I know there’s at least a handful of members here who ski so thought I’d share my positive experience of a week in Limone Piemonte.
First, it’s an actual little working village so a very different vibe than the big, purpose built French resorts. Not much English is spoken, and it’s busier at the weekends with people driving up from Genoa, San Remo, Cuneo, Nice and Monaco. We stayed in an Airbnb which was a couple minutes walk to the main village of Limone and about a 5 minute drive to the bottom of the closest ski area - but it is also walkable and lockers are available to hire in the shops if you want to keep your skis and boots close by.
The skiing wasn’t terribly difficult, but with three bases to go from, there’s enough variety available to keep an intermediate happy for 4-5 days, and with the snow we had there were a few chances to go off piste within the sight line for a little more challenge. The lifts were mostly in good shape and the pass for 5 days was about a hundred quid cheaper than Three Valleys.
The food, as you’d hope in Italy, was great. Memorable lunches included an amazing lasagne with a stellar view in a cliff side at the top (“chef is from Emiglia Romagna”), we had a fantastic soft course ground polenta with wild boar ragù at a place above Limonetta for around 10 Euro, and we had a bowls of pasta and melanzane parmigiana with a bottle of Barbera d’Asti in a third place halfway up another mountain. We had some dinners in, but also ate some great food in the village. A couple times we were either too full from lunch or topped up with the aperitivo.
In fact, aperitivo is reason enough for me to want to go back! For the couple hours post skiing but before dinner (and during the time the villagers seemed to promanade with their partners and dogs through the square), every drink order came with a platter of meat and cheese! And the drinks were sensibly priced to boot! Besides the Italian cafe cum bar type places, there was a small craft beer bar tucked away which sold lots of Italian bottles of things I’ve never seen before, and there was also a brilliant wine shop / bar which had a huge list of Piemomtese bottles for purchase as well as a very good drinks list. La Cantinetta it was called, but they don’t have a website. This is where I got a chance to try Franciacorta (talked about fondly by some in the Community) as well as several Vermouths, one of which made by Pio Cesare.
In terms of wines, there was lots of Dolcetto and Barbera. One restaurant has a wine list of about a dozen wines, half and half of each! At one of the mountain places for lunch we had a bottle of sparkling rosé Nebbiolo?! Back at our place I was mostly purchasing Dogliani - we tried a bottle at 4€, 8€ and 14€ - and concluded that they were all lovely as a quaffing red but you don’t get that much more for your money. The Barberas OTOH had wider variation. Almost every place has Barolo on the list, so if you wanted to spend the money you really could have a nice time tasting, and it would cost you less than in the UK.
So for something a bit different, I’d recommend it. I’d certainly go back to go skiing, and in talking to the locals, it’s as much a place for summer hiking as winter snow. Spread the love.