What Happened On Our Latest Inspection Visit?13/03/2019 09:12:16
Our team have just returned from our March Long Weekend Inspection Visit, which took place from 8th – 10th March in Cimone, Italy. Here they fill us in on what happened:
Friday 8th March 2019
We all gathered at Terminal 5 Heathrow in plenty of time to check in, everyone having managed to avoid Friday night mayhem on the roads.
We even had time for a quick bite to eat before heading to our gate!
The flight was delayed slightly (by around 45 minutes) but the tail wind over the Alps saw us make good time.
On arrival in Italy we met our coach driver and, thanks to his fantastic driving, managed to arrive at our hotel (Hotel Firenze) in Fanano just four minutes later than planned.
Matteo, the hotelier, made us very welcome and had laid on drinks and cake even though it was after midnight.
We were really impressed with the hotel, which is both charming and fascinating. It’s been run by the same family for the past 60 years and is decorated with memorabilia from throughout this period.
Saturday 9th March 2019!
8am and it was time for breakfast – and the hotel did not disappoint!
There was a fantastic choice of boiled eggs, omelettes, pancakes and, of course, the usual continental fare of croissants, sweet cakes, bread, ham and cheese. To drink, there was fresh juice, tea and hot chocolate.
Having filled our stomachs, we left the hotel at 9am for the 30-minute drive to the slopes of Mount Cimone.
We arrived at the base area of Passo del Lupo and were soon getting our skis and boots fitted.
Each group is allocated a numbered area for storing their skis overnight. It’s heated, so you can look forward to warm boots in the morning!
Victor and Letizia from the Cimone ski school guided us around the mountain for the morning. We skied the areas of Cimoncello and Pollo.
We were very impressed by the beginner area, which was large with a magic carpet and offered good progression onto the long and low gradient runs close by.
There’s plenty for more experienced skiers higher up the mountain, so everyone is catered for here.
We skied until lunchtime, when we stopped for lunch in the same self-service restaurant used by our groups. There’s a choice of starters, pasta courses, meat and salad.
After lunch we headed back out onto the slopes. We skied back over to Pollo, where there’s a variety of long blues and reds served by chairlifts and, most importantly, no queues!
After skiing we had a very important meeting with Alexia, our snowshoeing guide. We were kitted out with snow shoes and walking poles and off we went.
We enjoyed a 45-minute loop through the forest, which was absolutely stunning, and Alexia, who was very knowledgeable, stopped intermittently to talk to us about the forest pines and wildlife.
Alexia was very knowledgeable, and we enjoyed the walk very much.
Dinner that evening was in a beautiful mountain restaurant called Refuge Ninfa. The restaurant is also owned by Matteo, the owner of the Hotel Firenze where we were staying.
This is a great option for groups who can eat there during the week, enjoying a mountain meal in a real mountain restaurant in the middle of the woods.
We enjoyed multiple courses of cuisine typical of the area, all of which was absolutely delicious. It was a real highlight of the weekend!
Sunday 10th March 2019
On Sunday, we all met up for our final breakfast before taking the coach back up to the lifts at Passo Del Lupo, where we met Letizia, our ski guide.
It was a bit windier and cloudier than the previous day, but it was still fairly bright and there was plenty of great skiing to be done.
As we had so far skied mostly in Lupo and Polle, we headed for Cimoncino which offers fantastic tree-lined skiing. With the slopes mostly to ourselves, we had a fantastic morning.
Skiing was followed by a delicious lunch on the mountain, which consisted of a massive buffet of meats and bread – yum!
After lunch we headed back to the base lodge in Lupo, dropped off our ski equipment and took the coach back to Fanano and our hotel.
We then strolled into the village to have a look at the shops, bars, pizzerias and ice cream parlours. We couldn’t resist the local Italian ice cream in the village square – yum again!
Before heading to the airport in Bologna, our host Matteo presented us with lovely departing gifts of wine, Parmesan cheese and locally-made olive oil.
What fantastic weekend!