In the extreme north-west of Italy not far from the French border town of La Rosière sits the village of La Thuile. Once a coalmining area, it has been transformed into a ski centre for people who want to escape the crowds and enjoy quieter mountain pleasures. The conditions here are excellent and the setting dramatic with incredible views of the Matterhorn, Monte Rosa and Mont Blanc. Plus, its position on the border means you can hop easily between countries and enjoy a way of life that is neither truly French nor Italian but distinctly Alpine.
Living in La Thuile and Things To Do
La Thuile is a resort of choice for families who are restricted to school holidays yet want to avoid the bustle. It might not have the lively nightlife and party scene of better-known resorts, but its consistent snow, beautiful setting and unique border town flavour have secured La Thuile's place in the hearts of connoisseurs. People come back again and again to La Thuile.
The ski area is made up of 150 kilometres of slopes of varying degrees of difficulty. There are 34 runs for beginners while the intermediate skier can take advantage of 29 in the extensive area between La Thuile and La Rosière . The two centres are linked via chairlift at Col de la Traversette. 12 black runs, 8 of which are on the Italian side and 4 on the French alongside off-piste options ensure the advanced skier need never get bored. The slopes of La Thuile and La Rosière have attracted a number of top-class events. In 2016 it hosted three-speed trials for the Women's Skiing World Cup. In 2017 and 2019 it hosted the Telemark World Cup. The journey from town to reach the lower slopes on the Piccolo San Bernardo DMC cable car takes only a few minutes.
Away from the slopes, La Thuile offers the chance to try climbing at the Up and Down Boulder Point in La Piramide municipal sports complex. Here you'll also find five-a-side pitches and basketball courts. In the summer there's a wealth of trekking trails. Mountain bikers are spoiled for choice. The MTB Trail Area features incredible drops and breath-taking views of Mont-Blanc, the Rutor glacier, the Mont Rose and the Matterhorn.
La Thuile Leisure and Culture
Right in the heart of the historic Aosta Valley the village is a mixture of the old and new. It's a captivating place that grew out of three smaller hamlets and the former coal mining village into the modern ski resort it is today. Its popularity has increased but at a manageable pace. There are few big chain businesses here, instead, you'll find old family shops, restaurants and hotels that have been here for decades. With many people returning time and time again there's an easy familiarity about the village that engages visitors from the off. Friendly is a word that people use constantly about residents living in La Thuile. With its position on the border, it's always been somewhere that different people and cultures have met making for an interesting mix of the local and the cosmopolitan.
There's a low key nightlife in La Thuile with a couple of bars staying open until late and a growing number of excellent places to eat out. Just off the slopes at the top of the village are restaurants where you can dine on local favourites in a rustic building of stone walls and wood beams. A free hot wine awaits you on arrival and there's always a cosy atmosphere.
Snow and Weather Report for La Thuile
The season in La Thuile runs from the beginning of December to the end of April. The total snowfall during the 2017/18 season was 688cm over 36 days. The single biggest snowfall in one day was 120cm. Average depth at the base was 76cm while at the summit it was 254cm. It continued to snow regularly right through March and April of 2018.
Investment Potential in La Thuile
La Thuile might be for you if you value a quieter pace of life and want to enjoy world-class runs that don't get too overcrowded during peak season.
It's relatively underdeveloped but grows in popularity year on year as other resorts become too busy. With links to both France and Italy and with an ongoing programme of investment in infrastructure, it shows real potential for sustainable growth in visitor numbers. La Thuile's neighbouring ski resort, La Rosière, in France recently saw a £13 million extension, bringing more tourists to La Thuile also.
Transport to La Thuile
The Aosta Express shuttle bus connects La Thuile with Geneva Airport some 142km away. 7 free ski buses run between Courmayeur and La Thuile every day. Alternatively, you can fly to Turin Airport and travel the 165km by hire car along the Aosta Valley A5 Toll Road.