A Snowy Easter Wonderland!
From the beautiful, undulating snowy peaks to the quiet slopes and glorious weather, Easter in Italy had a lot to offer this year. Abbi and I travelled to the northern Italian Alps on Easter Sunday to see what Italy had to offer for school ski groups at Easter time.
As we entered one of our favourite picturesque alpine towns, Cesana, the cool air and sun blaze gave Cesana an instantly magical feel. It was noticeably quieter on the cobbled streets of the town than when we have visited previously during February half term, and there was a relaxed feel about the resort.
We arrived at the charming Hotel Solaris, just in time to see some of our school groups arrive back at hotel for their lunch after their first morning of skiing. Their excited chatter filled the dining room as the children retold stories of their adventures on the slopes whilst tucking into their lunch. Our Italian hoteliers certainly know how to look after their guests; rich pasta dishes, beautiful lamb on the bone, and the homemade gelato was a particular favourite!
After lunch, we were thrilled to see some of our groups in action on the slopes of the Milky Way. The students were making great progress on the snow, particularly the beginners, who - despite a few falls along the way - were laughing and joking with their instructors as if they had been friends for a lifetime, as they made the most of the quieter slopes to try out their new skills.
We skied to find more PGL school ski groups during the afternoon. Witnessing the pure excitement and exhilaration from the children reminded us why we love our job! The snow conditions were fantastic and the glorious sunshine and blue skies made for a wonderful day on the slopes for all. Skiing in less layers with your sunglasses on was a real treat!
As we left Cesana the following day, it snowed heavily - improving the snow conditions on the slopes yet again!
We left the Milky Way for the stunning resort of Passo Tonale, with an en route lunch stop at Iseo Lake for lunch to break up the 8 hour drive! We arrived at Hotel La Roccia later that day and we were blown away by the amazing view from our balcony ....
The delicious homemade meatballs we had for dinner were particularly welcome after our long journey - Ornella, the hotelier, and her team do some amazing Italian food!
The following morning started off a little grey and dreary but after a hearty continental breakfast, we were excited to join our groups on the slopes and travel up to the Presena Glacier. As the gondola climbed up to 3000 metres, we floated above the cloud line and saw the most breathtaking views I have ever witnessed in my 29 years of skiing!
The early morning fog had cleared and everyone was mesmerised by the incredible panoramic views as we arrived at the top of the glacier. The pistes were like corduroy and despite the slope from the top being a red run, most of our beginners were cruising down with ease as they enjoyed the beautiful spring conditions.
Keen to savour these glorious views in the sunshine, Abbi joined one of our groups at the restaurant for a tasty Italian hot chocolate at the top of the mountain while I made the most of the wonderful snow. If needing a spoon to help you drink a delicious, thick Italian hot chocolate isn't enough to persuade you to join team Italy then these views might ....
After an amazing few days enjoying everything Italy has to offer, we headed back home. We hope our school ski groups enjoyed Easter skiing in Italy as much as we did!
By Pippa and Abbi, PGL Ski.