Our Visit to Our Newest Resorts in Italy22/01/2018 13:50:42
Our Ski Specialists regularly visit the resorts we offer to ensure that they can provide you with first-hand knowledge and expert advice to help you choose the right resort for you.
They’ve just returned from Italy, where they visited some of our newer resorts. Here, Beth tells us what they got up to and what they thought of each resort:
The Halsbury Ski Specialist team travelled from all corners of the UK to meet at London Stansted for our flight to Italy. We were about to embark on an exciting few days visiting some of the new resorts we’re offering for school ski groups.
The Ryanair check in was swift and convenient, as we used their automated check in and bag drop service.
After a short flight to Bergamo, we were met by our Hotel Contractor, John Pinca, who would be showing us around over the next couple of days.
San Martino di Castrozza
First on our agenda was an overnight stop in San Martino di Castrozza. We drove through the town before reaching our hotel and we were all taken aback with the beauty and chicness of the resort.
The town shops centred around the old church, with the hotel close by. There are shops of all sorts – an art gallery, designer clothes boutiques and even a chocolate shop. Not to mention the all-important pizzerias!
The hotel restaurant gave us a delicious three course meal and a salad before heading to bed ahead of a day that promised to be full of excellent skiing.
And what a day it was! San Martino di Castrozza did not disappoint! Clear blue skies and perfect conditions. Our guide for the morning, Thomas, very kindly showed us the beautiful mountain.
The gondola runs up from the base camp where the ski fit and ski storage is. And the beginners’ area is at a snow-sure 2100m and boasts both a magic carpet and drag lift, which is the perfect way to get accustomed to skis for first-timers.
The progression on to blue runs is fantastic too, with wide, open pistes perfect for starting to link turns. And for the more experienced skiers, there are plenty of exciting reds and blacks giving you an abundance of long, challenging tree-lined runs.
We were all buzzing from today’s skiing and San Martino di Castrozza is a firm new Halsbury favourite. The hotel was very accommodating and well suited to school groups, with plenty of communal areas for your evening entertainments.
We stopped at the nearest town, Fiera di Primeiro, which is located in the valley below. The town has a lovely pedestrianised centre for a sport of souvenir shopping, chocolate and maybe a slice of pizza.
Our next stop was Piancavallo and we were all very excited to see the resort we’ve heard so much about!
Upon arrival in Piancavallo we took a short drive around the resort to get our bearings. We were staying at the Hotel 1301, which was a lovely, centrally located 3 star hotel.
We had dinner and then took a walk down to the village centre for some customary Bugie – traditional carnival biscuits ready for the Italian festivities.
We awoke bright and early, ready for another bluebird day. Well, what can I say? It was an amazing ski day! The conditions were the best we’ve seen in a long time and the skiing was exceptional!
There are two beginners’ areas, one on each side of the resort to serve the nearest hotels. And the progression up the mountain is great thanks to the long, sweeping, wide runs.
Piancavallo offers so much variety, from World Cup grand slalom and slalom runs, to a freestyle park with beginner, intermediate and advanced jumps.
We took lunch that day at a mountain restaurant called La Genzianella, which was delicious. Groups can take part in a torchlit descent on the run adjacent to the restaurant – and the restaurant can provide them with hot chocolate to warm up afterwards.
After lunch, we visited the Nevlandia snow park, where we were able to try our hand at sledging. There are three sledge runs, as well as snow tubing. Again, Nevlandia has a restaurant where you have enjoy some hot chocolate. The sledging was a real highlight of the trip, especially for me, as I was crowned the Halsbury sledging champion!
Our guide showed us that it was possible to ski the whole resort on runs suited to your ability – i.e. using only ‘easy’ or ‘hard’ runs. Some runs were marked blue/red, so you could choose to take the easy or hard route.
We also visited the Olympic-sized ice rink, where you can enjoy skating discos and try your hand at dancing on ice. And we visited the sports centre, which has three courts that groups can use for basketball or five-a-side football. There are also trampolining and rock climbing facilities here.
And if that’s not enough to keep your active group occupied, there’s also 10km of cross-country skiing to try, as well as the alpine coaster, which is great fun.
We also visited the two hotels we use in the resort – the Stella Montis and the Sport Hotel, both of which are very well suited to school groups and are unique in their own ways.
And so onwards to Sella Nevea, where we arrived after stopping for a mandatory Italian pizza.
Here we met the Halsbury film crew who had been busy capturing footage of our new resorts.
It was our last early morning and, after a lovely hot breakfast, we met our guide for the day, Luca.
Luca showed us the large beginners’ area, which is located next to the hotel. There are two beginners’ meadows served by an undercover magic carpet and a button lift which leads to a wide blue, which itself leads to the gondola.
On the way up the mountain, we could see the magnificent scenery Sella Nevea is famous for. The rocks form the mountain Bila Pec, which translates as ‘white hill’.
At the top of the gondola is another area for beginners and 3 more blue runs, including a roller run, which is great fun. The next gondola is a link between Italy and Slovenia and offers incredible views.
From the top we could see Austria, Italy and Slovenia, and even got a glimpse of the Adriatic Sea!
It was a little bizarre when we stopped for a coffee in Slovenia. There was a band playing and it felt very Tyrolean – they were even yodelling at one point!
We then skied down into Slovenia and had a glimpse of Bovec before making our way back to Italy. As we had the film crew with us, we spent some time on the beautiful slopes taking some footage and discussing top tips.
We then paid a visit to the Sport Hotel Forte, which was a great hotel with all the space and facilities you need for a week’s school ski trip.
After a tour of the hotel and having said ‘thank you’ to our hosts, we made our way back to Treviso airport (the nearest to Sella Nevea), ready to share our experiences with you!
If you’d like information on any of the resorts we visited on our trip, please don’t hesitate to contact us!