Marta's Monterosa Blog

I am passionate about the Alps. They are my heart's home and the place where I would like to spend the last day of my life. I have been a tourist in the village of Champoluc in the Italian Monterosa for all my life and worked as a tourist operator in this area since more than 15 years.

I believe in respect for the special environment of this place that you can find only here. We all gain by enjoying its beauty, while trying to make a minimum impact at the same time. Leave it for our children in the future!

I believe in respect for people who live here with their traditions and culture, language, and work, their genuine products and delicious wines. They open their homes for us, tourists and meet us as their guests, if we are able to open our hearts for them. I have a friend who is a hotel owner and he says that when stressed people from the city come to his place, he tells them to sit down and take a drink before they even begin to worry if they have a room. Perhaps, we can bring a little of their kindness and calmness with us on our way back to the city.

My philosophy is to give back a little of what the mountains and the people from this place have given to me and to my family through my work, to communicate my philosophy and my passion to those who follow me on the blog, and in my trips as a tour operator.

If you would like to visit Champoluc, Gressoney, Alagna or other villages in the Aosta Valley, trek or ski in the Monterosa, discover Sardinia or other places we offer, contact us.

From the top of Monterosa to the

Posted: Jul 24, 2011
Categories: Blog
Comments: 0
Sardinian sea, the step seems long. But in the morning we woke up at Rifugio Guide di Ayas, Lambronecca, 3420 m, and at 9 pm we drove in  our car in a ferry to Olbia. 
 Light in the morning in the Alps

The differences in the Italian landscape are huge, as everyone knows. The mountains are big and real and the Mediterranean is always present not only because of the blue sea that surround nearly all the borders of my country, but also because it is the cause of the good food and wines, and of the spirit of the people, even the people living in the Italian Alps.

So, for example, the Rifugio Guide d’Ayas - where we spent a night me and my 12 years old son, after a challenging effort reaching there from 1750 m of the village of Saint Jacques in the Ayas Valley, climbing on rocks and ice, so near the glaciers as he had never been before, at least on summertime – has a very Italian “aperitivo” every evening at 6.30 pm, welcoming all the guests of that night.

The mountaineers will surely remember it, when they before down next day climb up to one of the many 4000 summits you could reach from this point: the nearest are Pollux and Castor, but there is a “houte route” (a high trek) passing here and connecting to the Monterosa Tour, a circular trail on different hights above the valleys of Zermatt, Cervinia, Ayas (Champoluc), Lys (Gressoney), Alagna, Macugnaga, and Saas Fee. You coud start everywhere you want and it will take you more or less a couple of weks to complete – go to to know more about 20 different trekking crossing the borders of the Alpine countries and surrounding the most beautiful mountains of the Alps, Per Alpes


My young son was anyway excited and could not stop telling me how cool this Rifugio is. It is a real fine accomplishment for a mother, I find, to have her nearly teen aged son be happy without being near a computer!

Genuine hospitality is pretty difficult to find in tourist areas, but as we found it at the Rifugio in Monterosa we were blessed by it even at our arrival in Sardinia, 24 hours later.

We have been in Sardinia before, renting houses through an agent we knew. This time I found a house on the internet on the east coast, a few miles south of the famous Costa Smeralda, and we decided to try it this way. It is probably because we know the surroundings and could make us a relatively thorough idea of where the house would be, but the reality was far better than our expectations.

The owner was waiting for us on the dirt road at our arrival, which showed to be good because the house is hidden by olive trees and bushes, so we had not been able to find it so easily. Signora Liliana (her last name is one of the most well known in Sardinia, as it is the same as one of the few female Nobel Price’s in literature ever) tells us that her family owns this house since 30 years and that they spend all their free time in this paradise. They live only few miles away.

Our feeling is of becoming invited to be her guests. There is a very cozy, personal laid back atmosphere all over the place, and everything we need can be found, not the least 2 beautiful hammocks in the garden: I love it! The beach is right below and is little and nearly private. A perfect place for us for resting and meeting each other in our big and loud family of 5. There is space for everyone!


For me it is very important to feel as if I was at home when I travel and when I am on vacation, which means I don’t like to feel as a “tourist”, but just as myself. I don’t want to become a number on a flight ticket (that’s why I prefer to travel by car or by train) or on the door of a (no matter how luxurious) hotel. I want to meet the people who live in the places I visit, and to do as they use to. This is a genuine kind of tourism that is for me the only possible tourism, respectful of the “spiritus loci” (the soul of the place) and enriching you with really new insights about the world.

Rifugio Guide d’Ayas and Liliana’s house in Sardinia showed that there are still genuine places left.

Some hundred meters from the house there is a “village” called Baja Aranzos, with Kareoke at night and all included if you prefer - but be sure you do not become short of plastic pearls if you want your espresso!


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