Cup Events and the XX Winter Olympic Games Torino 2006, the greatest recognition of how much potential. Vialattea is famed for its huge sunny, snowy expanses, panoramic runs that connect ancient and traditional villages with modern towns that provide all comforts and entertainment. The vastness and variety of the area will satisfy the most demanding skiers, thanks to long and difficult runs, as well as those that are approaching this world of skiing for the first time. The major resorts on the circuit include the only French resort, and indeed a pioneer of skiing in France, Montgenèvre, which could be described as one of the original altitude ski resorts. The area, a few hundred metres from the Italian border, has been inhabited since prehistoric times and has seen trans-European travellers passing through for millennia, including famous names like Julius Ceasar, and Hannibal with his herd of elephants and, later on, Napoleon. On the Italian side of the border is Claviere, Italy's oldest resort, which has a border post at one end of the village and is a ten minute walk from Montgènevre if you don't go by ski. The resort is very relaxed, with friendly and hospitable residents and some lovely hotel bars. The circuit dips to its lowest point at the small traditional village of Cesana before climbing up to the rapidly expanding Sansicario, a modern, low-level and tasteful purpose-built complex. This hosted the biathlon events in the Olympics. One of the world's pioneering ski areas, Sestrière was built by the Fiat car company in 1934. The mountain-top Possetto hotel first opened through the winter a decade earlier and more lifts and hotels opened before 1934. It was one of the earliest and still one of the highest purpose built ski stations. Sitting on a sunny plateau, snow cover is guaranteed thanks to both altitude and one of the world's most extensive snow making operations. At the time of its creation it was one of the first resorts in the world with modern hotels and a ski lift system where it was possible to take a family on a relatively economic ski trip - the model copied by the French purpose built centres of thirty years later. Although a very hi tec and modern ski centre, Sestrière is located in an area of great history and culture, dating back to neolithic sites, but rich in Roman and later remains. The resort has a long history of ski racing from the first Kandahar contests of the 1930s through to the world Championships, nearly 100 international world contests have been staged. The list of great racers who have won here over the decades is astonishing and includes Jean-Claude Killy, Ingemar Stenmark, Pirmin Zurbriggen to name but a few. Alberto Tomba won his first ever World Cup race at Sestrière. The World Championship race runs on the Kandahar Slalom and Kandahar Banchetta are open for good recreational downhillers to enjoy. During the Winter Olympics Torino 2006, Sestrière hosted some of the Alpine ski competitions. Sauze d'Oulx is located on a high sunny 'balcony' in the Susa Valley, the resort is surrounded by larch forest above. The trails cut down through this natural amphitheatre have an excellent snow record. Although Sauze still has a delightful ancient heart of stone buildings, narrow streets and a cobbled square with water fountain, as well as locals prepared to dress in traditional attire for ancient festivals, these are all somewhat swamped by the newer developments all around. Sauze d'Oulx has matured to some extent in recent years, and although the resort is still one of the liveliest ski centres in the world, the occasionally unpleasant 'rowdy' element has moved on. The resort hosted freestyle events at the 2006 Olympics. Of course the Vialattea is also one of the few ski areas in the world where you can ski across an international border. Until recently it was necessary to ensure you had a passport on you when you crossed the border by ski lift, but the border guards at the top of Clavière's chairlifts appear to have moved on, thanks to the ending of travel restrictions within European Community countries in mainland Europe.
Italy's oldest resort has a border post at one end of the village and is a ten minute walk from Montgènevre, France. The resort is very relaxed, with friendly and hospitable residents and some lovely hotel bars. It is on the long and interesting Milky Way circuit.