All you need to know about ski holidays by train

Sestriere - introduction

Built in 1934 by the founder of Fiat, Giovanni Agnelli, Sestriere was Europe’s first officially purpose-built ski resort. Agnelli chose a good spot to found his ski resort – located high up at 2035m at the base of Mt Sises to ensure good snow coverage on the north-west facing slopes and some steep terrain.

Today it also provides easy access to the rest of the Milky Way Ski area, being linked by lift to Pragelato, Sauze d’Oulx and Sansicario. Accommodation is in four separate housing areas, linked by buses. 

The heart of the town, at the base of the ski area, also feels somewhat utilitarian but a network of small squares (piazzas) provides a good selection of restaurants for all budgets. There is a choice of lively bars and a fun market in Piazza Agnelli on Tuesdays.

Thanks to its altitude and good snow-making facilities, the snow in Sestriere is more reliable than in other Italian Milky Way resorts and there’s more challenging skiing to be found here as well. 

Thanks to its affordable accommodation and the fact that children up to the age of eight ski free in Sestriere, it’s a popular resort with young families.

Highlights 

  • High altitude makes for (relatively) reliable snow  
  • Easy lift link to nearby Sauze d’Oulx and Sansicario
  • Plenty of affordable accommodation 

Lowlights

  • Lacks picturesque ski resort appeal
  • Weekend visitors cause lift queues 
  • The shuttle service finishes at 5.30pm, meaning visitors staying in the more distant housing areas have to walk or take taxis into town
Ski area
Village Altitude
2035
m
Ski Altitude
1357m - 2840
m
Pistes
400
km
Green Runs
0
Blue Runs
71
Red Runs
130
Black Runs
46
Total Runs 247
Terrain Park
12
Cabin Lifts
6
Chair Lifts
34
Drag Lifts
26
Total Lifts 66