Eleven hotels and guesthouses in Italy's Sestrière resort have gotten together to offer a special low season hotel and lift ticket package deal.
The deal includes a full area lift pass, valid in the Via Lattea (Milky Way) pass which covers 400km of piste right over the French border to Montgenevre, all inter-linked by ski lifts and runs. This is where almost all of the events of the 2006 Winter Olympics were staged.
The offer runs from now to Dec. 20 and starts again from March 20 until the end of the season, expected to be in early May 2009.
Sample prices range from 220 Euros per person for three days' bed and breakfast with ski pass at the three-star Hotel Edelweiss, or 250 Euros on half board, to 310 Euros bed and breakfast or 340 Euros half board per person in one of four four-star hotels participating including the Bevedere, Cristallo, Il Fraiteveno, and the Grand Hotel Sestriere. Four-, five-, and seven- night stays also are available.
One of the world's pioneering ski areas, and certainly Italy's, Sestrière was built by the Fiat car company in 1934. The mountaintop Possetto hotel first opened through the winter a decade earlier and more lifts and hotels opened before 1934. It was one of the earliest and still one of the highest purpose-built ski stations and was established in Valsusa, an area on the French border where downhill skiing was first taught in Italy by a Swiss engineer, Alfredo Kind.