Known as Italy’s most ‘snow-sure’ resort, Cervinia is a high-altitude destination that draws skiers to its long season, great conditions, stunning scenery, and its modest, but varied après ski offerings.
It’s located 90 minutes by car (or bus) from the airport at Turin, and only 30 minutes from the Châtillon Station.
Cervinia sits in the shadow of the Matterhorn (the Italians call it Monte Cervino) and has been a ski resort since 1936, so it has some pedigree behind it.
Some of the older buildings were obviously designed with utility in mind, rather than alpine ambiance, but the more modern ones are more what one expects from an alpine village, and the overall look is reasonably attractive.
If you can ignore a few ugly buildings in pre-war Imperial style, or perhaps consider them a foil to show off the more modern architecture around them, you’ll do fine.
There is no shortage of beginner runs here, from the nursery slopes to long, easy runs with varied scenery and ample areas to explore.
Intermediate skiers will appreciate the general easy gradient and long slopes too, allowing uninterrupted skiing for longer periods between lift rides.
Many of the Red-rated runs are perhaps best considered difficult Blue runs, so there are good transitions slopes for those on the upper end Blue-slope skiing at other resorts.
Advanced skiers won’t find as much on the Italian side, but the lift system can allow them to cross onto the Swiss side and the more intense skiing of Zermatt – make sure your pass accommodates this.
There isn’t a lot on offer for clubs and dancing in the area, with an après ski scene more geared toward pub-life, live music, and socialising. There is dancing, to be sure, and some excellent establishments, but don’t expect a sprawling disco with techno music.
The bar at the Hotel Principe is a cosy, rustic-chic-themed establishment with some nice perks. It has a deck beside the pool, regular live music, DJs and ski movies to keep you entertained, but the biggest draw may be its location – you can stop in mid-way through the home run to the village; it’s a ski-in, ski-out bar. If you plan to indulge, watch that last run home!
If you’re missing home, the Thistles Pub is styled after a traditional English inn, and it’s a popular spot with lots of activity. They offer live music and a terrace that is always packed during warmer weather.
Restaurants are divided into two main categories: those on the Italian side, and those on the Swiss. The Italian side is known for lower prices and, of course, good Italian fare, among other cuisines.
Lo Copa Pan offers Italian and other dishes in the restaurant, and the bar upstairs has live music for after-dinner entertainment – a good choice for one-stop après ski activity.
La Chandelle, in the Hotel Hermitage, is more to the posh end of the spectrum, comfortable, with gorgeous views of the larch forest. Featured here is the extensive wine list and more than twenty varieties of Italian olive oil.
For something laid back and economical, Lo Baracon dou Téne is housed in a little stone building a little away from the slopes. You can sit on the terrace and enjoy the daily pasta special, or something else that piques your interest, and take in the views.
There are many more choices too, so the ski-loving foodie will have lots to explore, on slope and off.