Along the border of Italy with France, the Alps rise majestically, the Italian dolce vita blends with French laissez faire and the regional cuisine draws from the best of Italy and France. This region, the Piemonte including the major resorts of Sestriere and Sauze d’Oulx, owes its French/Italian lineage to the continuous shifts of the international borders for centuries between nobles pledging allegiance alternately to French and Italian kings. These mountains that once formed a natural boundary are linked by hundreds of miles of ski and snowboard trails and a vast network of lifts connecting villages and resorts in Italy and France, known as Vialattea. This is the region that hosted the 2006 Winter Olympic Games with events taking place in Sestriere, Cesana-Sansicario, Sauze d’Oulx, Bardonecchia and Torino the gateway city at the base of the mountain resorts.
Those looking to experience some Alpine charm on their Sestriere ski vacation should consider a stay at Sauze d’Oulx, which is a traditional village dotted with a warren of narrow cobbled streets, tucked at the end of a winding mountain road with at least a dozen switchbacks. Sestriere is very Italian with a rhythm that reflects traditions of coffee, après ski at the hotels and some late-night disco action. Sauze d’Oulx is packed with British, Dutch, Irish and other European tourists and its pubs positively rock when the lifts close.
The Vialattea is an international skiing area consisting of five Piedmontese resorts, Sestriere, Sauze d'Oulx, Sansicario, Cesana, Claviere and Montgenevre in France. It offers more than 214 skiing-connected runs, for a total linear extent of 400 kilometers (250 miles) with 89 lifts ranging from an altitude of 1,350 meters in Cesana to 2,800 meters at Mount Motta, a peak that gives a magnificent view of the surrounding mountains allowing skiers to appreciate the vastness and beauty of the area. Snow-making on 75-plus miles trails guarantees optimum conditions for the whole season. Sestriere is on the main road, modern, bustling, surrounded by lifts and fashionable.