Sauze d'Oulx – Food and drink
During the 1980s Sauze became well known throughout the skiing world as ‘Benidorm on Snow’ and comparisons were later drawn with Ibiza when the island became famous for 24 hour partying and excessive drinking. Such comparisons undoubtedly had a negative impact on the attractiveness of the resort to everyone other than the 18 – 30 brigade, which was unfortunate as Sauze is steeped in history and set in one of the most stunning parts of Northern Italy. A 15 minute walk or 3 minute drive takes you from the modern day town centre to an area of spectacular architecture and tradition. Jouvenceaux is the historic centre of the village and there are many wonderful bars and restaurants to be found amongst the narrow cobbled streets.
Nowadays Sauze is still recognised as one of the liveliest resorts in the Alps and can give St Anton and Chamonix a run for their money, but the resort has worked hard to shake off the stereotype that blighted it previously. There really is something to suit all tastes now, whether you want cheesy après bars, nightclubs, live music, chilled out cocktail bars or pleasant tea rooms and patisseries. If planning a pub crawl it is wise to consider your route in order to avoid too much climbing. Much of the resort is built on a steep hillside. There is no shortage of places that will allow you to dance until the sun comes up, but if you are looking for something more sedate you will be sure to find it in the pleasant pedestrianised streets in the centre of town.
Cuisine is predominantly Italian as you would expect but the truly cosmopolitan nature of this resort, coupled with the impact of the 2006 Olympic Games, means that if you know where to look you will be able to find English breakfasts, Chinese and Mexican food, kebabs and just about everything else you could wish for. Prices are pretty reasonable on the whole and eating out is slightly cheaper than in a lot of French and Swiss resorts. On the mountain there is no shortage of places to eat with almost half of the 34 mountain restaurants in the Milky Way ski area being located on the slopes above Sauze. There are of course some of the usual functional self-service restaurants, but also a lot of historical mountain refuges that offer fine dining in beautiful surroundings, and menus that will persuade you to stop skiing early and settle for an expanded waistline and lighter wallet!