Ten things to absolutely do in Cervinia
By Walter Galli
1 Cervinia is famous for its summer skiing. The Plateau Rosà slopes (3,500 m.) are the best for ski enthusiasts. All the top teams of the world train on this glacier. For those who love the snow there is “Gravity Park”, the highest snow-park in Europe. You have to ski here, best with a ski expert of course. Here snow is beautiful, and the altitude makes it even better.
2 From Plateau Rosà (just a half hour cableway travel from Cervinia) come to the Little Matterhorn’s (3,883 m.) “Ice Cave” and see its sculptures. From there you can try the fascinating 4000m descent. The ride goes to Breithorn (4,165 m.). Just remember to stick with the Matterhorn Guides.
3 In Plateau Rosà there’s the museam at the highest altitude in Europe: “Una Montagna di lavoro” (a Mountain of work), dedicated to the history of the constructions of the first installations in the basin of Breuil. It’s just a few steps from the station “Cime Bianche Laghi – Plateau Rosà” uphill. On the museum’s panoramic terrace, a compass rose indicates the highest peaks of Aosta Valley and Valais (Switzerland). Free entrance with cableway ticket.
4 Here you can be or become “Iron Man”. How? Skiing in the morning, and golfing in the afternoon at the splendid 18-whole golf course in Cervinia. Here you’ll experience a long course with a panoramic view of the Matterhorn.
5 Sports: what a passion. Cervinia satisfies and ignites this passion. If you’re a mountain bike enthusiast, here there’s the only trail in all the Alps that begins at 3,500 m. – and arrives at 2,050 m. in Cervinia. The trail begins on the snow of Plateau Rosà and finishes amongst the fields in the basin of Breuil. A total of 10 km., 2 which are on the snow. It’s the same trail on which the legendary “Maxiavalanche” race for the strongest riders takes place each year at the end of July (28th/29th).
6 More sport, but everyday something new. For example, the many excursions on the marked paths and their incomparable views. You don’t have to be very well-trained to go on these, just walk slowly. A “must do” trail: “Il Sentier Jean Antoine Carrel” that begins and finishes in the Perrères village (just a few km. from Cervinia and Valtournenche): the trail is 30km long and crosses the whole basin of Breuil and arrives at the “l’Oriondè” lodge (2,808 m.), right next to the Matterhorn (it’s 10 hours long but you can cross it taking breaks at pitstops). Amongst the most fascinating destinations is the votive chapel “Sant’Anna Notre Dame de la Garde” stop, where Pope “Giovanni Paolo II” had stopped to pray.
7 Dedicated to children, but also adults. In Valtournenche and in the nearby Torgnong two very equipped Summer Parks with tubing, big air bag, mini track for quad (Torgnon) and play tracks. The park offers days of family fun!
8 Valtournenche is a valley rich of traditions like: the “Batailles des Chèvres” and the “Batailles des Reines” (happening in August in Cervinia) that will quarrel in the arena “Royaume du Cervin” this August. These are bloodless fights between sheep and cattle, winner will become the “Reine” (queen) of battles. The “Desarpa” is also spectacular, it is the herds’ descent from the pastures to the valley. This journey happens each end of September and is carried along the regional road that brings to Valtournenche. It is the biggest transhumance in all Aosta Valley, in it folkloristic groups and a rich handcraftsmanship market participate.
9 Speaking about traditions: a museum in Valtournenche called “Maison de l’Alpage de la Vallée d’Aoste”, set up in an old restored ‘rascard’, teaches you about the daily life in the pastures, the pastoral culture created and passed on in time, and the importance of the eco-sustainable Aosta Valley system – fundamental patrimony that helps protect the mountain and its 0km products.
10 If skiing made Cervinia famous, mountaineering has made her immortal. Climbing the Matterhorn is the dream of many mountaineers. With the help of the Matterhorn Guides, your dreams can become true: your commitment, in a summer day, can become reality.