Living the mountains … without the skis!

We arrived at that time of year when the cities of emptying and the ski resorts are colored by people who love to ski down – the bravest with the snowboard – from the mountains. Yes, the days between New Year’s and the end of the holidays are perfect for a holiday as a couple or with friends. The point is: what are the places that allow you hours of leisure and fun even without the skis on?
Although they are famous mainly as ski resorts, the winter tourism cities offer other initiatives for all snow lovers, but not for skiing. We have compared some of the most picturesque high-altitude villages and have discovered some pleasant and tempting alternatives that will convince you to take out the mountain in you!

Colico, located upstream of Lake Como, offers a fairytale landscape created by the snowy peaks and the frozen surface of the lake. From there it is possible to take a cycle path which, for the most audacious, reaches up to Chiavenna (2-3h). The trail winds along Lake Verceia and then crosses the Pian di Spagna Nature Reserve. A real must for bicycle lovers.
Once in Chiavenna do not forget to taste the typical pizzoccheri and maybe … take the train back!
For those who prefer to walk and relax, there is certainly no lack of a visit to the Forte di Fuentes, reminiscent of Spanish domination in the seventeenth century (the Pian di Spagna is explained). This trip is a real immersion in history, discovering these ruins romantically overlooking the lake.

In Andalo you will find instead the charming little boutiques of wooden objects and trinkets, but also gingerbread houses and tasty South Tyrolean products. A walk in the center could be very pleasant! The city, wonderful in the snow, also has a skating rink suitable for all skaters. In fact, it is not rare to see synchronized skating teams training in Andalo, but anyone can access the track, take classes, skate freely or sign up for tournaments! What better way to change a year than a ride on skates?

Santa Caterina Valfurva, in the heart of the Stelvio National Park, certainly holds the record for the number of activities organized and offered to the public. In addition to the numerous ski slopes that can be accessed, are in fact organized nature tours within the park and along the scenic trails but not only: it is indeed possible to register (even for the little ones!) Group rides inside the reserve and near the most famous mountain towns (together with Santa Caterina, also Bormio and Livigno). The thermal baths and the thermal treatments that, at the end of a day of leisure, can not spoil are very well known! If you are a lover of cycling on the snow, do not miss the opportunity to take part in a mountain bike ride at high altitude, you could discover small huts ideal for a romantic getaway!

The great blue downhill champion is told, retracing his career, including anecdotes and video projections

Thursday 22nd February 2018 returns the cycle “Face to face with the great sports”, annual event now in its 14th edition.

The event will open with an evening dedicated to alpine skiing, which will host the great champion Kristian Ghedina who will present “No risk, no fun”.

Kristian Ghedina was one of the greatest ski champions, not only in Italy. Specialties: special slalom, giant slalom and combined. With 12 victories and 29 podiums only in the World Cup of downhill specialties, Ghedina is one of the most successful descenders of all time.

The event, which will be held at the Sirtori Sport Specialist, in the locality of Bevera, will start at 20:30.

Kristian Ghedina, born in 1969 in Pieve di Cadore, in the eastern Dolomites, a few kilometers from his Cortina d’Ampezzo, was one of the greatest Italian skiers of all time, the most victorious downhill ski racer in the World Cup, one of the best specialists worldwide in the 90s.

Son of Adriana, the first ski instructor from Cortina, who died in 1985 in a skiing accident, Kristian made her debut in the World Cup in 1989 and already in the following season, barely twenty, imposed international attention: two podiums, then the first career victory in Cortina, followed by another in Are, in Sweden.

1991 begins with the winning of the silver medal at the World Cup in Saalbach combined. After a few months, however, his career is likely to end following a serious road accident on the Turin-Milan motorway. Ghedina remains in a coma for nine days at the hospital in Rho. He is forced to a difficult motor rehabilitation and very few, at that point, have hopes of a possible return to high levels. Instead Kristian starts again even if he can not be immediately competitive.

He took part in the Albertville Olympics in 1992 with good results (11th downhill, 6th in combined), but in the following years he won no podium. The breakthrough came in the 1994-1995 season when Ghedina climbed five times on the podium, won two races and remained in the fight until the last race for the conquest of the World Cup downhill, which went to the French Luc Alphand. In 1996 at the World Championships in Sierra Nevada conquers the silver downhill and the following year the bronze always downhill, at the World Championships of the Sestriere. At the Nagano Olympics in 1998 he arrived sixth.

In the World Cup, from 1997 to 2010 he manages to win races every year, remaining firmly at the top of the world descent together with the great interpreters of the discipline, such as Alphand, and the protagonists of the Austrian “Wunderteam”. Sets the record on the longest downhill slope of the Cup, the Lauberhorn of Wengen in Switzerland (2’24 “23, in 1997) and, on 24 January 1998, obtains one of the most prestigious achievements in Kitzbuehel on the Streif, the first Italian to succeed in the enterprise. In the Austrian Tyrol, on that same track, is the protagonist of an “out of program” that contributes to its popularity when, on January 24, 2004, makes a reckless split on the last jump of the finish line, to 137.6 km / h : despite not winning the race, the Austrian public tributes an ovation. In 2000 also comes the first supergiant victory: in Kvitfjell, in Norway, Ghedina stands in front of Hermann Maier, thus interrupting the domination of the Austrian team, undefeated in this discipline for two years. The last victory is dated December 14, 2001 when, on Sasslong of Val Gardena, Ghedina overtook the Norwegian Kjus and the Italian Sulzenbacher. On this track he won four times, a record he holds along with the great Austrian downhill tracker Franz Klammer, and he was the protagonist of an unusual “unscheduled”: in the descent of December 2004, while coming close to the finish line, we see suddenly appear in front of a roe deer, which fortunately manages to avoid. In the 2005-2006 season, the sixteenth for him, he is the oldest athlete among the cup contestants.
In February 2006, in Turin, he took part in his fifth Olympiad and then announced his retirement from skiing competitions to dedicate himself to motoring.

Almost three years later, however, he returns to compete in skiing, taking part in the Italian Championships at Passo San Pellegrino: he is ranked sixth to 79 cents from the winner Stefan Thanei in the downhill race.
During his career at the Italian Championships, Ghedina won twenty-three medals: eleven in downhill, seven in supergiant, two in giant slalom and three in combination. In 2006 Ghedina raced the Italian super-sports championship, with the BMW of the San Marino team Zerocinque Motorsport, and the F3000 International Masters on board a Lola B99 / 50

Snowshoeing by day and by night

Not just skiing. Snowshoes are at the center of winter activities in Friuli Venezia Giulia. Unforgettable excursions on the snow that take place in enchanted landscapes and paths suitable both for those who want to enjoy a walk in peace and to those looking for more coaching and technically demanding routes.

SNOWSHOEING IN TRANQUILITY. Snowshoeing on Fridays are recommended for beginners. From January to March 16 in Sauris and Forni di Sopra the naturalistic guides of the AIGAE and the Zoncolan the teachers of the Ski Academy school accompany the participants to the discovery of the wilderness that distinguishes this strip of Alps and Dolomites through simple itineraries that allow to capture the charm of the most authentic mountain in contact with uncontaminated and wild nature.

FOR THE MOST TRAINED. The horizons are open to those able to sustain differences in height between 600 and 1000 meters in Tarvisio, Sella Nevea, Pontebba, Malborghetto Valbruna, with a series of Sunday events until 8 April. The choice falls among the most interesting and spectacular itineraries of the Carnic Alps and the Friulian Dolomites. They are organized at the weekend in Paluzza, Paularo, Sauris, Forni Avoltri from 5 January to 18 March according to a timetable that each time provides different itineraries.

NIGHT SNOWSHOE. Walking with snowshoes at night offers unique sensations that can be experienced in Ravascletto, Sauris, Forni di Sopra. These are simple trips accompanied by guides and recommended to everyone, where the nuances of the sunset are the prelude to an even more suggestive experience: the magic of the snow-covered environment at night. They take place until March according to a calendar that rotates between the three locations.

The history of skiing in an exhibition hosted in Belluno

Appointment today and tomorrow in the courtyard of a rural building near the church in the old village of Sagrogna

The history of skiing on show in Belluno
The first wooden skis, the arrival of plastic and the evolution of the boots. And again the sleds and the ice “ice”. Tonino Zampieri guides us to the discovery of the objects exhibited at Sagrogna, near Belluno, in the exhibition entitled “Da Zeno Colo ‘in Kristian Ghedina: the skis of a glorious era”
An exhibition to retrace the golden years of skiing, from Zeno Colò to Kristian Ghedina. Appointment today and tomorrow in the courtyard of a rural building near the church in the old village of Sagrogna where, from 10 to 22, you can visit the exhibition entitled “Da Zeno Colò Kristian Ghedina: the skis of a glorious era”, amazing collection of winter sports equipment and rare pieces looking for a home to become a permanent exhibition.

The initiative, created by Tonino Zampieri with the idea of ​​proposing a unique event for style and concept, was created in collaboration with the group “The mills of Levego and Sagrogna”. “The exhibition comes from a passion that I had since childhood,” explains Zampieri, “growing up I always tried to preserve the memories of skiing that I practiced mainly in Sagrogna, along the slopes and local meadows, and then on the slopes of the beloved Nevegal . In the summer of 2017 I had the desire to rediscover the passion for this sport, retrace the history of Belluno skiing through a collection of skis and equipment that would otherwise have been thrown or forgotten in some winery ».

A job that has engaged the organizers for more than three months in the collection and cataloging of about five hundred pairs of skis donated by private individuals: “It was tough,” continues Zampieri, “because all the pieces were recovered and cleaned carefully both as regards the skiing, but above all for the attack and the boot, washing every single component with a lot of fat and polish ».

In the collection there are many unique pieces of great historical value, such as the suit worn by Kristian Ghedina in the last race of his long and important sporting career or the helmet and the boot with the signs of the flags still impressed by the famous split that the Ghedo carried out at 140 km / h on the famous Streif. Not only traditional skis will be exposed, but also sledges arrived from all over Bellunese, from Austria, from Canada and a particular model realized by a private person in Acireale with the blades obtained from the bumpers of a 600. And they could not miss the ice sleds (ferioi in dialect) provided by Thomas Pellegrini, author of the book “The ice sled in Belluno” that over time has collected and cataloged 117 unique copies from 1908 until the end of the 80s.
Five hundred pairs of vintage skis on show in Belluno

“A collection that we hope will interest the City of Belluno and that should be exhibited in a permanent museum,” says Zampieri, “given its historical and cultural importance. Once, when a child was born, a sled was built, which he would use when he grew up. ”

“We have collected examples of world-leading brands that have made history from the ’40s to the’ 90s, many of which are in the memory of great skiing but no longer sold today,” Zampieri ends. «The exhibition was conceived along a path that began in 1935 to end with the last pieces created with the philosophy of the obverse, so not ready».

There were many people from Belluno who joined the initiative, unique in Veneto and perhaps also in Italy, so much so that the regional president of Fisi, Roberto Bortoluzzi, immediately supported the project with the hope that the exhibition could one day become permanent and to become a point of reference for the general public of enthusiasts.

Snow, not just skiing: between active and relaxing, the ideas to enjoy the mountains

Descents with fat bikes and Nordic walking, snowshoeing and sledding. But not just sports activities. Among the “alternative” ideas for the skiing week, thermal relaxation and mountain cooking courses are always valid. Or even a romantic balloon ride on the snowy peaks

White week, yes or no? The debate comes on especially when in the family or in the group of friends not everyone knows how to ski and there is someone who does not want to know about the teacher and lessons. Today, however, the mountain in winter offers much more besides the slopes. According to Federalberghi research, then, the Italians prefer the ski resorts of their country: 97% of holidaymakers preferred to stay in Italy in the first three months of 2017.

And it is precisely the Belpaese to offer tourists interesting alternatives to skiing, in many places. Snow activities for all tastes and ages, with children or friends. If you do not want to put skis or boards do not worry, you will not get bored. Nowadays everything can be done on the snow, from riding a bike with fat bikes to Nordic walking. But it’s not just about sports. Among the “alternative” ideas to enjoy the mountains, thermal relaxation and mountain cooking courses are always valid. But even a romantic balloon flight on the snowy peaks gives great satisfaction. Just choose the right destination.