Bardonecchia is a small fashionable mountain town in north-west Italy and a popular holiday destination both with skiers and snowboarders in the ski season and throughout the summer months with MTB and tourists looking to escape the Mediterranean bustle and prices.
Bardonecchia is also rated in the top ten of Italy’s resorts, and after hosting the snowboarding events of the Turin Winter Olympic Games in 2006, is largely considered “The Home” of Italian snowboarding. Many of Italy and Europe’s finest snowboarders base themselves at Bardonecchia, as do some of Italys’ leading ski and snowboard coaches. There is still chance to descend the “Olympic Piste” at Melezet, just one of the resorts main three ski areas – finishing alongside the Olympic half-pipe and Bardonecchia’s mighty fine snow-park.
Skiers have flocked to the slopes of Bardonecchia for many years, bringing with them all the razzle/dazzle of the Italian ski world to this part of the Susa Valley in Italy.
As a town, this place has been around since the time of the Romans and the place can still cut the mustard with a well set-out series of mountain slopes that are connected by some twenty-nine lifts, most of which are new 2 and 4 person chair lifts. The more advanced terrain are accessed by a few not-so-obvious drags. At Christmas 2017 a new 6 person chairlift was opened on the Jafferau ski area, replacing the rickety old chair and the proceeding drag to reach the top.
The 140 kilometres of marked pistes cover three main ski-areas all covered by the lift-pass (Melezet, Campo Smith and Jafferau) that are split either side of the valley floor. The town and the three ski-areas are accessed by a free shuttle bus service that passes about every 20 minutes between the hours of 09:00 and 17:00.
The main runs on the slopes of Bardonecchia will suit all levels, but overall are best for intermediates, but there are blacks to be discovered and plenty of trees, steeps and off piste for the advanced skier or rider. The bottom of Campo Smith is best suited to beginners with its nursery slope and both Campo Smith and Melezet are pretty evenly split for beginners and intermediates. One thing that is common with Campo Smith and Melezet are the lift queues on a weekend (especially Sundays), which can be horrendously long – take our advice and head to Jafferau on a weekend.
As an Italian resort Bardonecchia is a chic, quiet town with an assortment of bars and restaurants to suit most tastes and budgets. But lively apres-ski is to be found. Both the newly refurbished Haralds Bar and restaurant, and Il Due Merli discothèque at Campo Smith deserve special mention for all visitors, and amongst the more knowledgable skiing and snowboarding crowd, the Garage Bar and Bebop Soundclub are “hip” night-time hotspots – both found on Via Medial, Bardonecchia’s High Street in town.