Alagna Walser village in winter

Alagna

When you sit in the cable car to reach the slopes above Alagna, you are surprised by the mixture of styles in the architecture of this little village at the foot of the huge South side of the Monte Rosa. Beautiful traditional Walser houses and massive fin de siècle buildings, with the churchyard in the middle as a reminder of life’s shortness, look like they never really melted together in a unity. They just do not communicate with each other, because they do not speak the same language.

The history of Alagna is of one of the most important for the Walser culture in the Alps. The Walser were the people who came from the North through the mountain passes in the Middle Age and colonized the high lands above 1500m. They built their typical villages of up to 6 houses where they used to live, pray and rule their own lows. At the end of the 18th century, with the unification of Italy under the kingdom of the Savoia, Alagna became one of the places for “society” to meet and have vacation.

Next step was taken in the 1960s when the hotel Cristallo was built together with the famous concrete cable car station of Punta Indren (3300m). It allowed alpinists from all over the world to easily reach the tops of the second biggest mountain in Europe, Monte Rosa! At the beginning of the1990s skiers and snowboarders from abroad joined the couple of local fans and discovered the incredible play ground of this area for off-piste lovers, making it reach the actual level of tone the most famous “freeride” resorts in the world.