Snow arrived all over Italy.
Temperature dropped down and … here we go again: my friends force me to practice one of the numerous activities you can do when it’s a white winter.
No matter how many times I informed them more or less openly I am a sun lover and my favorite sport would be lying in bed under a soft and warm duvet…or lay curled in a comfortable velvet couch reading an Agatha Christie novel and drinking hot Earl Grey tea with a drop of milk… no way
It does not pass through their minds that though I am energetic and sporty from March to October, the first snow drops bring back my archaic wish: hibernation!
All through the years they have dragged me through so many exhausting “tour de force” that now I wait each weather forecast report announcing snow as a death row sentence.
Here are just the last ones:
wake up early in cold dark winter mornings before even the bakeries open just so we can be the first on ski trails and… end up in a long car line climbing up the mountain at snail’ s pace. Park the auto on the slick asphalt surface and force your icy feet in stiff ski boots. Or pull them off the car roof avoiding damages: that is already quite unsafe from my point of view.
We are finally on the slopes, half-awake flying down icy snow laden paths with overactive crazies darting in and out of our way.
I do admit some panoramas are really breathtaking and after a few panic moments you seem to forget you are sleepless, you are cold and your body is even reacting really well to physical exercise.
Finally it is lunch time, you wouldn’t quit the trails, you are fully enjoying it but no way… now that you are having fun they want you to have a proper “mountain hut” meal:
ravioli with melted butter and grana cheese, or lasagna, or even some stewed meat and polenta …and that’s the end of all the poetry.
I cannot help but feeling like a huge bear wishing to hibernate after such a meal and skiing is just the last of my thought.
My skiing day usually is over by lunch time and I spend the rest of the day getting bored inside the hut.
If they persuade me to have a week end, I usually ski for half a day and implore them to pitifully leave me at home when they are on their skiing mission: can you really say skiing in the middle of a snowfall is better than stretch your legs in front of the fireplace at Rifugio di Cupi and have a slice of home made cake with some hot chocolate? You won’t dare, will you?
Cross country ski
on a separate ski trip I ventured into the world of “cross country skiing” although I cannot imagine crossing even the smallest of countries in this manner. “Cross country skiing”, a form of ski touring in which participants propel themselves across snow-covered terrain using skis and poles.
I found it quite tiring and an unnatural exercise to be honest: you are pulling yourself on a perfectly straight plain covered with snow with the help of two sticks, two skis… and your trembling legs.
Not even the force of gravity to push you towards the bottom of the slope.
We picked up the “Comprensorio Alta Sangro and Altopiano Cinquemiglia” which is one of the largest snow area in South Italy as a scenario for my performance. My friends challenged me: 60 km of cross country trails, can you imagine? No effort (totally their questionable opinion), breathtaking views, silence and healthy food when back at night: it is the right place to swear out the stress and the toxins of the city.
I found Castelsangro, the small city we were staying in, quite lovely and slept till late in the morning at Masseria San Iorio.
I challenged the cross country ski once to find out that while my lovely Russian friend almost flew like a butterfly over the ski I struggled through snow like I were wearing some stiletto! Not my idea of a reinvigorating holiday
Snow shoe walking
and then it was Snow shoe walking. I was enticed by the lure of unique hotels, resorts and B&Bs:my friends have a bit of an evil side to them and knowing that I am not a fan of the cold they booked accommodations at the “Igloo Village” on Lake Misurina, in the Alps.
You got it perfectly right: an igloo village and you are really sleeping in an igloo.
1. snow shoe walking
2. ice skating on an icy lake
3. snow trekking
4. igloo building seminar
No chance to hide and spend my week end sleeping, reading or whatever…
I had to submit my sad destiny.
Quite honestly, the environment was absolutely fairy: a few miles from the luxurious Cortina but still in the wild and pure Nature of the Dolomiti mountains.
I even tried a short shoe walking to reach the site from which the Tre Cime di Lavaredo could be seen in all its majesty. It was hard, my trousers got soaked and I felt a wreck but… survived!
I managed to skate on the top of the icy lake and though everybody assured me it was safe, the first one who proposed a hot chocolate cup got my blessing.
The night in the little igloo was ok…well of course I was not wearing my favorite night gown and I found sleeping in sleep bags a “back to your teen age camping experience” but… it was ok. I was happy I slept all through most of the night: I assume I was too tired because of the igloo seminar and the snow shoe walk.
Now, as I was reporting at the very start of this article: snow is back!
What will be the next offer?
What is a snow park? Are you really sure you want to know? I surfed the web for deep investigation and found out: a snow park is a large area reserved to spectacular performances either on snowboards or ski.
This will prove too much for me so for once I am going to plan in advance: I am proposing we travel to Folgaria: 74 km ski trails, fun park, snow park, snow shoe area, ice skating and.. at least 5 spas featuring steam bath, Finnish sauna most with a view, Jacuzzi, a massage menu you can only dream of…
I think Agriturismo La Fonte will have my vote for its green concept and its bio cuisine and warm infusions.
And while my friends will be challenging each other snowboarding, skiing, whatevet, I will finally be able to enjoy what I feel more close the real meaning of a white “detox holiday”.
And what is your idea for a perfect “white holiday”?