The Must-Read Guide to Pila, Aosta Valley

Skiing on top of Piste 2 in Pila, with inversion in the bottom. Photo: The-Ski-Guru. The Must-Read Guide to Pila, Aosta Valley

Why Visit – The Must-Read Guide to Pila, Aosta Valley

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Pila is a resort that I’ve got to know by chance. I’ve drove with my family to Ollomont, a tiny ski resort at the end of the road of the Valpelline Valley, north of Aosta for the first ski holiday of my little one that was three. (My eldest went once to ski in Portillo before!)

Nice and warm day in Pila, snow became corn snow overnight- still nice! Photo: The-Ski-Guru. The Must-Read Guide to Pila, Aosta Valley
Nice and warm day in Pila, snow became corn snow overnight- still nice! Photo: The-Ski-Guru. The Must-Read Guide to Pila, Aosta Valley

As the ski area of Ollomont was too small (even though at first, I’ve thought it was ideal), and it did not have ski instructor nor skis or boots for my little boys, I had to go elsewhere. Somebody told us to go either to Pila in Aosta, or Crévacol, by the Grand Saint Bernard Pass. We went to Aosta, and the next was history.

We have been going ever since there, even though now we do not stay at the bottom of the main cable car, but in our home in Morgex (30’ away).

My youngest learnt to ski there, and my two boys love the resort, so we keep on going back for more. Even though I am more nearby La Thuile and Courmayeur, we tend to go to Pila, as it is a very easy-to-deal with and family-friendly ski area.

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Our Christmas holidays in the mountains with the kids and our dog! Courmayeur, Aosta.

The boys waiting for the funicular of Val Veny to take us back to Courmayeur. Photo: The-Ski-Guru.

Our Christmas holidays in the mountains with the kids and our dog! Courmayeur, Aosta.

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So now that we are happy homeowners of a lovely flat in the mountains, we’ll be there on every possible occasion. To do it cheap and more environmentally friendly, we drive with a full car going through the Eurotunnel and sleeping over in Chaumont on our way up, staying at the Ibis Chaumont Centre Gare, and in Reims coming back.

And as leaving your dog in care in the UK is super expensive, more in Christmas, we decided to take him with us and try our ski holiday with a dog! We have already travelled with him when we went to equip the flat in October, and I’ve realised, that if Ozzy had his sleeping crate, he is fine. That is his safe place. So, I’ve ordered one in Amazon to be delivered in Italy. That made the trick.

We arrived in Morgex with some foul weather. Still so pretty that we went out every day! Our Christmas holidays in the mountains with the kids and our dog! Courmayeur, Aosta.
We arrived in Morgex with some foul weather. Still so pretty that we went out every day! Our Christmas holidays in the mountains with the kids and our dog! Courmayeur, Aosta.

When we go and stay over in a hotel, there is no way that Ozzy will stay happy at a hotel room, even with his best filled bone. He starts crying first and the noise turns into a bark- therefore that is not an option! We have learnt to go to eat in two halves. Usually my husband and my eldest take Ozzy for a walk and I have a quick dinner with my youngest, and then we go to the room and stay with Ozzy while they have dinner. Same in the morning for breakfast. It is not ideal, but that seems to work fine for us.

The trip to the mountains is always amazing. I was expecting it to be much busier, as we’ve left the day after school broke up, on 21st December. I was glad to see that the route was pretty empty, even if France was having transport strikes at the time.

We arrived in our home in Morgex, just 10’ down the road from Courmayeur, in the Aosta Valley, with good light and with time to bring all the goodies we were bringing to the flat to finish decorating it. As the car was really full, we will need to bring more boxes in our next February trip.

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Stay at the Heart of the Valdigne to ski in Courmayeur, La Thuile and Pila/Aosta

The outside of the apartment in Morgex that we've finished buying. My experience of buying a home in the Italian Alps.

Stay at the Heart of the Valdigne (Il Cuore della Valdigne) to ski in Courmayeur, La Thuile and Pila/Aosta for your ski or summer holiday.

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The Aosta Valley is magnificent from wherever you look at it. Great mountains, from the Mont Blanc, Monte Cervino (Matterhorn) and Monterosa, to glaciers, rivers, hot springs, lakes, you name it.

Living room at Il Cuore della Valdigne. Stay at the Heart of the Valdigne to ski in Courmayeur, La Thuile and Pila/Aosta.
Living room at Il Cuore della Valdigne. Stay at the Heart of the Valdigne to ski in Courmayeur, La Thuile and Pila/Aosta.

Having a holiday there is the best way to disconnect from everyday worries, the rat race and why all of us who love the mountains, want to at least, do once a year.

Il Cuore della Valdigne is a beautiful stone and wood apartment in the middle of the Valdigne, the valley of the Mont Blanc, what in my opinion, has the nicest vistas of the Aosta Valley and one of the nicest of the Alps.

Being in the middle of Morgex, just 10’ outside Courmayeur, 3 minutes from the Pré Saint Didier terme (natural hot springs) and 20’ from La Thuile, and to the other side, 25’ to Aosta and the gondola of Pila, the chalet is located in a great strategic location for going skiing, cross country skiing (in Arpy, Val Ferret or Cogne), mountain biking, snow shoeing, winter walking, white water rafting and relaxing in the hot springs.

Living room at Il Cuore della Valdigne. Stay at the Heart of the Valdigne to ski in Courmayeur, La Thuile and Pila/Aosta.
Living room at Il Cuore della Valdigne. Stay at the Heart of the Valdigne to ski in Courmayeur, La Thuile and Pila/Aosta.

The apartment has two bedrooms and two bathrooms with showers in two floors, a living room with a double-sided chimney that also opens to the dining room. The wooden kitchen with the slate kitchen top is a delight, with all you need if you fancy doing a big meal. If you don’t, no worries, you are a stone throw away from many bars and restaurants in Morgex: Mont Blanc Café, Café de l’Archet, La Locanda, Trattoria da Bepe, and if you fancy something much more deluxe, the renown Casa Quinson, all within two blocks from the apartment.

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Our family hike in Pila during the past summer holiday

On the way to Lago Chamolé with the family. Our family hike in Pila during the past summer holiday.

Our family hike in Pila during the past summer holiday

Last season we’ve had a holiday in the mountains, staying in Courmayeur. We tend to go to the Aosta Valley every winter, and we’ve passed by Aosta coming back from Lake Como a couple of times, but we never went up the mountain up from Aosta. My kids are very keen of Pila, as it is the very first resort where my youngest learnt how to ski, and the first European resort where my oldest skied. Pila is just on top of the city of Aosta, the capital of the Aosta Valley, in the border of Italy with France to the West and Switzerland to the North.

On top of the gondola from Aosta parking lot to the base area of Pila. Our family hike in Pila during the past summer holiday.
On top of the gondola from Aosta parking lot to the base area of Pila. Our family hike in Pila during the past summer holiday.

This week we have chosen to stay in Courmayeur was a bit unsettled, you had nice weather in the morning and torrential rain in the afternoon, so we needed to choose the gap when to go up in order not to get soaked!

We went in the morning, Pila is 30’ through the motorway from Courmayeur, and 40-45’ if coming through the scenic national route. We went through the nice route and left the car in the parking lot of Pila by the train station in Aosta.

On top of the Chamolé chairlift. Our family hike in Pila during the past summer holiday.
On top of the Chamolé chairlift. Our family hike in Pila during the past summer holiday.

My kids were really excited, and so were my husband and myself, to get into the 18’ Leitner gondola ride up the mountain. It is weird to see all the mountain without snow, and weirder to see the landing of the gondola full of grass and nicely piquet fencing to direct the ‘pietons’ up or down the mountain.

We’ve started by going down to the start of the Chamolé chairlift. Walking down it seemed much shorter than going on skis – which I find weird, but I guess that not having to pass by all those ‘Interskiers’- (as we call the kids that come with Interski to Pila in the winter) who barricade the exit of the gondola, makes it a smoother walk down.

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Our first part of our family ski trip in Pila- Aosta

Family trip to Pila, Valle d'Aosta - Photo by The-Ski-Guru.

So we made it to Aosta, back in the flat we always rent in Charvensod, at the outskirts of Aosta, and we went for dinner to meet our family friends that are also with us during this week. Dinner in this family restaurant and Pizzeria Millenium is always fun, easy with the kids, and good on the wallet!

The tram to piste 15- Pila- Photo by: The-Ski-Guru.
The tram to piste 15- Pila- Photo by: The-Ski-Guru.

We went to sleep ready for the first day of going skiing – for me it is always a bit of a nightmare to organise the first day of skiing – more if I am carrying my family with me.

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