We have been in Piemonte to ski with a Swedish company. 20 boys and 1 girl.
The trip from Turin takes only 1 hour and it is mostly on the motorway, which means that it is smooth and expensive. The tax to pay at the many pay stations is around 20€ for the short tour. Pretty crazy I find. But it is FIAT the owner of the road. Probably they have to do so to maintain a perfect motorway.
The town of Sauze d’Oulx, where we were living at the Hotel La Torre, is divided in a very modern and a very old part, nothing in between. I like the old one more, with the typical narrow streets and stone houses from the early 1600s. In town it is mostly spoken English, and the pubs are many for the joy of my Swedish boys and the girl too.
Our hotel has an old history, built 1937 by the Agnelli family, owners of FIAT, a colony for summer and winter recreation to the factory employees. The old industry patrons had at least a humanitarian interest. The building is amazing, with its circular concrete structure. It must have been very inefficient to house many, but it is a beautiful piece of architecture.
Skiing was not so bad, despite the few open slopes. Not so much snow has fallen yet on the Italian Alps. The slopes of Sauze were better than the ones in Sestriere, which is connected to the first village by the Vialattea ski system, a 400km of slopes from Italy to Mongenevre, France. The artificial snow is maintaining the possibility to ski and was enhanced by the 2006 winter OS, hold in the area.
Food in Italy is always special, but some of the places in Sauze and Sestriere have fallen for the touristic demand of more fast and easy dishes, sacrificing the genuine taste of the real Italian freshness. I recommend a place where you can eat only pasta and bruschetta, the Sugo’s, in the old town of Sauze, open since 25 years or more with the same concept and a hell of good pasta dishes on the table!