The philosophy of slowness has been embraced for some time now by this nature park in Biella province, at Bielmonte, its small and friendly ski resort: no congestion around the lifts, slopes ideal for leisurely descent, and attractions for the many tourists who love snow but don’t do downhill skiing and prefer the mountains for relaxation and wellbeing. With cross-country and snow-shoe trails, good food, mountain huts with solariums in which to relax and enjoy the beauty of the landscape. One of the novelties at Oasi Zegna this winter is mountain watching, the contemplation of peaks and panoramas from the best positions, such as the terrace of Albergo Bucaneve in Bielmonte, where the eye can roam across the plains of the Po valley as far as Monviso. And where, at drinks time, people gather around a glowing brazier to share not only the panorama but warmth, serenity and, of course, good wines and tastings of chef Giacomo Gallina’s cuisine. Another place with an exceptional panorama is the Rifugio Montemarca, which can be reached by a single-seat chairlift (in service since 1957), or with a 20-minute snow-shoe walk up the groomed trail. At the top, a 360° view across the plains, Val Sessera and the arc of the alps as far as Monte Rosa, and miaccie valsesiane, polenta concia, local cheeses and cured meats served on the terrace or in the cozy dining room with windows. Suggestion: plan to reach Montemarca in the evening, have dinner by the fire and set off again, in the moonlight, with your snow-shoes, or stop over and sleep there, to be on the slopes soon after waking.
MOONLIGHT SNOW-SHOE HIKE
19 January and 16 February: save these dates for the most magical experience of the winter, a night hike in the splendor of the full moon lighting up the trail through the woods of Upper Valsessera, from Bocchetto Sessera to Alpe Artignaga. An initiative also open to cross-country skiers and promoted by Ass. Amici del Fondo (tel. 3289345001, 3397628696), at full moon.
CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING IN OASI ZEGNA