Sestriere is the highest resort in the 400km Milky Way ski area, and well placed as a base between the other linked resorts, especially for confident intermediates keen to explore. The village sits at over 2000m – high, sunny and well placed for getting swiftly into the action, although as is often the case with altitude resorts the village isn’t the prettiest, and the weather can get wild. This was the first of the purpose-built resorts, commissioned by Fiat’s founder Giovanni Agnelli, way back in 1934.
Sestriere was the mainstay for the 2006 Winter Olympics, and this prompted some much-needed improvement, but it is still a bit scruffy and lacking in charm. But the panoramic views from up here are superb, so just keep looking outwards. Nightlife gets lively at the weekend when the locals arrive from Turin and Milan, although there are options in the week, and a variety of tasty, unfussy food too. And the skiing’s good! The northwest facing slopes are more reliable than a lot of the other resorts in the Milky Way ski area and recent additions to the lift facilities were very welcome. It’s not a bad resort for beginners, with central baby slopes and good progression pistes.