I just got back from the Italian ski resort of Pragelato Vialattea, which is located in the Piedmont region; due to its western curve the ski resort its dubbed the ‘Milky way’. I have never been to this area, and I had heard little about it. I guess it doesn’t have the boasting name of well-known resorts such as Courcheval or Val d’Isere, where you seem to pay 10 euros for a pint of beer (which they never seem to fill to the top!). The ski area is huge, unexpectedly huge in fact. The six ski resorts of the Milky Way (Via Lattea) differ in size and atmosphere such as Sestriere, Sauze d’Oulx and the home of the 2006 Olympic games, Torino.
We had nine of us this year on our annual lads, father son ski trip. In the past we’ve opted for catered chalets, hotels, half board, full board the lot. But this was our first trip with ‘Club Med’. I think many of us were slightly apprehensive; worries of Butlins on snow came to mind. However, we were all pleasantly surprised. The fact that we didn’t have to dip into our pockets once through out the trip, made it very gratifying. Apart from an après session of go karting on ice – which I would highly recommend for a very worthwhile 20 euros for 15 minutes on the track. Which I assure is plenty long enough in the cold. It can be tiring when you find yourself stuck in the snow wall every time you take a corner too fast. The all-inclusive resort was well worth it; we had the choice of three restaurants for dinner each evening and three restaurants on the mountain for lunch, which were also all included in the price. Coming back 5 lbs. heavier on a ski holiday probably had a lot to do with eating and drinking like kings for the week. We didn’t expect much from these places, but again, we were joyfully surprised. On arrival we were greeted with wine and canapés, by some of the friendliest staff I’ve come across in a ski resort. The restaurants were self-service, which suited us as we could come and go at our own pace. Some days you fancy a long boozy lunch; some days you want a quick pit stop – mostly determined by the conditions or the heaviness of the previous night.
The resort had a big dumping of snow the week before, which made the conditions on and off piste perfect. Me and my mate, who instructs in St Anton, decided it would be a good week to have a guide to take us off piste. This is where Club Med was great; all guides for a full week were all inclusive in the initial price. If you went private you would be paying 200 spoons each for just four hours. We couldn’t believe our luck. Our guide Andreas took us all over the valley, to places we would never have thought to go. I took a pair of 2015 Head Rev 85 Pro skis to test for the week, you can read my review here.
All in all, this trip was superb. We all had a brilliant time, on and off the slopes. I would highly recommend the ski area, whichever resort you choose to stay in. There’s great skiing to be had, for all abilities. Whether you’re a first timer on a family ski holiday, or a euro-carving machine, you will certainly be able to quench your thirst.by