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.

Snow chaos in Champoluc and Gressoney - By Pedro Capetillo

Posted: Mar 20, 2014
Categories: Blog
Comments: 0
Author: Pedro

Saturday mars 1 2014 – a meter of snow came down on Champoluc, Gressoney and Alagna. Our normally unstoppable Chevy 4-by-4 van could hardly make it down to the valley. It took me 3 ½ hours from Champoluc and down to Verres – a distance of 30 kilometers. There were deserted cars everywhere. Tourist busses and utility viechels. Gas stations where sold out for snow chains. Restaurant La Toretta opened for lunch which they normally don’t serve, in order to help all the stranded people. The road to Gressoney was closed all together for the duration of the day.

Good lesson from the day: When bad weather is forecasted. Add AMPLE time to your time plan if you’re going to the airport for instance. Good site for weather forecast and road conditions in English. Always keep the snow chains in your car. Saturday, the police stopped even 4-by-4 cars with winter tires that couldn’t show the chains. If you don’t have chains, most mechanics and larger gas stations have them. If you don’t know how to mount them, ask somebody the first time because it’s a little tricky.

I didn’t have chains but our car is big and strong and have good tires and it made its way. I got a good tip from Berto, the local mechanic in Champoluc: Let out some of the air in all tires and true – my grip was much better with 1.9 than 2.5 kg.

Apart from the inconvenience of really bad road conditions and a massive traffic jam, it is a great and beautiful experience with such a vicious snow storm. It reminds us – nature is big, strong and beautiful and we are sometimes all at the mercy of powers greater that ourselves.

bad driving


Berto in Champoluc at the gas station +39 0125 308035

Mechanic in Brusson at the gas station +39 0125 300158

Tires in Verres Gervasoni Pneumatici +39 0125 921559

Help with towing in Champoluc: Sandro Favre +393470183842

Gas station in Aosta that have a larger assortment of chains and other stuff, Esso, +39 347 891 4668

And while we are at it – in Italy, they do not have winter diesel normally. You must either add a winter antifreeze to your tank, or make sure that you buy winter diesel. Normally you only get winter diesel in the mountains. If you rent a car at the airport that is full with diesel it is most likely not winter diesel. You drive the car up to you favorite ski resort and the tank is still full so you don’t  take gas. On the day of your departure…….car doesn’t start and you miss the plane and have to pay for towing. Therefore –stop on your way up to the mountains and add a bottle of antifreeze to your tank.

Best of luck and drive safely!

Pedro Capetillo


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