01.11.2017

In the Shade of Mont Blanc

Enjoying beauty, winter sports and old-time atmospheres in Courmayeur

  • In the Shade of Mont Blanc
  • In the Shade of Mont Blanc
  • In the Shade of Mont Blanc
  • In the Shade of Mont Blanc
  • In the Shade of Mont Blanc

What would Courmayeur be without the Mont Blanc? Perhaps only a small mountain village of two thousand souls, a small town like many others, with lovely typical houses and pleasant views.
 
But everything here revolves around the granite 4,810 meter high giant bristling with spiers and ridges and furrowed by deep valleys where glaciers flow.
 
At 1,224 meters above sea level, Courmayeur has always been a holiday resort, ever since the 18th century, when the aristocratic families of Piedmont and Savoy used to come here for enjoying thermal baths in Pré-Saint-Didier.
 
Yet it was not until the 19th century that it turned into an international holiday destination, and subsequently into a major winter sports thanks to the construction of the ski lifts and facilities after World War II and the Mont Blanc tunnel in 1965.
 
Today, Courmayeur is a popular international destination which somehow managed to retain its alpine atmosphere. To experience it, just walk along the narrow and winding shopping street, Via Roma, in the heart of the historic center, or go to the small towns that surround it, such as Morgex, a medieval village dominated by the tower of an ancient castle, La Salle and La Thuile.
 
When in town, do not forget to visit the eighteenth-century Church of St. Pantaleon and the Malluquin Tower, the remain of a sixteenth century castle which now houses exhibitions and events.
 
And although the real stars here are still the mountains, which have made Courmayeur and the whole Valdigne a renowned international alpine ski area, between one descent and the next our advice is to immerse yourselves in what remains of the ancient grandeur of old-time Courmayeur, enjoying its true flavors and exploring the rare corners that are still authentic. Here are some of our favourite places.
 
Museo Alpino Duca degli Abruzzi
In this corner of Italy where the history mountaineering was made, it is worth visiting the museum dedicated to one of the most fascinating and adventurous sports ever. The exhibition is not only for experts and enthusiasts, but also for those who want to learn more about the Courmayeur Alpine Guide Society.
 
Notre Dame de la Guérison
Via Val Veny, La Villette
This little white church, which looks tiny in the presence of the great Brenva glacier, appears like a vision on the road to the Val Veny. Built in the mid-nineteenth century, it has walls covered with paintings and votive offerings.
 
Caffè della Posta
51, via Roma
Although it may be pretty crowded in peak season, this historic café in the town center with an old fireplace and seventeenth-century ceilings is worth a visit at breakfast or aperitivo time. Opened back in 1911 as a grocery store, over time it has adapted to the transformation of Courmayeur into one of the most renowned ski resorts in the Alps, welcoming VIPs and celebrities.
 
Pierre Alexis 1877
An excellent restaurant in the old city where you can enjoy both local dishes and creative cuisine based on fresh quality products and seasonal ingredients, accompanied by a wide choice of wines.
 
Photo credits:
Courmayeur, ski facilities base area
: photo by Alan Baldwin under the CC BY NC-ND 2.0 license
Via Roma and Caffè La Posta: photo by Damien Roué under the CC BY NC-ND 2.0 license
The cableway: photo by Dan Zelazo under the CC BY NC-ND 2.0 license
Notre Dame de la Guérison: photo by Jerome Bon under the CC BY 2.0 license
 

Author : The Slowear Journal

SlowearTags.

Courmayeur  | holidays  | mountains  | skiing  | food  |

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