Sliding to a stop at the top of a very steep (seriously, it was steep!) slope, I thought ‘I can’t ski down that. I’ll fall.’ I was comfortable on blue ski runs, and this red run was turning out to be more challenging that I was ready for! My pessimism was unfounded however, as with a carefully choreographed series of turns, I nailed it! Or I did in my mind. At the very least, I made it to the bottom of that super steep slope without falling. Score!
I was visiting Breuil, Cervinia, in the Italian Alps. One of the wonderful things about this resort is that it comes complete with a glorious view of the Matterhorn (the mountain on the Toblerone packaging). This place has everything – stunning views, a range of great ski runs, the best snow in the Alps and delicious food. Well what do you expect, it’s Italy!
I had the privilege of skiing in Breuil, Cervinia in January, a perfect pick me up after Christmas and New Year had slunk away out of sight. I had never heard of Cervinia before we went, but the town is one of those quaint little ski towns you dream of, with wooden buildings painted in picturesque colours and a river running through it that was frozen the whole time we were there. Add in the mountains that surrounds the town of Breuil and it’s a picture postcard.
In the mountains, the Matterhorn is the centrepiece, with ski runs going right past it, so you can sail right past it. At the top of the resort (the very same red run I had nearly chickened out of ), you can even see into the Swiss Alps! And there’s snow everywhere, as far as the eye can see. The mountains are magical.
One of the best things about Cervinia is that it’s empty, for a ski resort. I’m one of those people that get intimidated by a load of skiers speeding past me, but this wasn’t a problem because the resort is so big, that everyone can ski in their own space. We had two beginners with us, and they were confident enough to go on a blue run on the first day, because we had it basically to ourselves. Another great thing (and what attracted us to the resort in the first place) is that it caters to every type of skier. Plenty of blue runs for people just learning, but also red and black runs for the more experienced. This makes it a resort for everyone. Cervinia is one of the highest ski resorts in the Alps, and begins at 1,524 metres – which means you’re practically always guaranteed snow!
Every day was an adventure, with us breakfasting, putting on our gear, taking the chair lift up the mountain and skiing all day. At lunch, there are some great dining options right there on the slopes. Italian food, of course, and a hearty pizza is just the thing needed to recharge the batteries, before heading out to tackle the mountains again. Be careful not to miss the cable car down to town if you’re not confident enough to ski all the way down to town – the cable car stops at 4pm.
Now the part we’re all thinking – what about apres ski? There were loads of great bars in Breuil, and a few clubs and pubs too. Crystal Ski, our travel company, organised some good events, with a bar crawl on our second evening to introduce us to all the best places! If you can handle the exhaustion and hangover the next morning, you can party all night (we didn’t – our beds were calling us). The town is small enough that everywhere is within walking distance. The Dragon pub was a favoruite of ours. We even won the quiz!
Our home away from home was Hotel Breuil, a three star hotel in the heart of the town. It’s a lovely place with a warm welcome, nice, clean rooms, a kitchen that serves delicious food,, such as lasagna and parsnip soup The boot room stores your ski or snowboarding gear, and it’s located next to a hill where we tobogganed and had snowball fights when we weren’t on the mountain! The bars, restaurants and shops are just round the corner, and the chair lift to the mountain is only five minutes away. The perfect base for a perfect trip.