Let it snow…
When there’s ice on the ground and cold wind biting my face as I’m going to work in the morning, I definitely get into a very bad mood. It seems natural for that to be my reaction. I mean, who likes being bundled up in the cold? The strange thing is, if you give me the same weather, but I’m bundled up in ski clothes on a mountain with white powdery snow as far as the eye can see, I’m so happy that I wonder why I don’t throw out my sandals and move to the highest point of the Alps. That’s the magic of a week in the snow Italian style – la settimana bianca.
It was in 1911 that Italian Touring Club organized the first ski competitions on the slopes of the Valle Spluga in Italy. After the event turned out to be a big hit with tourists, the cover of one of Italy’s most important newspapers dubbed it “La settimana bianca” and from there on a week of holidays in the snow became an important part of year for many Italians.
When you’re little, the “White Week” means staying in a cabin with your family and probably a good amount of time spent at ski school. Once you’re older, the best part is probably getting to spend time with friends away from the city. If you rent a little cabin with a lot of friends, just throw a blanket where you can find a spot. It doesn’t matter how well you sleep because when you wake up you’ll discover that you’re never to old to play in the snow!
It’s in the area of Italy known as the Valtellina, just a step away from Switzerland, that the White Week was born. A lot has changed since 1911 – the chairlifts are faster, the skiboots are warmer and on dry years artificial snow helps keeps the mountain the perfect place for winter sports. What hasn’t changed is that it doesn’t matter if you fly down the hill in a sled, slalom on your skis or carve across the slope with your snowboard, because no matter what winter is fun during your White Week.