Modern and functional ski lifts, ski resorts for more than 100 km of fun in the snow, an exclusive scenario that has few equals in the Alps: Courmayeur, the 'pearl of the Alps', indissolubly links its name to Mont Blanc and for more than 200 years has shone in the presence of Europe's highest mountain, which has rightly made it one of the world's most renowned mountain resorts. Lying in a wide basin at an altitude of 1224 metres, Courmayeur is the last Italian municipality one encounters before arriving in France via the Mont Blanc Tunnel: a modern alpine town, developed around the ancient church of Saints Pantaleone and Valentino, which today has its commercial and social heart in the central Via Roma. Established for tourism at the end of the 17th century as a spa resort for the virtues of its mineral waters, it confirms its long tradition of hospitality at all times of the year, with first-class accommodation facilities and a wide range of sports on offer in its Ferret and Veny valleys against a backdrop of priceless scenery. Popular with hikers and mountain enthusiasts in both winter and summer, it is known as the oldest and most famous alpine station in Italy: evidence of this can be found in the historical relics of the Casa delle Guide, home to the Duca degli Abruzzi Alpine Museum. A reminder of its ancient vocation as an agricultural community is instead the Badoche festival, a folkloric event linked to the initiation rites of May, which today unites the celebrations of the patron saint in all the municipalities of Valdigne.