Skiing the Aosta Valley is a reassuringly Italian experience from the quality of its slopes to the scope of its culture. Set above the Roman town of Aosta, and with beautiful views of Mont Blanc (Monte Bianco) and the Matterhorn, Pila is a modern, purpose-built resort, with an excellent snow record and superb snowmaking. There are 70 kms of perfect pistes maintained by more than 400 snow cannons, served by modern ski lifts, and offering a beguiling mix of tree-lined runs and vast, wide, open slopes.
Linked to this ski area by the efficient Aosta gondola, which offers spectacular panoramas of the surrounding peaks, is the valley town of Aosta, which is nothing short of a cultural delight. As you meander through the old streets of the historical centre, you will find that Aosta is like a large, open-air museum, with a wealth of Roman and medieval monuments, art exhibitions and prestigious buildings. It's also a buzzing Italian town full of interesting bars, boutiques and delicatessens.
A relatively short 90-minute transfer from the nearest airport, at Turin, Pila merits the description of hidden gem, and is ideal for both short breaks and longer stays.
Where is Pila?
Pila ski resort sits at 1765m in the Aosta Valley in the north-west corner of Italy. Pila is just a 1 hour 30 minute transfer from Turin airport or roughly 2 hours from the airports at Milan. It is an 18-minute gondola ride above historic Aosta town making it a very skiable location for anyone wanting to stay in town and travel to the resort each day.
What is the skiing like in Pila?
There is something here for everyone from beginners to experts. Pila's wide blues are great for novices, while intermediates will adore the host of red runs. For advanced skiers there are a few black runs, plus good off-piste, beautiful tree skiing and heli- and cat-ski options. The laid-back après ski is very Italian and for downtime family fun, try snow tubing, snowshoe walks and outdoor ice skating.
Skiing in Pila through woods of birch and larch in total safety and liberty is a unique experience open to everyone. Beginners and children have easy ski runs such as Baby Pila , Baby Gorraz and Grimod. The more advanced progress on to steeper slopes such as Leissé, Nouva which usually have excellent snow. Don't miss the Du Bois run from the Chamolé chair: it's a wonderful experience skiing through aromatic birch woods and good snow first thing in the morning.#
More experienced skiers should head to the summit of the fast Couis 2 lift at 2,600m, with views out over the whole mountain area, before enjoying the adrenalin rush of the Bellevue black run. Couis 1 is another challenging run, with more breathtaking panoramas over the nearby Cogne valley and the entire Monte Rosa range. Overall, Pila has modern comfortable ski lifts that minimise lift queues and provide fast ascents. The slopes are well maintained with 250 cannons for snowmaking guaranteeing that at least 53% of slopes are covered.
Off-piste is a little limited but local ski guides can help you find some great spots. There’s also a good slopestyle snowpark.
Once the slopes close, Pila has a friendly, lively atmosphere, especially on the weekends when Italian day-trippers come to visit. There are plenty of good restaurants, amongst them Lo Baoutson, Hermitage and Chatelaine, some good bars, and an ice rink. The Old English Distillery in Aosta town is a popular après venue.
Experience the Roman town of Aosta
The largely pedestrianised old town is enclosed by Roman walls, and there are many other remains such as a magnificent amphitheatre and triumphal arch. Explore the markets, restaurants and a whole host of evening entertainments as they're right on your doorstep.
Five centuries of Roman civilisation have left their mark in the Aosta Valley: the ‘Via delle Gallie’ consular road of which many traces remain; the Pondel aqueduct-bridge; and above all the imperial town of Aosta itself. The layout of the Roman town can still be identified in its main features, the city walls and the most important buildings of Aosta. highlights include the arch of Augustus, the Roman Theatre and the Cryptoporticus - a semi-subterranean gallery supported by strong arches, which was part of the Forum complex.
From frescoes of dragons to statues of the Virgin Mary, Aosta’s churches are beautiful and fascinating in equal measure, while its museums provide a great way to discover and absorb the history and culture of the region.
Pila in numbers
70 km of pistes
5 blue runs
21 red runs
4 black runs
5 km longest run
Ski holidays in Pila with Interski
Interski have been taking UK skiers to Pila and the Aosta Valley for 40 years and its staff know it inside out, upside down and back to front! Interski is dedicated to providing quality snowsport packages. It runs its own ski school and has invested in its own ski hire buildings/equipment and operates an in-resort ski clothing rental service.
Head to interskiholidays.co.uk for more information about Pila and to book your ski holiday with Interski.